A Whirlwind Event

  • By Laura Hazan
  • May 22, 2024

The Washington Writers Conference was a study in motion!

A Whirlwind Event

We started in one ballroom and moved to another. We went up and down the escalator, attending sessions and pitching agents. We perused one sponsor’s table and then the next, discovering their resources. We browsed the bookstore and participated in the 1001 Artivists Project. The 11th annual Washington Writers Conference was all about motion!

As always, I want to start by thanking our volunteers. This event could not happen without the dedicated members of our planning committee. From programming to agents to BIPOC Scholarships to hotel logistics and everything in between, this team worked on every detail. Then, on the big weekend, they continued to help out. Everyone behind the registration desk and the agent desk, along with everybody assisting with the panels, was a volunteer. Thank you all for being in perpetual motion for 24 hours.

The panels and workshops themselves moved us, too: to create, both in our work and in our community. We forged new friendships and welcomed an outstanding new group of BIPOC scholars while learning about thrillers, publicity, and debut authors.

The pitch room was also filled with moving parts; 21 agents heard 650+ pitches from writers seeking representation. The room was abuzz all day long with eager pitchers, questions, and (for many elated folks) requests for materials. Every year, a few attendees land an agent. In 2023, one of them was me! We can’t wait to hear the good news about who it is this time.

Finally, the Washington Writers Conference wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful sponsors, the Writer’s Center and the Gaithersburg Book Festival. The Writer’s Center provides year-round classes and programming to keep our creative skills sharp, while the annual Gaithersburg Book Festival is a free, daylong celebration of all things literary. If you bump into folks from either, mention that you heard about them at the conference.

We’re also grateful for our onsite bookseller, Busboys and Poets, and our other excellent sponsors: the Author Website Guy, Sisters in Crime Chesapeake Chapter, the Inner Loop, ZigBone Farm Retreat, and Kathy Brown Ramsperger.

I’ve no doubt missed somebody in this wrap-up, but if you had anything to do with the conference — from organizing it to attending — I thank you. We’ll see you May 2-3, 2025!

[Photos by Bruce Guthrie.]

Librarian Laura Hazan is chair of the Washington Writers Conference.

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