Literary Events

The conference offers book-lovers and writers in the Napa Valley and North San Francisco Bay Area a wonderful opportunity to hear readings and lectures by world-class authors of poetry and fiction.


Napa Valley Writers’ Conference – 2017 Public Lectures and Readings

Outdoor reading at the Napa Valley Writers' Conference

Evening Readings

Admission to evening readings is $20 and includes a wine reception prior to the presentation. Students with ID are admitted for free.

Sunday, July 23 – Ada Limón and Daniel Orozco
Reception at 7 p.m., reading at 7:30 p.m.
Upper Valley Campus, Napa Valley College, St. Helena | Map

Monday, July 24 – Eavan Boland and ZZ Packer
Reception at 7 p.m., reading at 7:30 p.m.
Merryvale Vineyards, St. Helena | Map

Tuesday, July 25 – Jane Hirshfield and Peter Ho Davies
Reception at 6 p.m., reading at 6:30 p.m.
Robert Mondavi Winery, Yountville | Map

Wednesday, July 26 – Matthew Zapruder and Lan Samantha Chang
Reception at 6 p.m., reading at 6:30 p.m.
Pine Ridge Vineyards, Napa | Map

Thursday, July 27 – Student Participant Reading
Reading at 7:30 p.m. – FREE ADMISSION
Upper Valley Campus, Napa Valley College, St. Helena | Map



New! Free Community Class

The conference is co-hosting a free community class with the Saint Helena Public Library. Bay Area poet Caroline Goodwin will lead a guided reading experience that covers the poet and fiction writer who will share the stage at that evening’s reading.

Monday, July 24 – Wednesday, July 26, 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Free admission
St. Helena Public Library, 1492 Library Lane, Saint Helena |  Map

Visit the St. Helena Library Web site for full details.


Craft Lectures

All lectures are held at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College in St. Helena (view map).

Admission to lectures is $25 apiece, $90 for a four-lecture series, or $175 for all eight lectures. Students with ID are admitted for $15 per lecture.

Monday, July 24

  • 9 a.m.: Poetry – Jane Hirshfield: “It Is Solved By Walking”
  • 1:30 p.m.: Fiction – Lan Samantha Chang: “What Is Structure?: Pacing, and How to Pace Yourself”

Tuesday, July 25

  • 9 a.m.: Poetry – Matthew Zapruder: “The Irresistible Beauty of All Things”
  • 1:30 p.m.: Fiction – ZZ Packer: “Story Architecture”

Wednesday, July 26

  • 9 a.m.: Poetry – Eavan Boland: “Using Images in a Poem”
  • 1:30 p.m.: Fiction – Peter Ho Davies: “The Revision Thing”

Thursday, July 27

  • 9 a.m.: Poetry – Ada Limón: “On Duende & the Ladder: Mystery and Hope in Poetry”
  • 1:30 p.m.: Fiction – Daniel Orozco: “The Really, Really Short Story: A Hyperbolic Query into Narrative Craft”



Past Readings, Lectures, and Speakers

2017 – April
A Celebration of Poetry Featuring Dana Gioia

Camille Dungy, Brenda Hillman, Major Jackson, Brian Teare, Charles Baxter, Ron Carlson, Lan Samantha Chang, Yiyun Li

Jane Hirshfield, D.A. Powell, Arthur Sze, Mary Szybist, Robert Boswell, Lan Samantha Chang, Michelle Huneven, Antonya Nelson

Kazim Ali, Camille Dungy, Brenda Hillman, Brian Teare, Michael Byers, Lan Samantha Chang, Ayana Mathis, Justin Torres

2014 – March
Symposium: “Writing Toward a Sustainable Community” with George Packer

Camille Dungy, Linda Gregerson, Jane Hirshfield, Major Jackson, Lan Samantha Chang, Peter Ho Davies, Yiyun Li, Christopher Tilghman

Eavan Boland, Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, Arthur Sze, Kevin Brockmeier, Ron Carlson, Lan Samantha Chang, Tayari Jones

Jane Hirshfield, Major Jackson, D. A. Powell, David St. John, Daniel Alarcón, Lan Samantha Chang, Adam Haslett, Michelle Huneven

Michael Byers, Ron Carlson, Lan Samantha Chang, Curtis Sittenfeld, Brenda Hillman, Major Jackson, Arthur Sze, C.D. Wright

Elizabeth Alexander, Carl Dennis, Jane Hirshfield, David St. John, Robert Boswell, Peter Ho Davies, Antonya Nelson, ZZ Packer

Ron Carlson, Lan Samantha Chang, Ehud Havazalet, Ann Packer, Mark Doty, Nick Flynn, Brenda Hillman, Claudia Rankine, Paul Lisicky

Dan Chaon, Laura Kasischke, Antonya Nelson, Christopher Tilghman, Elizabeth Alexander, Stephen Dunn, Jane Hirshfield, David St. John, Robert Boswell