The SFWC Facts
The inaugural San Francisco Writers Conference was held February 15-16, 2004, at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, under the direction of Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada. The 3rd through 15th conferences were held at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. In 2019, the SFWC moved to the Hyatt Regency San Francisco at the Embarcadero.
The conference is held each President’s Day weekend in mid-February (except for the 2021 SFWC which was cancelled due to Covid and the 2022 SFWC which was postponed to July 21-24 because of Covid). The SFWC has expanded to a four-day event and it now starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday.
In addition to the main conference, there are pre/postMaster Classes that are open to the public, an exhibition hall, a YA/children’s session for students, and free open-to-the-public events. Events in addition to the conference include the San Francisco Writing for Change and year-round writing classes held at Mechanics’ Institute.
Attendance at the main conference averages around 600 people. There are 80-100 speakers, editors and agents who participate each year. There are 60-80 volunteers.
The theme of the conference is “Learn. Connect. Publish.” This reflects the literary heritage of San Francisco as well as the founders’ vision of helping writers get their work published by connecting them with publishers, editors, agents and other professionals.
The San Francisco Writers Conference is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that donates money and services to charities that support writing. SFWC donations have gone to 826 National, BINC, the Children’s Book Project, EveryLibrary, Litquake, WNBA, Books & Booze, Project Homeless Connect, high school scholarship recipients and other organizations. SFWC management team members donate their time on many projects and can often be seen giving pro-bono speeches at writers conferences and other venues.
The conference has two co-directors: Laurie McLean who is also a co-founder of the Fuse Literary Agency and Lissa Provost, head of the New Alexandria Creative Group.
Additionally, Laurie McLean is also the director of strategic partnerships and finance. Elisabeth Kauffman is the director of marketing. Lissa Provost is also the operations director. Amanda Clay Traylor is the volunteer director. And Praveena Raman is the director of registrations and customer support.
- Co-Directors: Laurie McLean & Lissa Provost [email protected]
- Marketing Director: Elisabeth Kauffman [email protected]
- Operations Director: Lissa Provost [email protected]
- Registration/Customer Support Director: Praveena Raman [email protected]
- Volunteer Director: Amanda Clay Traylor [email protected]
- Business Development Director: Laurie McLean [email protected]
San Francisco Writers Conference
1901 Cleveland Avenue, Suite D, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
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