Held in downtown Stockholm at Finlandshuset, SWF20 offers a robust schedule packed with learning, community-building, inspiration and, oh yes, did we mention fun? Here’s our initial schedule. The final will be posted when ticketing opens November 1.


Friday, May 22

11:00 Registration opens for intensive ticket holders

12:00 to 15:30 Manuscript Makeover

This interactive intensive is designed for those fiction and nonfiction writers who are ready to take a quantum leap forward in enhancing their writing skills. Participants will send a one-page synopsis and the first five pages of a manuscript in progress. SWF20 faculty will edit and critique these pages and display them to the class as a way of revealing strengths and weaknesses in the material. Additionally, they’ll lead the students in writing exercises and offer advice on such topics as creating strong titles and opening paragraphs, learning to self-edit, mastering proofreading, finding the right markets for manuscripts and knowing when and how to go into writing full-time.

Main Festival Pass

15:00 to 16:00 Additional registration  

16:00 Guest author reading and Q&A

17:30 Find your tribe

Saturday, May 23

8:30 to 9:00 Mingle and additional registration

9:00 to 9:15 Welcome and presentation of Stockholm Prize winner

9:15 to 10:15 Panel: Meet “The Debutantes.” First-time authors share their insights into entering the world of publishing

10:30 to 11:30 Panel: Breaking down the barriers of genre: Sci-fi, fantasy, crime our panel talks about the changing trends in each

11:30 to 1:00 Book signing, mingle and lunch and agent critique sessions

13:00 to 14:30 Buttonhole the Expert

14:30 to 15:30 Group intensive: How to locate, lure and land an agent

15:40 to 17:30 Agent’s response: What we’re really looking for from authors

17:30 to 18:00 Mingle and author book signing


Sunday May 23

8:30 to 9:00 Mingle and Coffee/author book signings

9:00 to 11:30 Breakouts (Pick one in each time slot)

Slot A - 9:00 to 10:10 Slot B - 10:20 to 11:30
Reading like a writer  How writing connects to activism
Mystery writer's bootcamp Infusing poetry into your prose
Writing interiority in children’s and YA books  Techniques of journalism you should apply to non-fiction
Female erasure in history Writing physicality
Finding success with independent publishers Creating powerful female characters

12:30 to 14:00 Pitchapalooza

Pitchapalooza works like this: Anyone with an idea for a book has the chance to pitch it to a panel of judges. But they get only one minute. Our SWF20 faculty forms the judging panel. The Judges critique everything from idea to style to potential in the marketplace and much, much more. Whether potential authors pitch themselves, or simply listen to trained professionals critique each presentation, Pitchapaloozas are educational and entertaining for one and all. All attendees come away with concrete advice on how to improve their pitch as well as a greater understanding of the ins and outs of the publishing industry. One writer wins a prize of an agent one-on-one.

14:00 Goodbye

14:30 to 17:30 Sunday Intensives

Intensive two: Make editing your manuscript fun with The Book Doctors

One of the hardest things for writers is to turn their beautiful but unshaped pieces of clay into a glorious works of art that agents, publishers and readers will fall in love with.  But what may seem a confusing and slightly terrifying task can actually be a systematic and easily understood process. And yes, it can even be fun! Our SWF20 faculty will show how to avoid writing bugs, use your pitch to shape your plot, kill your darlings and much more.

Intensive three: Writing for children and young adults:

A nuts-and-bolts session taking you through each aspect of the unique craft of writing for younger readers, from choosing your readership and developing a voice, to plot structuring, pacing and tension. Suitable for both writers wanting to hone their craft and those considering writing for children but not sure where to start.