We’ve got a great selection of workshops for different genres and levels of experience. REGISTER NOW at pwc2021.brownpapertickets.com/


Taylor Byas, Poetic Forms

Taylor Byas is a Black Chicago native currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is now a second year PhD student and Yates scholar at the University of Cincinnati, and an Assistant Features Editor for The Rumpus. She was the 1st place winner of both the Poetry Super Highway and the Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets Contests, and a finalist for the Frontier OPEN Prize. Her chapbook, Bloodwarm, is forthcoming from Variant Lit this summer. You can find her on Twitter @TaylorByas3, or at https://www.taylorbyas.com/. She is represented by Rena Rossner of the Deborah Harris Agency.

Cracking the Formal Code with Possibility

In this workshop we will examine two poetic forms, the pantoum and the Shakespearean sonnet. Our discussion will be centered around the different ways we may push against the restraints of form by creating more possibilities within our drafts. Within the pantoum form we will focus on how the use of radical punctuation can reinvigorate repeating lines, and in the sonnet form we will zero in on how to create surprise with enjambment and slant rhymes. During both days, participants will engage in generative writing exercises that will help to produce the beginnings of new formal drafts.

K.B. Carle, Flash Fiction

K.B. Carle lives and writes outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the Associate Editor at Fractured Lit. and Editor at FlashBack Fiction. Her stories have appeared in No Contact Magazine, Passages North, Porcupine Literary, Apiary Magazine, Jellyfish Review, and have been nominated for Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize. Her story, Soba, was one of the winners of Sundress Publications’ 2020 Best of the Net Anthology. She can be found online at http://kbcarle.com or on Twitter @kbcarle.

The Narrative Design: Reconfiguring Methods of Storytelling in Flash

What happens when the paragraph structure no longer works? When a writer is left staring at the page, feeling that their story is still incomplete due to an error in point of view? Many creatives are pushing the boundaries surrounding a story’s structure on the page, experimenting not only with form but with their characters as well. In this 2-day generative workshop, participants will read and discuss several examples that depict authors experimenting with point of view, form, and will how these decisions within the narrative enhance and reshape the idea of storytelling. Audiences will also be given time to apply what they’ve learned, generating stories that reflect the multiple forms or viewpoints a narrative can take including a story narrated by an object, a monologue, and letter.


Athena Dixon, Personal Essay

A native of Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is the author of The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press) and No God in This Room (Argus House Press). Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books) and in various publications including GAY Magazine and Narratively. She resides in Philadelphia. Learn more about the author at www.athenadixon.com.

Navigating the Personal Essay

Personal essays are as unique as the individual writer. However, there are a few best practices and tips to consider. In this session, Athena Dixon gives practical advice on the art of crafting personal essays. Participants will come away with tools to help them identify their core ideas, develop the means of telling the story, and how to best keep readers hooked for the duration.

Merry Jones

Merry Jones is the award-winning author of twenty-two books, mostly suspense novels (the Zoe Hayes, Harper Jennings and Elle Harrison series, plus two stand-alones, most recently THE WOMAN IN THE CUPBOARD, 2020). A frequent panelist and workshop leader, also a college writing instructor for over a dozen years, she’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers and The Philadelphia Liars Club, with whom she cohosts The Oddcast Podcast and the Main Line Writers Coffeehouse. Jones lives in Philadelphia and can be reached via her website, MerryJones.com.

Tension, Uncertainty and Tenterhooks: The Art of Writing Suspense, Mystery and Thrillers

In this workshop, we’ll focus on how to get readers hooked, make them desperate to find out what will happen next, and immerse them in that delicious “on-edge” feeling. We’ll look at plot, dialogue, character, and time, and identify ways to manage these elements differently in suspense than in other genres. We’ll have optional homework exercises as well as Q and A each day. It will be two hours jam-packed with info, tips “to do” and “not do,” and an overview of a genre that, due to the dark side of human nature, never gets old.

Darla Himeles, Poetry

Darla Himeles is the author of Cleave and of the chapbook Flesh Enough, both out with Get Fresh Books. She studied English and education at Bryn Mawr College, earned an MFA in poetry and poetry in translation at Drew University, and holds a PhD in American literature from Temple University, where she has taught poetry, graphic memoir, and first year writing classes and where she currently works as the assistant director of the Writing Center.

Befriending Your Inner Poet: An Introductory Workshop

To paraphrase Naomi Shihab Nye paraphrasing William Stafford, we’re all poets when we’re little. Some of us grow distant from our inner poet over time, but holding space for our delight and wonder, as well as our fear or sorrow, can lead us back. In this generative workshop, we will experiment with writing exercises and prompts that ignite intuition and imagination in service of the radical act of attending closely, even tenderly, to our world–which is another way to say: in service of listening to (and transcribing) our inner poet.


Jasminne Mendez, One-Act/Performance Plays

Jasminne Mendez is a Dominican-American poet, educator, playwright and award winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The New England Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and others. She is the author of two multi-genre collections Island of Dreams(Floricanto Press, 2013) which won an International Latino Book Award, and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry(Arte Publico Press, 2018). Her debut poetry collection Machete will be released in 2022(Noemi Press).  Her second YA memoir A Bucket of Dirty Water: Memories of my Girlhood and her debut picture book Josefina’s Habichuelas (Arte Público Press) will be released in 2021. She is an MFA graduate of the creative writing program at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and a University of Houston alumni.

“The Play’s the Thing” 

How do you even begin to write a play? How is writing for the stage (a play, or a one person show/performance piece) different than writing solely for the page? What do writers have to consider when writing something for performance? These are the types of questions we will explore and discuss in this workshop generative writing workshop geared towards emerging and experienced writers alike. We will read short scenes (in verse and not), monologues, and persona poems to explore how writers from any genre can explore creative ways to begin crafting or revising work for the stage. We will address performance writing elements such as but not limited to: character wants and tactics, story structure and narrative arch, and how staging and other theatrical elements (Music, movement, props, set etc) can add new layers of depth and understanding to the written work.


Carlos José Pérez Sámano, Writing from Objects

Carlos José Pérez Sámano is a poet and writer from Mexico. Facilitator of Creative Writing Workshops worldwide. Author of Corazón Fresco, Africa Sueño de Sombras Largas, Cuentos desde Aquí and Ella decía ser mi Esposa. He was recently hosted in the anthology Who Will Speak for America?, and his work has been featured in more than 20 international magazines and broadly translated.

Ancestral Roots: Writing from Our History

Connect with our ancestral past to be able to produce creative and meaningful texts. This workshop is partnered with the Penn Museum and it will give us a brief tour of the Mexico and Central American gallery to learn more about our ancestral American cultures. This workshop is for writers of any genre, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

Catherine Stine

Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal, urban and historical fantasy. Witch of the Wild Beasts, set in 1854 Philadelphia in the Eastern State Penitentiary won second prize in the Romance Writers of America’s Sheila Contest. Other novels have earned Indie Notable awards and New York Public Library Best Books. She lives in New York State, and grew up in Philadelphia. Before writing novels, she was a painter and fabric designer. Her newest novel is Secrets of the Mermaid, in the Keepers of Knowledge shared world and it can be read as a standalone. Catherine loves spending time with her beagle Benny, gardening, and meeting readers at book fests. Learn more at catherinestine.com

All About Urban and Paranormal Fantasy

This course delves into the origins of urban fantasy and ways it has expanded, plus the fine distinctions between urban and paranormal fantasy. Notable creatures and books in the genre will be highlighted. Catherine will also discuss why urban and paranormal fantasy is hugely popular and discuss examples of compelling themes and tropes that can be crafted into new twists. There will be time for Q & A, so bring your questions. There will be an optional creative writing prompt to bring in the second day, some of which we’ll share.