The 2018 Japan Writers Conference will be Saturday, October 13th and Sunday, October 14th, 2018 at Otaru University of Commerce in Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan. Otaru is a port city northeast of Sapporo and easily accessed by train from Sapporo. For those concerned about the weather, it should be cool, cold at night, but no snow. Otaru is an interesting city, with much architecture of the Meiji and Taisho eras surviving, street and building signs in Russian, shopping opportunities, really fresh sushi, and views of the ocean to the north.

As in the past, the Conference will be free and open to all who wish to attend.

Invitation to Present

All published writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers are welcome to submit presentation proposals.  We especially encourage proposals from new submitters. One of our strengths has been variety, and the best way to foster variety is to have new presenters each year.

Those who have presented at past conferences are (of course) welcome to submit new proposals. But please, in the words of Ezra Pound, “Make it new.”
Please forward this to any friend or colleague who might be interested. If you know someone the conference organizers might approach–either living in Japan or planning to visit Japan next autumn–send us your suggestion. If you have contact information, that would be a great help.
Presentations on all genres and all aspects of writing and publishing are welcome. The deadline for presentation proposals is Friday, June 1, 2018.
As in the past, the conference will be free and open to all who wish to attend. This is possible because all the presenters and organizing staff volunteer their time and talent, and the use of the site is donated by the host. As a result, the conference cannot offer any payment, reimbursement, lodging, or help in securing visas or travel permits. So please don’t ask.
Presentation Proposal Guidelines
Detailed information follows, but briefly, a proposal needs to include a brief bio, including some publication credits, the type of presentation you wish to make, a title, a summary of 50 words, a longer abstract (150 words) and any special requests you might have.
When planning your JWC proposal, keep your audience in mind. Your listeners will be writers and others (translators, editors, publishers, and agents) concerned with creating publishable writing. While teaching, literary studies and private self-expression are certainly worthy activities, they are not the focus of this conference.
Standard conference sessions are fifty minutes long, but if you have something special in mind, please let us know and we will accommodate if possible.
Ask yourself as a writer or other word professional these questions:
What information do I have which could be useful to others?
What writing, rewriting, editing, or marketing techniques have worked for me or others I know?
What topic would make for a lively and enlightening discussion?
What publishing or other professional opportunities do I know about?
What will an attendee take away from my fifty-minute session that he or she will find worthwhile?
You may submit more than one proposal.

The only qualification one needs to be a presenter is to have published. This does not mean that you need to have published a lot or in some high-profile journal. Your book (if you have a book) does not have to be on a bestseller list. You do not have to have won any awards or to have appeared on TV. You simply need to have written, edited, translated, or otherwise worked on a piece of writing which has made it to the public eye. That is, published.

Proposal Format and Deadline
Using the following format, please send your ideas for a presentation by June 1, 2018. Send your proposal in the body of an email (no attachments) to both of these addresses:
In your subject line give your name, “JWC,” and the date.
In the body of the email, give:
1. Your name (or names)
2. Contact information (email, telephone. These remain confidential.)
3. Your publications (Need not be complete, but give names of journals and genre for short pieces; title, publisher and date for books; venues and dates for plays, and so on)
4. Title of presentation. (20 words or less)
5. Type of presentation (short lecture with Q&A, craft workshop, panel discussion, reading with Q&A, etc.)
6. Short summary of the presentation (50 words or less)
7. Abstract of the presentation (150 words or less)
8. Personal and professional biography (50 words or less. Make mention of your publications, as this will be part of the Conference program)
9. Anything else, such as special equipment needs or questions.
Your proposal doesn’t have to be a “finished” document to submit. There will be time to shape and polish your ideas for a presentation. But there are a set number of time slots available, so if you are interested in having one of them, please let us know by June 1, 2018.
John Gribble
Karen McGee
Co-Coordinators,
2018 Japan Writers Conference