This year’s ficton character workshop at the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference is “Spunky, Funky or Hunky: Creating Indelible Characters,” led by local Philadelphia author Kelly Simmons. This class explores the philosophy of putting great characters at the center of your writing. Participants will look at examples of great character building, interesting character dialogue, and discuss how plot can naturally flow from character traits. Then, participants will have a chance to review characters in their work in progress — helping brainstorm, strengthen, and plot based on them.

This character-focused workshop is suitable for Intermediate writers. The PWC defines an Intermediate writer as one who has studied the craft of writing (in this case, of writing a novel), and has written several stories. Fiction “Intermediate” writers understand the general flow of story and plot; know a bit about publishing and markets; and have most likely taken at least one writing course (whether at PWC or elsewhere).

Kelly Simmons’ novels have been hailed as electrifying, complex and poignant. After reading her latest novel, The Fifth of July, you’ll never call your family dysfunctional again. She’s a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Tall Poppy Writers and The Philadelphia Liars Club, and helms a weekly writing podcast called The Liars Club Oddcast. Simmons says, “I can’t wait to help with students’ works-in-progress!” Visit her website at, follow on Twitter or Instagram, or say Hi on Facebook.

The 70th Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference will be held June 8-10, 2018, at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District. Visit this page for more information, including speaker information and a general schedule of events.