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Application Deadline: May 10, 2016

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

  • Poetry Workshop with Natalie Diaz – FILLED (new applicants will be wait-listed)
  • Poetry Workshop with Jericho Brown – FILLED (new applicants will be wait-listed)
  • Fiction Workshop with Lorraine Lopez – FILLED (new applicants will be wait-listed)
  • Multi-genre Workshop with LeAnne Howe – FILLED (new applicants will be wait-listed)
  • Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Rebecca Brown – FILLED (new applicants will be wait-listed)

UPDATEOur workshops are filled! We will continue to accept applications for the wait list in each genre. We are also wait-listing any new applications for auditors – see below.

Conference Fee with Workshop: $600 until the May 10 deadline.

Apply Online – or – Download Printable Application

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.
  • A five to fifteen page writing sample in the genre you are applying for must be submitted. Writing samples will not be returned.
  • 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 thirteen participants.
  • Applications and registrations are processed first-come, first-served.
  • Applications and writing samples may be submitted electronically through the Online Application, or by downloading a printable application for mailing.
  • 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 ten 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  instructions to call the Extended Learning Office at Bemidji State University to pay 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

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.


Optional fees:

  • $45 for a Manuscript Consultation: half hour conference with your workshop’s faculty member on a manuscript (up to 20 pages) submitted by May 20, 2016. Please request a manuscript submission form upon workshop registration.
  • There are 10 manuscript consultations per workshop. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for participants in each workshop.

Please print, fill out, and return this Manuscript Consultation Sheet with your manuscript.

  • $25 fee for 28 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Scholarship Opportunities: Deadline March 1, 2016

  • 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 $300 scholarship is awarded toward the conference fee in each of the following workshops: creative nonfiction, fiction, multi-genre and poetry. A $300 scholarship will also be offered to a Minnesota resident. The participant pays the balance.
  • Honorable Mention scholarships of $150 may also be offered in each category.
  • Several partnership scholarships will be available to regional and/or Native American Writers who partner with an educational or tribal institution. The participants and their partners pay the balance. If you have a partnership in mind, please contact us.
  • 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.

Refunds for Cancellations

Before May 20, 2016: 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, 2016: Absolutely no refunds for the conference and housing fees will be made after May 20.