Community-building for writers is always going to be important to me. Writers thrive in the company of other writers. I owe such a great debt to the PWC. It was the 2000 conference that renewed my enthusiasm about writing, and it’s been a vertical climb since then.

Jonathan Maberry
(2013 Workshop Leader: Act Like a Writer: Become the Face of your Writing Career & Feedback for Query Letters)


It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be part of the PWC. Over the years, many of my students have made significant connections with the agents and editors who address the conference, and have gone on to publish books. As a writer and a teacher I am thrilled for their success. That’s what the writing community is all about – being supportive and encouraging.  Without exception, the workshop leaders, keynotes, and lecturers are all very accessible and anxious to mentor.

Ellie Slott Fisher
(2013 Workshop Leader: Nonfiction Book)


I loved being part of the 2013 Philly Writers Conference.  The students were wonderful; it was a delight to meet so many talented and committed emerging writers.  The community is supportive, the energy in the workshops palpable — excellent information gathered and new friendships begun. As a workshop leader I hope I inspired my students half as much as they inspired me.

Again, thanks so much for including me.

Lauren B. Davis
(2013 Workshop Leader: Novel – Focus on Plot)


Thank you for inviting me to participate in this year’s PWC as a Workshop Leader. It was a true pleasure and honor to work with a group of such talented, passionate, devoted, and fun participants! In addition, the opportunity to connect and learn at the conference is much appreciated. I hope to be able to participate in the conference in the future. My sincere admiration and thanks go out to you and the entire Board for making the conference so wonderful.

Ethel Rackin
(2013 Workshop: Poetry II)


Fresh approaches, a wide variety of workshops and class, and new presenters every year—The Philadelphia Writers Conference gives serious writers of all genres a revitalizing boost of imagination, craft, publishing tips and networking. And its contests award generous prizes. This conference may be held in Philadelphia but it’s for writers from everywhere.

J. C. Todd
(2013 Workshop Leader: Poetry Master Class)


Being a workshop leader at the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference was a wonderful experience. I was able to teach (and learn from) some of the most creative minds in the area. I would definitely do it again!

Brian Francis
(2013 Workshop Leader: Short Story II)


It was a great honor to serve as a workshop leader at PWC this year. In my opinion, PWC is a must attend for all authors at any point in their writing journey. This conference offers a unique blend of encouragement, both in craft and promotion that every author would benefit from. The training provided at PWC makes its attendees better equipped.

Suzanne Kuhn (SuzyQ)
2013 Workshop Leader: Social Media


What an honor to be among so many esteemed and knowledgeable workshops leaders. The relaxed, nurturing environment of the conference opens the mind, inspires new connections and deepens one’s engagement with the craft. Two weeks later, I’m still on a high not only from the workshop I presented but from walking away with so many expanded possibilities for my own writing.

Naila Francis
2013 Workshop Leader: Social Media


I just wanted to drop you a quick note to reiterate how honored and pleased I was to be involved in the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference as a Workshop Leader.

It felt great to be back in my “classroom” with such advanced students. Although I had a sense that the particular challenges of translation were new to most of my audience (especially in terms of approaching translation as an exercise in precision that could be useful to any writer), I was truly amazed by how quickly they absorbed the theory and raised some really important issues.

Honestly, I had planned to do a lot more scaffolding of the major perspectives/schools of literary translation, but the discussion got to that higher level by about 20 minutes into our hour. I ended up tossing the second half of my lesson plan out the window because we were already bringing up the deeper challenges of purpose, replicating or renewing voice, consciousness of language intention and the conflict of faithfulness versus re-imagining a work in a new language. The audience participation was astounding– and frankly, I was told not to expect that, so I my original plan had not relied on it. One attendee pointed out that we were really talking about “the whole history of art”!

I could have easily done another four sessions on translation resources, finding venues for publication, legal issues with translation and imitation (kind of the jazz improve of the literary translator’s world :)). I received a ton of positive feedback from several attendees, including a professor from Temple and a high school teacher who might have me out to talk to her advanced classes (more on that soon :)). Thank you again for helping me get involved in such a fulfilling project.

Liz Chang
(2013 Workshop Leader: Fostering Creativity: What Writers Can Learn Through Translation)


Amazing. The poetry workshop participants were impassioned, committed and talented. They came here to have their process refreshed. This was clear from the first few minutes and throughout the weekend. And so the workshop was a great pleasure and success for participants and leader alike. Extraordinary.

Leonard Gontarek
(2013 Workshop: Poetry I)


Philadelphia Writer’s Conference was a good idea

I just came home from the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference and I feel pretty rattled. Don’t get me wrong, it was WONDERFUL The layers of love and connection and communion I felt were terrific. And Jonathan Maberry is my new model, my hero for the kind of teacher I want to be back here in my real life. He practices what he preaches about writing not being a competition, giving encouragement and time and answers to writers, freely. His positive attitude and genuine ways are inspiring, as were those of all the presenters I met. But, I am unsettled by the discovery of the powerful community of support outside my door that I have until now never visited. How could I? My home is alone, and I am a solitary writer most comfortable insulated from society for the sake of art and craft. Or maybe it is because I expect there to be no one home in whatever world I inhabit just because I grew up that way. That’s what isolation is like. You are alone and it’s normal and stepping out of it is a risk. Getting me to this conference wasn’t that easy on account of that. I told myself over the course of the last six months that in June I’d go. So I signed up.

I paid.

But I dreaded.

And then I dragged myself there and was overwhelmed by the largess I found, the sincere joy of presenters in sharing their knowledge and in going out of their way to encourage and inform, a welcome surprise. Are we not all enemies vying for the same few precious opportunities out there? Thank you Philadelphia Writer’s Conference for informing me by showing and not just telling  that we are a community of people who want to lift each other up for the betterment of us all, and for the betterment of society at large, and that there is room for everyone. Alone I am no more. It is the obvious foil to my isolation, the actual face time with other humans, other writers. Jonathan gave me a mantra to take home when he said, ‘writers do best when around other writers’. Thank you, this seems correct.

I met an eighteen-year old young man sitting in an otherwise empty community room near the end of the programming. We both were sitting out the last session, overwhelmed with insights and ideas about what to tackle next, and so we struck up a conversation, that old-fashioned thing everyone there was doing. We talked about how his generation is more naturally wired than mine and how much easier it is for him to connect on social media, my painful shortcoming as an oldster. He expressed longing for his own default setting to be something other than wired, so drawn to the electrical media, and he described how very different it is to interact with live people in the conference setting because like me, he said he felt the strength of community pulsing through the halls. Together we agreed that engaging with flesh and blood people who can be sized up and reacted to at a gut level feels more solid, more satisfying and more inspiring than the abstract parallel experience in cyberland. We found ourselves alone, together, in the social room, our distant generations connected.

I came from a life where I don’t expect others to want to share with me, the dark default setting of having been raised so alone, and maybe that’s why I am a writer, so I can stay there by myself. I fight such feelings every day so of course I am rattled by the multitude of connections I made this weekend at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference. It’s what’s supposed to happen. I’ve been shaken up. Woken up. Inspired. Like a slap across the face when I’ve lost my senses.

Thanks. I really needed that.
Jane P. Butler
(2013 Conferee)