The 70th Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference

June 8-10, 2018

Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District

Gather with the Philadelphia writing community at the 70th Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference! Our annual event will connect you with writer and publisher friends new and old, and give you the tools and connections to help you grow your skills and get published. Be sure to subscribe for regular updates about the conference, including speaker announcements, detailed workshop info, and new agents and editors. We’ll be posting updates every week, so don’t miss out!

Cost: $300 through May 1, 2018. $350 through June 8. Student rate: $175. Scholarships also available.

Opening Speaker: Lisa Thomas-Laury

Longtime Philadelphia residents will recognize Ms. Thomas-Laury’s name and presence from her 38 years as a news reporter for 6ABC. Thomas-Laury joined Channel 6 Action News in 1978, and anchored the 5:00 broadcast from 1983 to 2003. After retiring from broadcasting in 2016, she wrote a memoir about her career as a groundbreaking television news anchor, and her battle with a rare illness. In On Camera and Off: When the News is Good and When it’s Not, she relates the story of her initial misdiagnosis, and then her recovery from POEMS Syndrome.

Saturday Evening Keynote: A Conversation with Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden has been an award-winning staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer since 1979. He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. His book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War became an international best seller, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. The book was turned into a film by Director Ridley Scott. Bowden also wrote the international best seller Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw, which won the Overseas Press Club’s Cornelius Ryan award as the best book of 2001. Bowden’s latest book, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam, revisits the brutal Tet Offensive from both sides of the war, and the effects both in Vietnam and the United States.


Three-Day Intensive Workshops

Three one-hour sessions, offered in three different time slots.

Markets: Short Story Austin Camacho
Writing Business: Marketing Denise Camacho
Markets: Memoir Lorene Cary
Poetry I Brian Fanelli
Markets: Young Adult & Children’s Donna Galanti
Markets: Writing Suspense Merry Jones
Novel: Plot Adrian McCray
Markets: Non-Fiction Lynn Rosen
Writing Business: Pursuing Commissions Edgar J. Shockley, III
Novel: Character Kelly Simmons
Poetry II Amy Small-McKinney
Writing Life: Writing Retreat in a Box Blair Thornburgh


One-hour sessions in the morning or evening.

 Non-Fiction Ericka Blount-Danois
 Grammar Sharyn Flanagan
 Essay Beth Kephart
 Branding Suzanne Kuhn
 Using Social Justice in your Writing Solomon Jones
 Magazine Writing Richard Rys
 Travel Writing PJ Thomas
 Screenwriting Robert Blake Whitehill

Master Classes

A 90-minute intensive with masters in their fields. Additional fee.

Researching Your Subject (2 sessions) Ericka Blount-Danois
Getting Published Sheree Bykofsky
Thriving Ain’t Easy (Poetry – 2 sessions) TS Hawkins
World Building in Fiction (2 sessions) Fran Wilde

Confirmed Agents and Editors

Pitch sessions take place on Friday, June 8 throughout the day. Conferees can add on the Friday evening Agents and Editors Buffet Dinner. More to come; subscribe for updates!


Denise Camacho: Intrigue Publishing

Intrigue is interested in novels between 60,000 and 100,000 words that fall into the following genres: urban drama, Y/A, crime drama and romance.



Maryann Karinch, Rudy Agency

Maryann represents non-fiction for adult audiences in the following categories: Health/Medicine, Business, Culture/Values, History, Current Events/Politics, Biography/Memoir, Science/Technology, and Relationships.

Cari Lamba: Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Carrie is looking for children’s middle-grade fiction, humorous and heartfelt contemporary stories, adult commercial fiction, mystery/detective fiction, and novels with culinary ties.

Marie Lamba: Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Marie is interested in YA and middle-grade fiction, general and women’s fiction, and some memoirs.

 Caitlin McDonald: Donald Maass Literary Agency

Caitlin is looking for SF/F fiction for adults, YA, and middle grade, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history. 

Dana Murphy: The Book Group

Dana is on the hunt for fiction that feels surprising and immersive, as well as smart narrative nonfiction/essays about pop culture, social issues, feminism, diversity, film and television, music, and comedy. See Dana’s full wish list here.

Subscribe for Updates!

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Stay tuned for more speaker and agent/editor announcements! We’ll also be sharing more details and in-depth interviews with our speakers over the next few months.