Register to attend the 2017 S.B. Writers Conference

View the 2107 Schedule (7.5 Mb)

For a writer, nothing is wasted. Sooner or later you can use everything you're experienced or heard about.

- Geoff Aggeler

Opening night will be Sunday, June 17 2018. 

Workshop leader updates for 2018 are still in development.

Swirl2018 Conference Schedule: Writer Workshops


June 19 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 20 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 21 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 22 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 23 9:00 am - 11:30 am

The Right-Brain Experience

This is an experiential workshop to free the powers of your imagination. Each session includes ‘right-brain’ techniques that help you deal with your inner critic, discover ways to make your characters more fascinating, and your story to have greater depth.

If you could learn to consciously stimulate specific areas of your brain that will make you a better writer, would you want to learn how to do that? No drugs. No technical paraphernalia. Just your intention to explore uncharted territories of your mind. During a specific mental exercise, one person will get an idea for a story, another will discover something about a character that alters the direction of the book. Some may find a stronger book title. There will be readings and constructive criticism.

Workshop Leader

Marilee Zdenek

The year was 1977 when I came to the Santa Barbara Writers Conference to learn how to write fiction. I had already co-authored two books with Marge Champion, Catch the New Wind and God is a Verb. The latter sold 92,000 copies and Barbara Walters interviewed us on The Today Show, which was a fine beginning to my career.

Sid Stebel introduced me to Don Congdon, who became my agent. Don sold my next three books: Splinters in My Pride, The Right-Brain Experience, and Inventing the Future. During that time, I moved up to being a workshop leader and then a speaker. From 1979 until 2004, no matter what else was going on in my career, this conference felt like my literary home. It’s good to be back. My favorite blurb came from Charles Schulz, creator of Monte and Peanuts: “At least once a month, I take one of Marilee Zdenek’s books off the shelf and read some of the things she’s written because I think they are so wonderful.” Published in s[More]