The New Letters Writing Conference
A Weekend for Writers
Fri. eve., June 22, through Sunday, June 24, 2018 

                                                                             2018 FACULTY 

(L to R: Catherine Browder, Mitch Brian, Trish Reeves, Stanley E. Banks, Frank Higgins & more.)

Frank Higgins (stage)          Mitch Brian (screen)
Loring Leifer (nonfiction)      Trish Reeves (poetry)
Stanley E. Banks (poetry)      Catherine Browder (fiction)
Philip Stephens (fiction)      Linda Rodriguez (guest speaker)

Kent Rader (humorist & writer)
plus more special guest editors, writers
Robert Stewart (director & nonfiction).

       "Thank you for a wonderful conference.  I appreciated the mix of discussion about writing as a craft, along with writing as a business.  The Diastole was a perfect location.  I look forward to attending another New Letters conference." 

                                                          —Recent attendee. 

What to Expect

Coached by true professionals, you will experience a fast-moving weekend of craft lectures, panels, workshops, conferences, and discussions in a stunning city venue. This conference focuses on craft and motivation.  All students participate in everything, across genres.  You will hear about how to market your work and the opportunities and obstacles that come with a writing career.


  • Regular noncredit, participant registration: print and mail the attached form or fax to (816) 235-5279; or register by phone at (816) 235-2736. Speech-or hearing-impaired people can use Relay Missouri 800-753-2966 (TT) or 800-753-2466 (voice). On-site check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, 2018, at Diastole (2501 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo.), prior to the keynote lecture.  Students may also check in at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Diastole.
  • One-credit hour participants (English 438, section 0001)
  • Three credit-hour participants (English 438, section 0002), preparatory coursework. Click here.
  • All registrants pay a separate $30 materials fee directly to Arts and Sciences Continuing Education (easy-use form link directly below).
  • UMKC credit students enroll as for any other regular course.
  • Non-UMKC students for credit use "Easy Access" by calling (816) 235-2736.  No transcripts required.

Schedule & Locations

The conference begins at 5:30 p.m., Friday, June 22, 2018, with a welcome reception at Diastole, 2501 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo., the beautiful UMKC Scholars’ Center donated by Mary Clark and Dr. E. Grey Dimond.

The reception will be followed by presentations and a keynote address by an award-winning writer. We often accomodate guests on Friday evening, but please check with us first if you are considering bringing someone along: (816) 235-1168.

Detailed conference schedules for Saturday (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) will be available closer to the conference dates and provided to enrollees.

A continental breakfast, hearty lunch, and snacks will be served on both Saturday and Sunday. Upon registration, you will be provided with a detailed schedule and map to Diastole.



(2018 Fees and dates coming soon)

Credit for College Participant Fees

* Credit students: Regular tuition rates and fees apply.  Fees for credit follow the normal university fee structure for coursework (out of state is waived).  Students selecting three credit hours will need to arrange post-weekend tutorials with the conference director. Credit registration and fees must be received before the conference begins.  Credit students receive grades based on participation, plus submitted and revised manuscripts and other assignments.  Students must submit manuscripts prior to the conference (see below, "Manuscript Evaluation").

Regular-Noncredit Participant Fees

Conference cost without college credit is $159.00 for attendance at all sessions, readings, lunches, breakfasts, and receptions.  Participant students electing the optional, private manuscript evaluation pay an additional $60.00 per manuscript, if manuscript & fee are received by June 13, 2018; later manuscripts are charged $85 per ms.  Fees due at the time of manuscript submission.

Incidental—all participants

All participants must pay a $35.00 incidental fee, in addition to credit and noncredit fees; this defrays the cost of instructional materials and helps cover miscellaneous restorative amenities for all enrollees.


You will receive a full refund if you notify us by Tuesday, June 13, 2016. After that, a $50.00 charge is retained. No refunds after the conference begins. The sponsors reserve the right to cancel the program if enrollment is insufficient and all paid registrants will receive a full refund. For information, call 816-235-2736.

Manuscript Evaluation & Initial Submission:

Credit students:  Professional, private consultation on manuscripts is required for credit students. This private evaluation is included in the tuition fee.  Manuscripts are due June 13, 2018.

Regular participants may elect to have a private manuscript consultation for an optional $60.00 fee (if we receive ms. and fee by June 13, 2018; after June 13, the fee is $85).  

Guidelines:  Initial manuscripts should be either six pages of poems (no more than one poem per page), one short story, one essay, one novel chapter, or one act of a stage or screenplay. Please choose one genre only; do not mix them up. This initial manuscript is due by Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Manuscripts received later will be handled as expeditiously as possible, according to fees above. Send or deliver clear copies, in hard copy (no emails or faxes), clearly marked to New Letters Conference, University House, 5101 Rockhill Road, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110-2499.

Structure & Checklist

An essential checklist of required work and texts will be provided to credit registrants at the conference.  All registrants will be given a packet with weekend schedule and (optional) reading list.  Two and three credit students receive required, post-conference tutorials as part of their registration, arranged by the conference director.


Kansas City Literary Events

Kevin Rabas

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Bonner Springs, Kan.


New Letters & BkMk Press Events at 2018 AWP Conference / Tampa Bookfair Booth 1048

Join us at AWP 2018 in Tampa, Florida, for three events: A tribute to Michelle Boisseau + book signings by Robert Stewart and Mia Leonin.


Clarion Awards Selection CD Special

Jamaica KincaidJim ShepardGloria Vando & Anika ParisLuis Alberto Urrea, and Alex George, normally $7.99 per episode, this cd collection comes with over $15.00 in savings. Downloads of these programs have been reduced and are available through our archives.