David R. Collins Writers’ Conference – Virtual Edition

June 25, 26, and 27, 2020 (all times CST)
VIRTUAL CONFERENCE | Workshops & Classes via Zoom,
Public Events via Livestream
**Login info for the private workshops and master class will be sent to all registrants the week of the Conference**

Please RSVP for passwords to the Keynote Address and Faculty Readings to sarah.elgatian@mwcqc.org

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. Early Bird discount will extend throughout the registration period. 

*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

After making every effort to hold some kind of hybrid in-person/virtual Conference, MWC has decided to hold the Conference entirely in a virtual space. 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 Book Pitches and 1-on-1 Critiques will be scheduled between students and instructors in advance.

We understand that this move 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 as easy and as 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
Lenz Master Class Attendance (included with Registration Fee)
Book Fair Space – 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 “Writing for Change” – 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 — CANCELLED

Mary Foster Concluding Luncheon 6/27 has been cancelled. For those who paid the $60/$75 registration fees, we will be refunding $10 of that registration fee for the cost of the lunch. 

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 – 6   3
Misty Urban – 6   5
Kali White VanBaale – 3   1
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) 

Virtual Conference book fair. Spaces 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). (Optional):

Book Fair Table Registration

STEP 8. Room Accommodations (optional) – UNAVAILABLE


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