Annual Writing in Place Conference

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Hub City will host the 19th annual Writing in Place conference on the campus of Wofford College July 20-22, 2018 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This year's conference will feature lots of new workshops, faculty readings, and more!

Published novelists, poets, essayists, and literary critics lead a series of workshops over three days that include intense instruction, challenging exercises, and an opportunity for feedback. Registrants must sign up for one genre: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Our instructors will expect you to write during this conference, and we have planned a weekend with "downtime" for that purpose. We also want you to have time for networking with faculty and new friends. This conference is open to 48 adult writers and sells out every year, so register early. This conference is geared toward starting a new piece of work rather than workshopping something you have already written.

Our conference is held in the Michael S. Brown Village Center on the north side of campus. Overnight guests are housed in the Village apartment housing.

Eventbrite - Writing In Place Conference 2018

2018 Faculty

Keynote & Fiction: Michael Farris Smith

Keynote & Fiction: Michael Farris Smith

Michael Farris Smith is the author of The Fighter, Desperation Road, Rivers, and The Hands of Strangers. He has been awarded the Mississippi Author Award for Fiction, Transatlantic Review Award, and Brick Streets Press Story Award. His novels have appeared on Best of the Year lists with Esquire, Southern Living, Book Riot, and numerous others, and have been named Indie Next List, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Amazon Best of the Month selections. His essays have appeared with The New York Times, Bitter Southerner, Writer’s Bone, and more. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.

Poetry: Sean Hill

Poetry: Sean Hill

Born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia, Sean Hill is the author of Dangerous Goods, awarded the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor, named one of the Ten Books All Georgians Should Read in 2015 by the Georgia Center for the Book, (UGA Press, 2008). He’s received numerous awards including fellowships from Cave Canem, the Region 2 Arts Council, the Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, The Jerome Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. Most recently, he received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Harvard Review, The Oxford American, Poetry, Tin House, and numerous other journals, and in several anthologies including Black Nature and Villanelles. Hill is a consulting editor at Broadsided Press, a monthly broadside publisher.

Creative Nonfiction: Jessica Handler

Creative Nonfiction: Jessica Handler

Jessica is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Invisible Sisters: A Memoir which was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” Jessica write essays and nonfiction features that which have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. Learn more at

Fiction: Xhenet Aliu

Fiction: Xhenet Aliu

Called “extremely funny and mordant” by author Sherman Alexie, Xhenet Aliu’s debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her novel, Brass, was published by Random House in January 2018. Aliu’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, Necessary Fiction, American Short Fiction, Lenny, LitHub, Buzzfeed, The New York Times, and elsewhere, and she has received multiple scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, among other awards, including a special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an MLIS from the University of Alabama, where she was an ALFA fellow, studying methods of delivering information services to individuals with disabilities. A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, whose brass industry attracted large waves of Eastern European immigrants before the demise of the factories in the 1970s and ’80s, she was born to an Albanian father and a Lithuanian American mother. She now lives in Athens, Georgia, and works as an academic librarian.

Sunday Session: Sandra E. Johnson

Sunday Session: Sandra E. Johnson

Sandra E. Johnson is an award-winning author, accomplished writing instructor, and experienced freelance editor. Her publishing credits include the nonfiction book Standing on Holy Ground: A Triumph over Hate Crime in the Deep South (St. Martin’s Press) that won glowing reviews from O: The Oprah Magazine, USA Today, and Southern Living. Her novel Flowers for the Living (Texas Review Press) earned a nomination for a PEN/Faulkner Award, and when her self-help book Body-Mind Peace Journal: Daily Prompts for Mindful Living (Sterling Publishing) is released in January, it will be featured in Barnes and Noble’s 2019 A New You campaign. Through her editorial business, Sandra Johnson Literary Services, Sandra provides expert guidance to assist both fiction and nonfiction writers prepare their books for success in the publishing industry. USA Today bestselling author Blaire Edens attests, “Sandra is an outstanding editor and I trust her implicitly with my work.” For more information about Sandra, please visit her author website at and her editorial website at

This will be my ninth WIP Conference. It's convenient. It's affordable. Speakers and instructors are world class. Why would I go elsewhere?

—Past WIP Attendee

Conference Lodging

Lodging is available in a Wofford College dormitory for $35 a night. These are single rooms, and you will not have a roommate. Please check the appropriate box if you intend to stay at Wofford. Other hotels in the area include the Marriott at Renaissance Park (864-596-1211), the Inn on Main (864-585-5001), and the Fairfield (864-542-0333). PLEASE NOTE: The Wofford dorm rooms are spartan, and the beds are four feet off the floor. If you have difficulty reaching a bed that high, please consider a motel room.

What to Bring

For your comfort, please bring a sweater or jacket. Classrooms can sometimes be chilly. Bring a notebook and writing instrument. You may also bring a laptop. If you want to take part in the open mic, bring a short piece of your work to read. Overnighters should bring a pillow and blanket for a single bed. Sheets and towels are provided.


If you have joined the Hub City Writers Project as a member at the $30 level or higher, tuition to the conference is reduced to $260. This membership also entitles you to 25 percent discount on Hub City Press books and 10 percent on other books. Call us for a discount code on your registration. If you have questions about whether you have made a donation, email Become a member.

Hub City can issue full refunds, minus processing fees, until one week before the conference.

Tentative Schedule

5:00 pm Registration for people staying in dorms
5:30 pm General registration
6:00 pm Dinner
6:30 pm Faculty readings and Q&A
7:45 pm 1st Writing Class

8:00 am Coffee and breakfast
9:00 am Opening session
9:30 am 2nd Writing class
Noon Lunch
1:00 pm Writing time
3:00 pm 3rd writing class
5:30 pm Social hour
6:30 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Keynote address
8:30 pm Open Mic

8:00 am Coffee and bagels
9:00 am Concurrent workshops
10:30 Concurrent workshops
Noon Conference ends

Our Sunday workshops this year include:

How to Write a Killer Query Letter - with Sandra Johnson The ability to write killer query letters is crucial for compelling agents and editors to want to see more of your work. Learn how to write one by attending this comprehensive, interactive workshop.