June 25, 26, and 27, 2020
St. Ambrose University
McCarthy Hall
518 W. Locust St., Davenport, Iowa

The David R. Collins Writers’ Conference is back! With five three-day workshops, book pitches with multiple publishers, author luncheon, concluding luncheon, free evening faculty reading, and keynote event, there’s something for everyone! Register before June 15th to receive the early bird discount.

*Downloadable copy of the DRC Conference Brochure coming soon*
Please call MWC at 309-732-7330 for more information.

Download a scholarship application for the DRC Writers’ Conference here. We offer scholarships to students, veterans/active duty service members, and those with financial need. 


A Note on the Writers’ Conference and the Response to COVID-19

While we have not yet received official confirmation from St. Ambrose University about the possibility of having the Conference in-person, we are already planning to have it virtually if in-person is not an option. After consulting with the faculty, our plan to hold classes at their scheduled times on June 25-27. Class meetings will be held via private Zoom meetings, and MWC staff will work with students and faculty to utilize Google applications for file sharing, posting assignments, group discussion, etc. The free public events will also be held at their regularly scheduled times, and will be available via livestream. We are also planning a “virtual book fair” on June 27, and pitches and 1-on-1 critiques will be scheduled between students and instructors in advance.

We understand that this move, should we have to make it, will be more challenging for some students than others. We are working on ways we can help Conference participants get access and familiarity with this new format in advance of the first day. If you are new to video conferencing, if internet access is an issue, please contact us and let us know—we will do whatever we can to help make participation and easy and comfortable as possible. We will continue to offer scholarships to students, veterans, and those with financial need.


Please register via PayPal below. A new browser window should open where you can see your selection in the PayPal shopping cart. if you have any issues registering online, please call MWC at 309-732-7330 and we will be happy to take your registration over the phone.

For details, including workshop description and faculty bios, click here.



PLEASE CALL RYAN COLLINS AT (309) 732-7330, OR EMAIL HIM AT mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org. THANKS!

STEP 1. Registration Fee

If you are taking workshops and/or signing up for a pitch, you MUST pay the non-refundable registration fee, which includes Saturday’s Mary Foster Concluding Luncheon.

You do not have to pay the fee if you are only attending free events (6/25 and 6/26), or are attending either or both of the luncheons (6/26 and 6/27). 

Registration Type
Concluding Lunch Attendance (included with Registration Fee)
Book Fair Table – June 27

STEP 2. Workshop Selections – Early Bird (before June 10)

Please choose either the full conference registration (4 workshops) for the first PayPal menu below…

Full DRC Conference Registration (4 workshops)
Workshop preference 8:45am
Workshop preference 10:30am
Workshop Prefernce 1:45pm
Workshop Preference 3:30pm

OR, if you are not registering for the full conference, please skip the full registration PayPal button and proceed to the second PayPal Menu below to select individual workshops, up to 3…

Choose Number of Workshops (up to 3)
Workshop Preference 8:45am
Workshop Preference 10:30am
Workshop Preference 1:45pm
Workshop Preference 3:30pm

STEP 3. Lyz Lenz Master Class – Friday 6/26 (optional) – free with paid registration fee; $30 without registration fee

Featuring a discussion about the personal essay, with Q & A, led by author and columnist Lyz Lenz. Bring your lunch. Included with registration; if you are not registered for the Conference and would like to attend, the cost is $30 and we ask that you register by June 23 (Optional):

STEP 4. Mary Foster Concluding Luncheon (optional)

Mary Foster Concluding Luncheon 6/27 – Cost of Mary Foster Concluding Luncheon is included in your registration; please just indicate whether you plan to attend of not. Cost is $20 if you are only attending the luncheon and you have not paid registration free; if you paid the registration fee, please indicate there whether or not you plan to attend. (Optional)

June 27 Foster Concluding Lunch
Dietary restrictions?

STEP 5. 1-on-1 Manuscript Critiques (optional) 

Manuscript Critiques – Writers can have up to 10 pages of a manuscript reviewed in a 1-on-1 30 minute meeting with the instructor during the conference (meetings scheduled between instructor and writer for their convenience and to avoid schedule conflicts). Critiques are $50. Faculty offering critiques and the number each have available (Optional):

Felicia Schneiderhan – 5
Misty Urban – 6
Kali White VanBaale – 2
Rebecca Wee – 6

Choose a faculty member

STEP 6. Pitch Sessions (optional) 

Pitch Sessions – Scheduled during the allotted times prior to the first day of the Conference. $15/pitch (Optional):

Select Publisher You Would Like to Pitch

STEP 7. Book Fair – Saturday, June 27 (optional) 

Conference book fair on the campus of SAU. Tables are $5 each, or free for authors who have paid the registration fee for the Conference (please indicate whether or not you will participating under the registration drop down menu). Space is limited to 20 tables (Optional):

Book Fair Table Registration

STEP 8. Room Accommodations (optional) – PENDING

MWC will have more information about the availability of dorms at St. Ambrose University once we get their determination on whether or not the campus will be open. Please contact MWC for more info, and check back for updates.


Conference Sponsors:

Modern Woodman of America,
Founding Sponsor of the David R. Collins Writers’ Conference

Regional Development Authority

The Figge Art Museum

St. Ambrose University English Department


Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts


Illinois Humanities