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

Conference Faculty

A Faculty of Writers:
Frank Higgins (stage) Loring Leifer (nonfiction) 
Trish Reeves (poetry) Stanley E. Banks (poetry) 
Catherine Browder (fiction)
Diane Glancy (keynote & fiction faculty)
Kent Rader (humorist & writer) Ben Furnish (book editor)
plus more special guest editors, writers
Robert Stewart (director & nonfiction).
Conference manager: Lisa D. Stewart.

       "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. 


  • 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, 0001)
  • Three credit-hour participants (English 438, 0002), enroll as any other course at UMKC, with this proviso: Click here
  •       Capstone-option students see guidelines below in "Manuscript Evaluation" section.
  • 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.
  • Credit students and others choosing to submit a manuscript, see below: "Manuscript Evaluation & Initial Submission."

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 accommodate 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.

Coffee, juice, water, light snacks will be served both Saturday and Sunday. Upon registration, you will be provided with a detailed schedule and map to Diastole.



For College Credit hours:

Credit students: Regular tuition rates and fees apply. Fees for credit follow the normal university fee structure for coursework (out of state is waived).  Credit registration and fees must be received before the conference begins. 
      Students must submit manuscripts prior to the conference (see "Manuscript Evaluation," below).

Community-Noncredit Participant Fees

Conference cost without college credit is $159.00 for participation in all sessions, readings, 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 subject to available tutors and charged $85 per ms.  Fees due at the time of manuscript submission (see "Manuscript Evaluation," below).     
The manuscript option is closed.


You will receive a full refund if you notify us by Tuesday, June 13, 2018. 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 at University House* Wed., June 13, 2018.

Noncredit participants may elect to have a private manuscript consultation for an optional $60.00 fee (if we receive manuscript and fee by June 13, 2018; after Wed., June 13, if tutors are available, the fee is $85)  
This option is closed.

Initial Manuscript Guidelines:  Hardcopy only.  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.  
      * Specify the kind of the writing at the opening of the manuscript.      
      * 12 pt. type, double space, print one side of paper only.
      * This initial manuscript is due by Wednesday, June 13, 2018.  Mail 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.

Capstone option: Undergraduate 3-credit students completing a capstone project see packet & guidelines.

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.
      Students selecting three credit hours will need to arrange post-weekend tutorials with the conference director. Credit students receive grades based on complete attendance and participation, plus submitted and revised manuscripts and other assignments. 

Presenters & Speakers (biographies).


Kansas City Literary Events

Coutley, Gaskin & Molberg

Friday, August 21, 2020
Kansas City, Mo.


Our Mission

New Letters, New Letters on the Air, and our affiliate publisher, BkMk Press, stand in solidarity with our black writers, readers, listeners, friends, and community. Read our full statement here.


Individual Issues of New Letters Magazine

To order an individual issue of New Letters magazine, please call 816-235-1169 or visit our online store here.