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NOTE: We are in the process of updating the website for the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference 2020. We will begin accepting applications on March 1, 2020. The information you find here is subject to change. 

Auditors Track: only $180

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 are also provided a space to gather and workshop with each other if they choose. Set aside the week for yourself in an incredibly affordable writer’s retreat. Housing on campus is $252 for the week. Come be a part of the writers’ conference community!

Apply Online – or contact

Conference Fee with Workshop: $650 through March 31, 2019 and $750 thereafter.

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 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 literary promise or accomplishment in the writing sample.
  • Applications are processed first-come, first-served on a weekly basis until the workshop cap is reached.
  • Applications will be acknowledged promptly and applicants will be notified of their workshop status within 2 weeks.
  • If workshops fill quickly, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

*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 10 deadline) by clicking this link (under construction).
  • Questions regarding the status of a submission may be obtained by e-mailing
  • Payment information is sent to you once your application has been accepted.

Workshop Application and Registration Process

Applicants to the Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Hybrid Poetry & Prose 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.).


Apply Online – or contact

Manuscript Consultation: Due May 10

  • $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 & Partnership Opportunities:

Congratulations to our 2019 scholarship winners! Julian Randall is our poetry scholarship winner. Andrew Beckner is our fiction scholarship winner. Elizabeth Hopta is our creative nonfiction scholarship winner. And Jasmin Ziegler is our Minnesota scholarship winner. There were many deserving applicants this year, including accomplished award-winning writers. Thanks to everyone for thinking of us and we wish you all could join us.

  • The scholarship deadline was EXTENDED to January 28.
  • 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 $500 scholarship is awarded toward the conference fee in each of the following genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. A $500 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. There is no application fee.
  • 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.
    • Individuals or institutions should contact MNWC Coordinator Mathew Hawthorne at for more information.

Refunds for Cancellations

Before May 10, 2019: A $50.00 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 10, 2019: Absolutely no refunds for the conference and housing fees will be made after May 10.