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Applications are accepted online from January 10 to May 1, 2018

The Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference is accepting applications for the following workshops:

  • Poetry Workshop with Joan Naviyuk Kane
  • Poetry Workshop with Wayne Miller
  • Fiction Workshop with Mat Johnson
  • Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Alison Hawthorne Deming
  • Cross-Genre Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Paisley Rekdal

Conference Fee with Workshop: $600 through March 30, 2018 and $660 thereafter.

Apply Online

Application Requirements for:
Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction Workshops

  • For writers at any stage of development who work hard at their writing and want to better understand the creative act.
  • Submit five- to ten-pages of poetry (single-spaced, one poem per page) or ten- to twenty-five-pages of prose (double-spaced) in chosen genre through the online application system.
  • If you choose to use your application submission for a manuscript consultation with workshop faculty, please see the style guide on the manuscript consultation page (currently under construction).
  • Participants are selected on the basis of promise or accomplishment in the writing sample.
  • Submissions will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Applicants will be notified of results within two weeks.

*A writing sample is not required if you are applying in a genre for a workshop that you’ve previously attended at the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference.


General Information

  • All workshops are limited to twelve participants.
  • Applications and registrations are processed first-come, first-served.
  • If a workshop is filled, you may have the option of joining
  • Applications and writing samples must be submitted electronically through the Online Application.
  • Manuscripts for the manuscript consultation option may be submitted post-application (up until the May 20 deadline) by clicking this link (under construction).
  • Questions regarding the status of a submission may be obtained by e-mailing writersconference@bemidjistate.edu.
  • Payment information is sent to you once your application has been accepted.

Workshop Application and Registration Process

Applicants to the Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction Workshops should include a five to twenty page writing sample with their application, preferably online. Seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis based on completed registration.

You will receive a response within one week and, if you are accepted, it will include  a link to the Optivation system at Bemidji State University to pay online with a credit card (or you may mail us a check). At this point your seat in the workshop is held for two weeks. If we do not receive your completed registration and full payment of your conference fee we then send you a reminder. If you don’t register after that, we place you on a waiting list and open the seat to someone else. Scholarship applicants will be notified if their workshop is filling prior to the scholarship deadline in case they want to maintain a place in the workshop or on a waiting list.

When we receive your paid registration we guarantee your seat for the conference. We will send you a confirmation letter and some additional information (maps, etc.).

Auditors Track: only $150 – openings are available

This  option does not include participation in a workshop. It does include access to all craft talks, afternoon events, evening readings, and the five conference meals (see daily schedule). This option is for writers at any stage of development who work hard at their writing and want to better understand the creative act. You will be exposed to and benefit from the knowledge and experience our teaching artists share in their morning craft talks and be inspired by their work at the evening readings. Auditors will be provided a space to gather and workshop with each other if they choose. Come be a part of the writers’ conference community! At $21-28 per night for convenient newly-remodeled campus housing, set aside the week for yourself as an incredibly affordable writer’s retreat.

Apply Online – or contact writersconference@bemidjistate.edu.


Manuscript Consultation: Due May 20

  • $60 for a half hour conference with your workshop’s faculty member on a manuscript (up to 10 pages of poetry or 25 pages of prose).
  • Please submit your manuscript through the online application system no later than May 20, 2018 or indicate if you desire to use your workshop application submission.
  • There are only 8 manuscript consultations per workshop. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for participants in each workshop.

Optional CEUs:

  • There is a $25 fee for 28 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for workshop participants.
  • A certificate from Bemidji State University will be provided upon completion of the conference.

Scholarship Opportunities:

  • The scholarship deadline is February 20 through the online application system.
  • Scholarships are awarded based on need and literary merit to lower financial barriers for those who want to engage in this unique arts learning opportunity.
  • One $400 scholarship is awarded toward the conference fee in each of the following genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. A $400 scholarship will also be offered to a Minnesota resident. The participant pays the balance.
  • Honorable Mention scholarships of $200 may also be offered in each category.
  • To Apply: include in conference application a one-page (double-spaced) statement of what you hope to gain from the conference.
  • Scholarship recipients are ineligible for other discounts.
  • Partnership Opportunities

    • MNWC works with educational, institutional, and tribal partners to help bring aspiring writers who show promise to work with our award-winning writers.
    • We offer matching funds to potential attendees who are sponsored by a qualifying institution. We have collaborated with MFA programs of national stature, regional tribal governments, local writing groups, and regional arts organizations to help fund worthy candidates.
    • Please contact MNWC Coordinator Mathew Hawthorne at writersconference@bemidjistate.edu for more information.

Refunds for Cancellations

Before May 20, 2018: A $30.00 cancellation fee will be deducted from the conference fee. The remainder of the fee will be refunded. All other fees will be fully refunded.

After May 20, 2018: Absolutely no refunds for the conference and housing fees will be made after May 20.