What Past Attendees Say

Writing may be a solitary endeavor, but it doesn't have to be lonely.

Every year, hundreds of writers and nonfiction lovers gather in Pittsburgh over the Memorial Day weekend for the CNF Writers’ Conference.

Attendees have hailed from 37 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and even Frankfurt, Germany. Their reasons for attending include getting concrete advice from professional writers, editors, and agents; picking up useful tips for revising and polishing their work; hearing what different kinds of editors are looking for; meeting one-on-one with literary agents; and/or honing their skills in inspiring small-group breakout sessions.

But in surveys they say the most important benefit of the conference is finding a community of other writers and nonfiction professionals.

Hear what else past attendees have to say:

>> Testimonials <<

“I've attended for the last three years, and it gets better every year. This was top notch. Big names but without the stuffy separation of other well respected conferences. CNF offers, by far, the best bang for your buck when it comes to writing conferences. Thank you!” - Ann Mallen

An excellent writing conference … helpful and practical for understanding [and] developing your nonfiction work and learning [about] the burgeoning writing marketplace.” - Mark A. Werkema

"The content of the conference was perfect for me and ... gave me a pathway for my future as a creative nonfiction writer." - Mary Black

"This was my first conference. It was invaluable to my development as a writer. I learned how to pitch my project, start a new project, use fiction techniques to write compelling nonfiction, and work with an editor. ... It was just the kick in the rear I needed.Edda Fields-Black

"A corrective for the isolation of writing. Loved the focus on being a writer in the world, not just at my desk. Loved the balance of practical publishing advice to writing techniques. ... The community building aspect was excellent.Juanita Ramsey-Jevne

"Practical, informative, inspirational, and gave me techniques and strategies I can directly apply to my own work." Donna Cameron

Packed with information, insights, and inspiration. The conference was very well organized in terms of the speaker lineup, the schedule's timing and mix of topics, and the physical arrangement of the room and the breakout-session rooms. All CNF staff were always friendly and helpful. Lee Gutkind's presentation & delivery were spellbinding. My private meeting with [an agent]: possibly life-changing."Susan A. Haynes

“I try to budget for one writing conference every year, and this was the best one I have attended so far. The discussions on craft were phenomenal. I have a lot of background and experience in creative nonfiction, but I still learned a lot. I also like that there was an emphasis on application; not only did I learn concepts, the sessions gave me great ideas for revisions or writing new work.” - Melissa Grunow

“I enjoyed that each aspect of the writing process and writing life was addressed—the craft, the publication, and the community. I felt that writers of all levels were welcomed, and I felt that I was in just the right spot with my own work to gain maximum benefit.” - Jason Griffith

A great experience. Everything I wanted to learn was there. The guest speakers were great and everything was fantastic.” - Allison Dushack

“It was refreshing to have the entire audience focused on creative nonfiction. ... I felt we were all talking the same language.” - Tim Glinski

Every speaker gave me something different and enlightening in their own way. Like reading a good book, each speaker drew me in and told me their story, a story that was meant to teach me something about writing creative nonfiction.” - Arlene Clear

I left the conference feeling like I finally knew where I belonged. ... It took 36 years to find myself, but that's what it felt like after the weekend.” - Lainy Carslaw

“I flew a long way to attend this conference from my home base in Germany ... I am happy I made the investment in time and money to attend.” - Peggy Preciado

>> Firsthand Reports <<

Read FIRSTHAND REPORTS from the 2016 Conference attendees (via ASSAY):

>> Video <<

Looking for more insight into what goes on at the Creative Nonfiction Writers' Conference? Check out the videos below for a peek at the 2017 and 2015 events.



First 35 registrants save $120!
Take advantage of our regular early registration price of $345 until 4/16

Full conference pass only $415 $345

May 24* - 25 - 26
Point Park University
Downtown Pittsburgh, PA

View the daily schedule & the full list of presenters

The conference kicks off on the evening of Thursday, May 24, with a presentation by Lee Gutkind followed by a meet & greet reception. Programming on Friday & Saturday runs from 9 am - 5 pm, followed by a Literary Happy Hour & Party in the Park on Friday night.

Conference Home   |   Register   |   Schedule   |   Presenters   |   Keynote
Hotel & Travel Accommodations   |   Venue   |   Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Contact our Events Manager, Hannah Waltz, at waltz@creativenonfiction.org.

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