The three-day conference includes plenaries on topics such as South Dakota writers and the state of environmental writing. Awards are presented for creative writing, humor, and cultural diversity. Members are invited to submit proposals for presentation. The conference also includes guided hikes and other tourist opportunities.

The 2017 Western Literature Conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 25–28. In 2018, the conference will take place from October 24-27 in St. Louis, Missouri.