In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell emphasizes how accomplished individuals don’t just achieve on their own. It’s a no-brainer, right? Too many times though, successful people are placed in a box; this box prevents outside observers from knowing the full journey and the help that elevates those who strive. The following writers met some key people at a past PWC. These people eventually played an important role for the PWC attendees. Enjoy how their writing vision manifested once connections were made.

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I wouldn’t have made my most memorable PWC connection in June 2010 if it weren’t for fellow board member Dave Wilson. He’s the one who told me Emily Rapoport was on site from Berkley and she was a great genre fit. I wasn’t going to pitch to an editor because I didn’t have an agent yet; also, the week before I’d learned that the title I’d used and loved for years was coming out on a major new novel, and I was so dejected I didn’t even know what to call my project. Dave said what could I lose? So, with no preparation and with an improvised title, I pitched, and Emily loved it. She didn’t end up taking the project—in fact, she left Berkley soon thereafter—but the amazing thing is that completely without obligation to me, a year later she wrote up a two-page editorial letter that brought my project up to its final level of marketability. With my next batch of submissions Emily’s interest earned me agent interest, and I signed with my agent after revising, in fall 2011.
– Kathryn Craft  @kcraftwriter

 

Children’s Book Author and Illustrator, Judy Schachner shared a rare gem with her class on the first day of the workshop that lit a fire of inspiration in me that is still going strong. She pulled back the curtain on her creative process, allowing us to see her art journals that were filled with sketches and notes of her upcoming stories and characters. Some journals were for one story only and other journals were chock full of her ideas, all of which jumped off the page with color and art and words that made me go out and get my own art journal the very next day. I currently have a story in the works, all because of Judy’s class.

– Shelley Szajner

www.shelleyszajner.com

 

My most memorable connection made at PWC has been a constant building of a broad base of writers, year after year, who add bits and valuable pieces to my writing perspective. It allows me to grow and appreciate the very complex and enjoyable writing world. It has allowed me to create a best-selling novel that has been published in seven languages.

– David Wilson

 

Meeting Jim Knipp was an important connection I made at the PWC. Initially, it was through email when he had no idea who I was or what my writing goals were. Basic questions he answered in a timely manner made me realize how on top of his game he was as I started attending conferences. The subsequent years went by, and I remember collecting my badge and folders from him at the registration table. Arms folded, but with a grin, he’d greet me and drop a quick joke or helpful tip. As each June came and went, I observed how approachable and friendly he was toward many attendees. After a while, I was approached by Jim to lend a hand with the blog. How could I say no? Now, because of Jim, I am honored to be a part of something I love doing: bringing the writing community together through blogging.

– Uriah Young  @UriahYoung

 

The most memorable connection I made at a PWC conference was with Glo and Bill Delamar when I was just getting started with my writing. I learned a lot from them. They taught the necessary skills and provided personal feedback. They also allowed feedback from others in the class. I found their instruction so helpful that I took every workshop they offered through the Cheltenham Adult School until I started having booksignings at the bookstores at the same time as the class was held.

 – Alice Wootson