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As Festival Director and Founder of the International Memoir Writers Association, I am delighted to announce our year-round programming online and in person.


Quick Snapshot of Events

  • June 24th – SDWF and Warwicks Present Anastasia Zadiek in conversation with Zibby Owens
  • August 15 – The Best Book Club on Earth with Host Tracy J. Jones featuring Elizabeth Silver and her newest book, The Majority
  • September 14 – Festival U: Online Day of Learning with World-Class Talent
  • October 8 – SDWF celebrates our Poet-in-Residence Gill Sotu as he launches his new book (need name)
  • December 6 – The 10th Annual Memoir Showcase: But I Did It Anyway
  • January 2025 – SDWF celebrates historical fiction author and Instructor-in-Residence Jennifer Coburn as she launches her new book, The Girls of the Glimmer Factory
  • April 5, 2025 – The 6th Annual San Diego Writers Festival on beautiful Coronado Island

Year Round

The San Diego Writers Festival

In 2019, my wonderful co-founder Jeniffer Thompson and I launched the San Diego Writers Festival. We get to meet leading voices in all realms of the writing world. It’s an honor to be at the forefront of creative voices in fiction, nonfiction, journalism, screenwriting, genre writing, memoir, songwriting, poetry, comic books, and publishing.

The San Diego Writers Festival is a FREE Writers Festival that is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, exhibitors, and volunteers. Please support our sponsors and exhibitors by visiting their profile pages.

Be in the know
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Be sure to add info@sandiegowritersfestival.com to your address book!

Our Yearly In-Person Festival will take place on April 5, 2025, on Beautiful Coronado Island.
Stay tuned for announcements about our stellar lineup!

Festival U 2024: A Fundraiser for SDWF

One Day ~ Online ~ 7 Amazing Workshops for Only $60
Spaces are Limited. Grab Yours Now.

SDFU is Proud to Partner with Barnes and Noble Booksellers

SDWF Festival U is our yearly fundraiser and online day of learning. (This fundraiser helps the in-person Festival remain 100% free.) The virtual program runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes 7 stellar classes, workshops, and discussions with world-class talent.
This year, our focus is on PUBLISHING.

This year, we are featuring four authors, two agents, and three publishers to help you on your journey to write and publish your book.

Schedule (all times are PDT)

  • 10 am – New York Times Bestselling Author Chip ConleyDiscusses his new book, Learning to Love Midlife (As Featured on Oprah)
  • 11 am – What Every Writer Should Know about Small Publishers: Meet Successful Publishers from Tupelo Press, Ashland Creek Press, and Agate Press
  • 12 pm – The Pulse of Publishing Today – Alternatives to Publishing Panel with Award-Winning Author Anastasia Zadeik and Agent April Eberhardt
  • 1 pm – Famed Psychologist and Author Peter A. Levine in conversation with Marni about his new book, An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey
  • 2 pm – Agent Elise Capron, in our famous ASK-AN-AGENT-ANYTHING session. Bring your questions.
  • 3 pm – Zibby Owens discusses Blank and the trends she sees in the publishing industry.
  • 4 pm – Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez discusses her memoir, My Side of the River, and what it meant to be a NY Times Editor’s pick.

IMWA Memoir Showcase

The Memoir Showcase is our annual 5-page true-story writing contest. The top 8-10 pieces will be chosen to be performed on stage on Dec 6, 2024. The top 30 pieces will published in our award-winning anthology, Shaking The Tree Short. Brazen. Memoir
10th Annual Memoir Showcase Submissions Open From June 12 to August 18
Performance will be on December 6, 2024
Theme: But I Did It Anyway

Submissions will be read and judged by a panel of judges. Eight to ten winning pieces will be selected (top eight to ten submissions) and notified by October that they will be in the Memoir Showcase. (These eight to ten stories plus an additional twenty pieces will be featured in the Showcase anthology, Shaking the Tree: Brazen. Short. Memoir, Volume VIII.)

Winning Showcase writers will be assigned a writing coach. Writers will work with their writing coach to refine their theme and then cut or polish their piece for approximately one month.

Memoir Mondays

Tracy J. Jones will take the first ten minutes to check in with any writers who want to share a success, challenge, or update on their writing projects. If you are interested, there will be a prompt for each session. Come for 15 minutes or stay for two hours.
All genres are welcome!

The Best Book Club On Earth: Read the Book Meet the Author

The Warwick’s + San Diego Writers Festival Book Club

Since 2020, the Warwick’s + SDWF Book Club has met virtually four times a year to interview up-and-coming and best-selling authors. The best part? This book club is run by writers for writers, so this is a rare “spoiler event,” where we get to ask our authors anything and everything about how these page-turning novels or memoirs came together. It’s an hour of learning, discovery, insight, and inspiration as Tracy J. Jones interviews these amazing writers. And you can send in your questions, too! It’s a way for the San Diego Writers Festival community to be engaged all year.

Get Marni’s Exclusive Writing Tools

Are you ready to start writing today? Download four of Marni's exclusive writing tools! This could be the kind of kick in the pants you've been waiting for.

• The Big List of 52 Archetypes
•15 Plot Spots
• How to Enter the Creative Flow for Writers
• Are You Feeling Creatively Blocked?

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