Philadelphia Writers' Conference

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The Philadelphia Writers' Conference gives the following descriptive information:

“The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to bring writers together for instruction, counsel, fellowship, and the exchange of ideas.”

These words from the PWC bylaws are what inspired its founding in 1949. In the decades since, the writing world has changed in ways that couldn’t have been imagined, and the PWC has changed along with it, but the qualities that inspired our founders to set up the conference than still inspire us today.

Why attend the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. There are many reasons:

  • Reputation and longevity. The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference is the oldest writing conference with open registration in the country.
  • Craft. Our three-day writing tracks are led by some of the best writing teachers and published authors in the area. Create a schedule that meets your needs—or stretches your competency into new areas.
  • Information. Stay up to date on current trends in the business and craft of writing through additional single sessions.
  • Master Classes! For an additional $50 you can sign up for a three-hour master class that will give you an intense, two-day interaction with a leading writer in that field.
  • Pitch to Agents and Editors. Is your manuscript ready to sell? Sign up for a 5-minute pitch session on site after you register Friday morning (registration opens at 8:30 a.m., and agent/editor sign-ups open at 9 a.m.).
  • Learn what’s new in the publishing world. The agents and editors will form a panel at the optional Friday night buffet (additional $40 fee). Bring your questions for the open Q & A!
  • Peer Critique. Friday night raps allow you to bring along sample pages to read aloud. Or participate in our prompt contest, Apples to Writers, where you can win fun prizes and earn the title Ruler of All Writers for the remainder of the conference.
  • Mentoring. Conferees can receive guidance from their workshop leader by sending in a writing sample to the Critique Coordinator by May 1.
  • Contests. Submit your manuscript and find out how your work competes. PWC offers two different contests with some pretty cool prizes! First prize for our advance submission Manuscript Contest, with three different categories and evaluated by our national team of esteemed judges, is a free conference for the next year! And bring along a one-page entry for the Words on the Wall contest.
  • Purchase books and pick up free publications. We will have a bookseller on site with books by all of our presenters—purchase one and get it signed!—as well as some giveaways to boost your freelancing career.
  • Networking. This conference brings together the most serious writers in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Do not underestimate the power of networking! Consider making up some business cards so people can remember you.
  • Location. PWC is located in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic district, with easy access to trains, buses, and major highways.
  • Price. PWC maintains a high value to cost ratio! Order food functions and master classes a la carte to custom build an affordable conference experience. Scholarship opportunities are available. Register before May 1 for a price break.

PWC was founded in 1949 and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1980.

The use of laptop computers and electronic tablets is permitted. Photographs will be taken during the Philadelphia Writers Conference weekend. Conferees attending this year’s sessions are advised that their attendance grants all rights of permission for non-commercial purposes, including possible publication on the PWC website.

Recent PWCs have each been a three-day conference, traditionally held in early June, offering from 14 workshops, usually four seminars, several “manuscript rap” sessions, a Friday Roundtable Forum Buffet with speaker, and a Saturday Annual Awards Banquet with speaker. The 150 to 200 conferees may submit manuscripts in advance for criticism by the workshop leaders, and they are eligible to submit entries in about a dozen contest categories. Cash prizes and certificates are given to first and second place winners, plus full tuition for the following year's conference to first place winners.