2016 BIO Conference

BIO welcomes biographers, editors, agents, publishers, and publicity professionals from across the nation and around the world to the Seventh Annual Biographers International Conference, June 3–5, in Richmond, Virginia–a historic city ranked #3 in Travel and Leisure‘s best places to travel in 2016 (see more of the accolades for Richmond as a travel destination below). During the conference weekend, biographers have the opportunity to network, compare notes with fellow biographers, and deepen their knowledge of and commitment to the craft of biography.

On Friday, June 3, BIO will offer morning and afternoon tours of three of Virginia’s top historic and archival sites. For the first time, the roster of pre-conference events also features brief readings by biographers. The readings and Friday evening’s opening reception will be held at the state-of-the-art Library of Virginia on Capitol Square, just a short walk from the conference hotel, the Richmond Marriott Downtown.

On Saturday, June 4, the conference kicks off at the Richmond Marriott Downtown with a breakfast plenary session featuring Annette Gordon-Reed and T.J. Stiles in conversation, and continues with lively panels and solo speakers, including Douglas Brinkley, Thomas Mallon, Stacy Schiff. D.T. Max, Debby Applegate, Blake Bailey, Evan Thomas, Irwin Gellman, Kitty Kelley, Hampton Sides, and Amanda Vaill. Sessions will focus on topics such as research and narrative techniques, working with an agent, and book promotion. Panels and workshops include “Advanced Social Media,” “Bringing Characters to Life,” “Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Proposal,” “The Future of Research,” and “Independent Presses for Biography.” In addition, an hour-long time slot will feature round-table discussions on such topics as Group Biography, Black Biographies Matter, Brief Lives, Women’s Lives, Sexuality in Biography, and Lesser Known Subjects. Books by conference participants will be available for purchase throughout the day.

BIO offers a coaching program that runs concurrently with the afternoon tours on Friday, June 3, and with the round-table sessions on Saturday, June 4. We are offering half-hour sessions with accomplished biographers.

During lunch, Stacy Schiff will introduce  Claire Tomalin, the winner of the 2016 BIO Award, who will give the keynote address.

The conference will conclude with a reception and the presentation of the Plutarch Award for the best biography of 2015.

New this year on Sunday, June 5, is the free BIO Book Bash, an opportunity for conference attendees and the public to meet and mingle with BIO authors and conference panelists, who will be selling and signing their books.

Travel Note: Attendees coming to Richmond via Amtrak should use the Main Street station.

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Conference Agenda

Biographies of Moderators, Panelists, and Speakers

Coaching Program

Discover Richmond

Special Event Featuring BIO Member Joshua Kendall