Answers to Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is the PWC’s Mission?
A. The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to bring writers together for instruction, counsel, fellowship and the exchange of ideas.

Q.  How can I get on the PWC mailing list to receive a conference invitation?
A.  There are a number of different ways.  The simplest is to subscribe to our newsletter by providing your email address in the box on the right margin. You could also attend the conference, or send your full name, mailing address, and email to or by mail to:

Philadelphia Writers’ Conference
P. O. Box 7171
Elkins Park, PA 19027-0171

Q.  How do I register for the conference?
A.   We have a great registration site.   The site allows you select your workshops, choose your dinner options, and pay for everything with check, credit card, or Paypal. It applies scholarship and manuscript winner discounts and provides printed and email confirmation of everything you selected.  It even allows you to forward invitations to others and post your registration onto Facebook and Twitter!  Registration is open now!

Q.  Are there special hotel rates for conference attendees?
A.   Yes, we have a block of rooms reserved for conferees at a discounted rate.  Check out the location page of our registration site for more detail.

Q.  Can I pay for my tuition and food function costs by credit card?
A.   Credit cards can be used to pay for the tuition and food functions through our registration site. We also accept pay pal, personal checks, and money orders.

Q.  When can I register for the conference?
A.  We typically try to open registration by March 15th each year. We send invitations to prior attendees and individuals who have signed up for our mailing lists and send out a post card mailer for those we home addresses for.  Watch this site and our Facebook page for additional information as the conference approaches.

Note: Registrants who are submitting manuscripts for either the contest or workshop critique must submit via the registration site by  May 1st.  ( the number of critiques are limited, so it’s advisable to register early.)

Pre-registered conferees need only sign-in and pick up a conferee packet. It’s also possible to register at walk-in registration. Sign-ups for food functions must be in by noon Friday.

Walk-in registration starts at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the first day of the conference.

Q.  Can I pick up my pre-registration or do walk-in registration later in the day or on the second or third day?
A.   Yes, the registration table is staffed the entire first day, and most of the second day. Even the third day there’s usually someone there.

Q.  Is it possible to sign up for only one day, or for one workshop?
A.  No. Only full three-day conference registration is accepted.

Q.  Can I sign up to attend only the appointments with agents or editors?
A.  No.  Appointments with agents and editors are free to full three-day registrants, with PWC conferee badge required to participate.

Q.  Do people ever sign up for the full three days and not attend it all?
A.  Yes. Some can’t come on one of the days, or can’t stay for evening events–but there’s enough to provide a good conference experience even it’s necessary to curtail attendance times.

Q. Why can’t a conferee just bring a manuscript for the workshop leader to look at during the conference?
A.  Our workshop leaders are dedicated writers with their own heavy schedules, who teach at the conference, and additionally take time to critique submitted manuscripts on their own time. It’s not fair to expect them to take more time during the conference itself to look at manuscripts. We ask that conferees respect the May 1st submission date for manuscript critiques.

Q. What is the purpose of the half-hour free time between workshops? Couldn’t it be shorter–or longer?
A.  The half-hour free time is provided for conferees so they can stretch their legs, use the restrooms, have a break, and have time to meet and talk with other conferees in a relaxed atmosphere. PWC provides  a Conferee Lounge with complimentary coffee, decaf, tea, and herbal tea at the 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. breaks. (Some conferees have suggested the time of the a.m. and p.m. breaks could be shorter, others have suggested it might be longer–the happy-medium seems to work well.)

The lunch break of 1½ hours allows those who like to walk to get out for a bit or to frequent outside restaurants. It also provides a time when some instructors like to meet with conferees.

Q.   How do I register if I was a first-prize winner and received free tuition for the following year’s conference?
A.  Your discount is automatically linked to the email address with which you registered the previous year.  If you are no longer using the same email address, please contact the registrar at

Q.  Can I bring a laptop computer or tape recorder to take notes?
A.  Yes, laptops are allowed. Taping is not permitted because it infringes on the rights of the presenters.

Q.  Can I sell my own books at the conference?
A.  No. Arrangements with the Book Fair and city sales and tax codes do not permit this. However, conferees may put a limited number of small flyers about their work on the tables in the Conferee Lounge.

Q.  Exactly where in the Wyndham Hotel does the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference take place?

A.  All PWC events are in the hall that leads off  from the left end of the hotel lobby. The PWC Registration Desk is right there. All sessions are in rooms in that hall and the agent/editors appointments are at the end of the hall on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the Book Fair is in that space.

Q. How do I submit my piece to a workshop leader for critique?
A.  During the registration process, you will be provided a dedicated link for each workshop leader’s Submittable site.  We recommend you save those links to your shortcuts right away.  If you didn’t get a chance to do that, you’ll also find the links for each workshop leader on the Critique” tab of the registration site.  (Note, this link won’t work unless you’re actually registered).  If you can’t find your confirmation statement or the links, email

Q. I missed the critique deadline. Can I still submit something?
A. No, sorry, we must cut off contest and critique entries with a May 1 deadline. If you submitted after that, your submission was discarded. Feel free to bring along to the conference a one-page entry for our fiction, nonfiction, and poetry Words on the Wall contests however.

Q. Why are you now charging for critiques?
A. Our workshop leaders commit a lot of time to preparing their workshops and providing critiques for attendees, time they ordinarily would be spending writing or editing or marketing. After reviewing the overall fees charged by dozens of other writing conferences and the time our workshop leaders invest in preparing individual critiques, we determined it was only fair to compensate them. Please note, none of the charged critique fee goes to the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. Save for a small amount covering administrative costs, the reading fee goes directly to your selected workshop leader.

Q. How do I submit my piece for the annual manuscript contest.
A.  After you register for the conference, you’ll find the links to the Annual Manuscript contest on the “contests” tab of the registration website. (This link will only work when you’re registered).

Q. Do you have a discount for early registration?
A. Yes. If you register by a May 1 postmark, your three-day registration will be $300. After May 1 the price increases to $350.  Students and Writers’ Club scholarship recipients pay a flat rate of $175.

Q. Are the food functions and master classes included in that cost?
A. No. In order to allow you a conference experience that you can customize for your budget, you must purchase these items a la carte.

Q. Is there an age restriction to attend the conference?
A. Yes. Conferees must be at least 18 years old.