For at least the 25-plus years that I have been associated with the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, we have traditionally offered the contests specific to the classes available for conferees. These have included Poetry, Fiction categories, Creative Nonfiction, and even sometimes Scripts. The entries are sent in ahead of the conference and adjudicated by rotating judges not from the PWC board.

At the conference itself, the Words on the Wall have always garnered a lot of participation and popular support. We will, of course, continue this popular contest at the 2019 conference.

In recent years the PWC has been offering special “Spring” contests in addition to the main contests we have always run.

The first of this year’s special contests was our “Spring Flash!” contest. It was all about brevity (500 words for pose and 40 lines of poetry) and included an opportunity for script writers (one of whom made a remarkable submission and ended up as a finalist). The contest was available on online writers’ submission sites and yielded record-breaking numbers of submissions: 92 of them! What was even more notable was the fact that they came from all across America, including off the mainland, and even included several submissions from locations outside the United States. The best thing about the submissions was their overall high quality. Getting down to the winner was a grueling task that required a team of judges.

Our second special contest this year was our “Carry the Words” competition. The winner’s words will appear on a printed tote bag and the bags will be available for purchase at the PWC. Again, we had more submissions than ever before, and from far-reaching locations: 63 entries, once again providing difficult choices for a group of judges.

We’re excited about our contest responses and plans are in the works to potentially add to the contests we offer in the coming year.