Call For Proposals

Deadline: January 31, 2018

Stories From the Heart

You Can Be a Star @ Stories From the Heart!

Writing teachers, coaches, memoirists, novelists, poets, dramatists, publishers, the Story Circle Network invites you to star in our 9th women's writing conference. Here's why you should join us:
  • Our writing conference is unique. It's all about women. It brings together women writers from all over North America to celebrate and explore women's writing and women's lives.
  • Our 3-tiered program invites you to submit proposals aimed at novice or experienced writers, or at all levels.
  • The conference program offers a large showcase for your work. We covet your creative proposals in personal writing, writing as craft, the writing life, publishing, marketing, and the business of writing.
  • Have a favorite format? Want bells and whistles? You can propose either a workshop or an interactive lecture. We can accommodate your PowerPoint or online presentations, too.
  • You can participate in our popular face-to-face coaching sessions and gain extra advance publicity as a coach.
  • You won't get lost in the crowd. Our conference is personal-size, about 150 participants, with lots of networking opportunities.
  • Our conference bookstore will feature your book.
  • Our advance publicity (national email mailings, Story Circle Journal, print advertising) will feature you, your work, your website, your blog—YOU are the stars of our show.
  • And if you've got a little extra before-or-after time, the Texas Hill Country invites you to get acquainted with all it has to offer.

"Widening the Circle, Opening Our Hearts"
Conference Program

The conference program will feature two 105-minute pre-conference workshops on Friday afternoon and 60-minute presentations on Saturday morning/afternoon and Sunday morning. Each presenter will receive a $40 discount from the full conference fee. Pre-conference workshop presenters will also receive 10% of the workshop income.

The ideas sketched out below are just suggestions—be creative! If you're offering a workshop, make sure you include at least two opportunities for participants to actually write and share their writing; if you're offering a lecture, ensure that it is interactive and engaging. Also, please tell us whether your proposal is primarily aimed at novice/beginner writers or advanced/experienced writers, or is general, for all levels.

If you have more than one good idea, offer more than one proposal. Multiples are encouraged.

Presenters do not have to be members of Story Circle, but must register for (at minimum) one day's attendance at the conference. Why do we require presenters to register? We've all attended conferences where the presenters are "hit-and-run experts" who appear, give a talk, and then disappear. We want our presenters to be part of the conference and share their wisdom and enthusiasm about women's stories with our attendees for at least a day, and preferably, throughout the conference.

Your registration and payment (at either the member or non-member rate) must be received by March 15, 2018. Presenters will receive a discount: full registration will be discounted by $40, Saturday only by $25, Sunday only by $15. Panelists will receive a $20 discount from the full conference fee; they must register and pay by May 11, 2018.
NOTE: "double" discount people (those who are both presenters & panelists) should take the higher discount, not both.

Presenter-authors will be able to sell their books through the conference bookseller. Details will be provided later. Presenter-authors may also choose to rent an exhibitor table to sell their books.

We ask that conference presenters refrain from scheduling workshops in the Central Texas area during the seven days prior to the conference.

Suggested Topic Areas

  • Pre-Conference Workshops
    These 105-minute proposals will be judged more heavily on "appeal," as this is an optional workshop for which attendees pay an extra fee. Previous pre-conference topics: "It's 10 pm, Do You Know Where Your Story Is? Seven Steps to Successful Story Structure"; "The Power of Your Story: Rethink, Reframe, Re-Story Your Life"; "Writing with Heart: Five Easy Steps to Writing with Emotion, Energy and Color"; "Mapping Our Stories"; "House as Dream, House as Mirror of the Soul"; "So You Want to Publish Your Own Story: Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing."

  • 60-Minute Conference Workshops
    Attendees have expressed an interest in memoir, personal essay, fiction, and poetry—your presentation can focus on one genre or include more than one. Below are some areas to consider, but please don't be limited by these suggestions. We welcome your creative ideas.
    • Getting Personal: journaling, writing from the heart/reaching deep, developing an authentic voice, family history
    • Craft Matters: improving writing skills, learning to edit/proofread, revise, fiction fundamentals (characters, plot, setting, structure), hooking the reader
    • The Writing Life: managing time, creating a writing practice, working with a collaborator, critique group, beta readers; blogging
    • Breaking into Publishing: what first-timers need to know; crafting a pitch, proposal, query letter; looking for an agent; publishing paths (self/indie/traditional); writing as a business: record-keeping, business records, best freelancing practices
    • Marketing: secrets of social media, creating a publicity campaign; guerilla marketing (low-cost, unconventional marketing); building an author platform
    • A Take-Home Workshop for Your Community: Are you a life writing teacher? A writing circle facilitator? We're looking for presentations that will teach interested attendees how to become life-writing teachers or facilitators in their own communities. Can you help spread the rich rewards of life-writing to our writing sisters across the country? Women thrive in community workshops. We would love to hear your ideas.

Proposal Guidelines

We are seeking proposals with especially strong audience interaction/participation. You may do this in a workshop format (with at least one writing/discussion experiences) or in an interactive lecture format. Please provide detailed information about the methods you will use to engage participants.
NOTE: individual presenters may not create a panel presentation. You may co-present with another person; multiple presenters must be named and have bios included within the original application.

When you write your synopsis, remember that it will be used to promote both your presentation and the conference. So take advantage of this opportunity to "sell" your workshop and build excitement about the conference with descriptive, definitive words that go directly to the heart of the matter, explaining your goals for the workshop and the benefits participants can expect. Some samples of well-written synopses:

You will learn to convert your experience and expertise into articles for regional or special-interest magazines. This practical, hands-on, interactive workshop will help match your talents to appropriate magazines, learn how to query, conduct successful interviews, format your work to meet editors' expectations, follow submission guidelines-, and become a "go-to" author that editors will seek for future work.

This interactive workshop uses journaling exercises and worksheets to help you discover your present priorities, write goals, make a commitment, and take away an action plan that will keep you moving along on your next writing project. It will be as much fun as planning an itinerary for your next vacation!

A memoir is like a building—it's built from pieces that fit together seamlessly to create a pleasing structure. In this workshop, you will discover how to manage the elements of scene, dialogue, description, and narration to build a memoir that reaches the reader emotionally.

A catchy, definitive presentation title is important. Create something short and sweet that will appeal to conference attendees and whet their appetite.

VERY IMPORTANT! See sample proposals (workshop and lecture) that meet the above guidelines

Story Circle reserves the right to polish and/or make minor changes to presentation titles and synopses to improve marketability.

Submitting a Proposal

Please fill out the form below and submit it.

The deadline for all proposals is January 31, 2018

Don't forget to make a copy for yourself (you can print the screen that you will see after you submit your form—it will contain all the information you type on this page). The Selection Committee will notify you regarding acceptance of your proposal by February 28, 2018. Presenters will be asked to confirm their participation as soon as possible, but no later than March 15, 2018. You will receive the appropriate presenter's discount when you register for the conference; you must, however, register by March 15, 2018 in order to confirm your presentation and receive the discount. Panelists will also receive a discount; they must register and pay by May 11, 2018.

We look forward to seeing you at Story Circle Network's Stories from the Heart IX Conference!

Street Address:
Phone Number:
Email Address:
State/Province: (select "n/a" for non-US, non-Canadian residents)
Zip Code:

If you have a website, what is its address?

If you have a blog, what is its address?
If you are on FaceBook, what is your address?
If you are on Twitter, what is your handle?
(i.e. @pegmoody)

Are you currently a member of the Story Circle Network? Yes / No
(Preference will be given to SCN members. If you want to join, you can use our online form.)

I plan to register for the full conference / only the day of my presentation

Title of my presentation:

Synopsis of my presentation: (no more than 50 words)

My goals for the workshop: (no more than 200 words)

Methods I'll use to achieve these goals: (no more than 200 words)

Benefits participants can expect: (no more than 200 words)

My proposal fits into one or more of these general topic areas
Pre-Conference workshop
Getting Personal
Craft Matters
The Writing Life
Breaking Into Publishing
A Take-Home Workshop for Your Community
Other; 2-3 word descriptor:

My proposal is for a

What level is this workshop/lecture aimed at? novice/beginner, advanced/experienced, all levels
all levels

Audio visual equipment needed:

  • Each presenter will be responsible for providing her own handouts (maximum 50).
  • All conference rooms will be set up classroom-style.
  • Requests for AV equipment should be included in original application but must be made no later than May 11, 2018.
  • Video and audio taping are permitted only by SCN, with permission of the presenter. One copy of the tape will be provided to the presenter. SCN will hold the copyright.

Your resume: (one page)
Send us a one-page list (with dates/places) of 1) the workshops and lectures you have facilitated/offered; 2) relevant courses you have taught; 3) relevant publications. Include your personal contact info. Please do not send your standard resume, just the information above. Without it, we cannot evaluate your proposal. (If you prefer to email us your resume, please do so, and note that below.)

Questions? Contact us via email: confprogram at

The Selection Committee will notify you regarding acceptance of your proposal by February 28, 2018. Presenters will be asked to confirm their participation as soon as possible, but no later than March 15, 2018.