MNWC 2023

What are the dates of the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference? Registration and orientation begins at 1 pm on Monday June 24, 2024. The conference concludes Saturday evening following the 7 pm Reading. The five intensive workshop sessions begin at 10 am on Tuesday, June 25 and conclude at 1 pm on Saturday, June 29. Housing in Linden Suites is open from Sunday, June 23 through Sunday, June 30.

Campus MAP

Flying in and out of Bemidji: the airport code is BJI and the airline is Delta. There are 2 flights arriving from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) each day at 2:20 pm and 10:36 pm. It is recommended that you FLY DELTA INTO MSP and give yourself at least an hour to change flights there. The conference begins on Monday afternoon, June 24. If you are unable to arrive in Bemidji on the 2:20 pm flight, it is recommended that you arrive the day before, on Sunday, June 23rd.

We pickup participants from the Bemidji Airport in a Bemidji State University van.  A survey will go out ahead of time if you need a ride, but feel free to email the Conference Coordinator to make requests, ask questions, or confirm.

Best to book early if you are flying! An extra night is built into the cost of housing if you are staying in Linden for the conference. We do not pick up at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport! A bus ride from Minneapolis to Bemidji is an all day affair. If you have problems or need assistance, contact the conference coordinator at writersconference@bemidjistate.edu.

If you are driving to Bemidji: allow 4 hours from the Twin Cities (220 miles), nearly 3 hours from Duluth (150 miles), and 2 hours 20 minutes from Fargo (130 miles). If you are renting a car at MSP and driving to Bemidji, please contact us for driving directions to Bemidji for a quick and scenic route, as well as directions to the BSU campus and the conference headquarters at the American Indian Resource Center. Campus MAP

For more information on  restaurants, parks, and local attractions: www.visitbemidji.com. There are many good restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and stores in beautiful downtown Bemidji – half an hour stroll from campus along the lakeside path. We recommend Wild Hare Bistro (near the courthouse) for coffee, food, and WIFI. On Beltrami Ave, Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant has good food and WIFI and Tutto Bene offers fine dining with local fresh foods. Raphael’s Bakery opens at 6AM and serves full breakfasts and delivers lunch. Harmony Food Coop is on Irvine Avenue near the post office, as is the popular Minnesota Nice Cafe. 

Close to campus: Erbert & Gerbert’s sandwich shop (15th and Paul Bunyan Drive) is open 10 AM to 9 PM and delivers: (218) 444-9700. Caribou Coffee at 100 Paul Bunyan Drive opens at 6 AM. A CVS drugstore is a block from the north end of campus on the corner of 23rd St NE and Paul Bunyan Drive. A Hardee’s and a Buffalo Wild Wings are also close, as is Dave’s Pizza.

Can anyone attend the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference or are there requirements? Those interested in attending a writing workshop must submit a writing sample, which will be reviewed to determine eligibility for attendance. Auditors do not need to submit a writing sample. All participants are subject to conference fees. However, the evening readings are free and open to the public, either in-place and/or virtual.

How can I pay for registration once I have been accepted to the conference? Once you have applied online and been accepted (allow a week), you will receive an electronic link (in an email from writersconference@bemidjistate.edu) to a secure payment site hosted by Bemidji State to pay for the conference online. Contact the Conference Coordinator at writersconference@bemidjistate.edu with any questions.

Can I mail in a check? Yes, although we prefer electronic payment online. Please verify with the conference coordinator at writersconference@bemidjistate.edu the amount you need to pay. Our mailing address is:

Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference
Bemidji State University
1500 Birchmont Dr. NE #4
Bemidji, MN 56601

Is there a dress code? Business Casual is the norm.

Where do I go on the first day of the conference to check in? Please go to Hagg-Sauer Hall (building 8 on the campus map) on the campus of Bemidji State University from 1 to 3 pm to check in. A conference orientation will take place at that time. Please attend. Campus MAP

Will I be able to buy copies of the authors’ books at the conference? Yes. During the conference we will have a full selection of books for sale at the American Indian Resource Center. There will be author signings following each reading. In addition, copies of books will be available in the campus bookstore.

Can I get my books signed? A reception and book signing will follow each faculty reading in the Evening Reading Series.

After I’ve applied for the conference, do I need to pre-register for the workshops or could I just attend any or all? Conference participants apply for a specific workshop for the week. It is an intensive workshop. Auditors do not attend one of our five faculty-led workshops, but auditors are given a classroom space to workshop among themselves, and auditors can partake in all other conference activities and amenities. Virtual auditors will be provided a digital classroom to gather in.

Are the morning craft talks and nightly readings included in my registration fee? Yes.

I opted for the manuscript consultation with one of the presenters. When do I meet with him/her? Your faculty member and workshop intern will make arrangements for a time during the week that is suitable for both of you. According to your guidelines, my manuscript cannot exceed 10 pages for poetry (no more than one poem per page) or 20 doubled-spaced pages for prose. My manuscript is quite a bit longer than 20 pages. In fact, it’s a novel/memoir. Can I submit my entire manuscript? Given the constraint of the faculty’s time it is difficult to review manuscripts that exceed the guideline. In addition, the consultation is 30-minutes. To make the most of the time with the faculty, please hone in on the parts of your manuscript where you feel you need the most guidance. With a novel excerpt, include a one-page summary of the novel.

Will commemorative merchandise be sold or given out at the conference? Books from the authors will be available at the conference and through the Bookshop page: https://bookshop.org/lists/mnwc-2023-faculty-books

What to bring: All workshops are generative workshops. Simply bring whatever you need to write with and feel comfortable bringing  notebook, journal, writing instruments, laptop or tablet  and bring any reading material you find inspiring as well as any work you would like to share. If your workshop involves pre-conference reading or sharing of manuscripts, the Conference Coordinator will contact you and share an electronic package prior to the conference, including a message from the workshop leader.

Computers and printer are available at Hagg-Sauer Hall for conference participants and at the BSU Library (from 8 am – 3:45 pm) for the general public. Decker Hall has a 24/7 computer lab available for residents staying on campus at Linden.

What to wear: In general, it is a good idea to have a sweater or long-sleeved shirt on hand, especially in the mornings. Temps range from 50 at night to the upper 80s during the day. Classrooms we use for the genre workshops are air-conditioned and tend to run cool.

Typical weather for the week is partly sunny with a chance of showers, with a daytime high of 80 and a low of 55. We may also enjoy a good thunderstorm, double rainbows, and a splendid display of northern lights! An umbrella or light rain jacket may come in handy. It stays light until 10pm. If you are in the park, mosquitoes may come out in the evenings. Either cover up or use repellent.

Can I submit ideas for future conferences? Like classes I’d like, or authors to invite? Yes. We encourage feedback. Participants will be invited to fill-out an evaluation at the end of the conference for an opportunity to share ideas or interests.

Are the evening reading series free and open to the public? Yes, the public is invited to attend in person for free, if space and safety allow. Given the nature of the ongoing pandemic, we also reserve the right to restrict attendance in person. We will notify the public closer to the conference. The Evening Reading will also be recorded, and the public will be invited to view our Evening Reading Series online after the event.

If I can’t make it there early will I get shut out of the event? The events will remain open. However, we encourage timely participation for your benefit and the benefit of the faculty and other attendees.

Are the public readings suitable for all ages? Many of the readings pertain to an adult audience.

Will I be able to meet with the presenters one-on-one? Most workshops are capped at 12 plus an intern, which will allow for more personal interactions with the faculty. You can also submit a manuscript and fee to have a 30-minute private consultation with the faculty member that matches your genre. Manuscripts consultations are limited according to faculty preference, first-come, first-served, and manuscripts are due through an electronic submission page by May 10.

Can I have a presenter critique one of my works? Sure, if you are participating in a workshop, you can submit a manuscript and fee to have a 30-minute private consultation with the faculty member that matches your genre. Manuscripts are due May 10.

Who can apply for a scholarship? Anyone can apply. Scholarships are awarded based on need and literary merit. See the Scholarship Opportunities heading under the Applications Dates & Fees page. The scholarship deadline is March 1 except for partnership opportunities. Contact the coordinator if you have questions.

I have financial support from my college/tribe/arts organization. Can I apply for a discount? Sure. Partnerships are encouraged. Scroll down on the Scholarship and Partnership page for more information and contact the Conference Coordinator.

I have other questions that aren’t addressed here. Who can I contact? Mathew Hawthorne at writersconference@bemidjistate.edu or Angie Clark at 218-755-2851.

What Sponsorship Opportunities are there for the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference? There are many opportunities to support the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference. Donations of any value help us to provide scholarships for our participants. In addition, we have scholarship naming opportunities for sponsorship of higher values. Please contact Mathew Hawthorne at writersconference@bemidjistate.edu to discuss options.