Memoir Workshop Leader Tom McAllister has one Request

by Jerry Waxler on April 27, 2015

TomMcallisterEach year, the Philadelphia Writers Conference offers a three session workshop on memoir writing, taught by writing teachers with a special relationship to that genre. This year we pleased to host Tom McAllister, a writing professor and author of the memoir “Bury Me in my Jersey” about growing up in Philly in a football-saturated family. Whether you are exploring the possibility of writing about your life, or are already well on your way to a completed manuscript, this workshop can help you clarify your ideas and gain an overall sense of how your life can become a book.

In this interview, I ask Tom questions about writing memoirs and some specific questions about his. Check out what he had to say after the break.

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Introducing Catherine Stine

by Jim Knipp on April 16, 2015

Catherine StineIn a world of hard-working writers, I sometimes think no one works harder than Catherine Stine.  She’s always moving, always changing, always willing to try something new.  Her latest novel, Dorianna, is a modern day twist on the Dorian Grey story.  Catherine will be leading the workshop on Young Adult writing.  PWC  Board member Gregory Frost grabbed some time with Catherine to  discuss conferences, the writing process, and what makes fiction “Young Adult.”  Find out what she has to say after the break.

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Introducing Fran Wilde

by Jim Knipp on April 12, 2015

Fran2014Fran Wilde is a living, breathing dichotomy.  Proof that for some folks, that whole “left-brain, right-brain” thing just doesn’t apply, because they’re “whole-brain.”  A technician and a poet, creator of short stories and digital designs, Fran will be leading the Short Story workshop at this year’s conference.  Fellow “whole-brainer” and PWC board member Greg Frost caught up with Fran to discuss the conference, her work, and what she looks forward to.  Find out what she has to say after the break.

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Introducing Kenneth Pobo

by Jim Knipp on April 5, 2015

PoboDr. Kenneth Pobo is a rennaisance man.  Well-versed in verse, peerless in prose, Kenneth teaches courses in literature and creative writing at Widener University, where he has won the prestigious Lindback Award for teaching.  Ken will be leading a poetry workshop on the power of Free Verse at the conference.  PWC President and fellow poet Eileen D’Angelo caught up with Ken to discuss the conference, how to keep working, and what it’s like for poets in this sometimes scary digital age.  Find out what he has to say after the break.

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Introducing Randall Brown!

by Jim Knipp on April 1, 2015

randallbrownFlash.  The word itself evokes images.  Quick.  Efficient. Effective. The new literary world has come to embrace Flash Fiction and the acceptance of this (relatively) new format is spreading more every day.  Few people have embraced it as strongly as Randall Brown, the founder of FlashFiction.Net, a nationally recognized blog that explores the use of compressed work in today’s literary scene.  Randall has returned to the PWC to lead a Saturday afternoon feature on flash fiction called “Micro. Sudden. Flash. Fiction.”  We asked Randall to talk about the conference, his work, and what drives him.  Find out what he has to say after the break!

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Introducing Merry Farmer

by Jim Knipp on March 29, 2015

Merry Farmer headshot

Merry Farmer is an inspiration.  There’s really no other way to describe it.  Everything from her name to her always upbeat personality to her journey through this crazy writers’ world is a cause for celebration and belief.  Merry will be teaching a Sunday morning feature called “The Essentials of Self-Publishing” where she’ll share what she has learned navigating the sometimes treacherous minefield of the self-publishing world.  She was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, her motivation, and some pre-conference teasers on self-publishing.  More after the break!

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Introducing Dan Stabb – by Carol Sabik-Jaffe

by Jim Knipp on March 26, 2015

DanStabb
Dan Stabb
 is an improvisational performer and is the Director and a performer with Better Than Bacon, an improv troupe performing out of the Philadelphia area. Dan also teaches improvisational classes for various theatres, schools, and businesses throughout the Philadelphia area.  PWC’s own Carol Sabik-Jaffe caught up with Dan to talk about his work, the conference, and all things in between.  Check it out after the break!

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Award-winning poet and teacher Dan Maguire will present a feature, Courting the Spark: Finding and Using your Creativity, at the 2015 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference on Saturday, June 13th at 4:15 P.M.

Dan Maguire has twice been awarded first prize for poetry at the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, in 2000 and again in 2001. In February of 2004, he was invited to read at the Library of Congress of the United States. He has led workshops for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the Philadelphia Writers Conference. In 2009, he won the Almeda Boulton Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Maguire currently teaches at the Renaissance Institute at the University of Notre Dame, Baltimore, where he has offered courses in poetry, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Marcel Proust. His latest publication is a chapbook, Finding the Words, published by Plan B Press.

A native of Philadelphia, Maguire has lived in Arizona, New England, New Jersey and now resides in Baltimore, Maryland. I first met him in May of 2000, when we’d both been invited to participate in a one-evening workshop conducted by Robert Bly in Philadelphia. Since then, we’ve exchanged poems and correspondence, participated in the Mad Poets critique circle together and visited in my home in Wilmington and during visits to the Baltimore Museum of Art. He is an easy, amiable conversationalist and talented storyteller, whose enthusiasms pour out in generous servings with wit, humility and wisdom.

I discussed the nature of our interview with Dan by telephone prior to sending him, via e-mail, the series of questions for which he provided answers.

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Sir_Winston_S_ChurchillTo improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.    – Winston Churchill

We here on the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference Board will never claim to be perfect (we’ve all read enough Classic Literature to know the dangers of hubris!), but we always want to keep improving and adapting to put together the best conference.  This year – our 67th – is no different, and we’ve assembled an impressive team of workshop leaders and speakers to share their knowledge, experience, and what they’ve learned in this ever-changing writers’ world.  Find out more after the break!

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PWC Focus on Contests – by Miriam Shnycer

by Jim Knipp on March 1, 2015

MiriamThis year we are having three manuscript contests: Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction. Contestants must be registered for the 2015 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference to enter. You can find all the rules for the annual manuscript contest on our contests page. We’re also launching a short “Spring Wakeup” pre-conference contest. More on that after the break!

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