Posted by: Kerry Gans | June 12, 2016

Philadelphia Writers’ Conference 2016: Day Three

AC at the PWCThe conference’s final day dawned sunny and warm. People at the morning workshops are armed with extra-strong coffee, the conversations are quieter, and the flow of crowds from one room to the next is a bit slower. Our tiredness is a sure sign of a successful conference—we have all mixed and mingled, learned so much our brains hurt, and had a great deal of fun.

Courtney Bambrick

Courtney Bambrick

The first workshop I attended on Day Three (see full schedule below) was Courtney Bambrick’s Grammar for Writers. She sure knew how to wake us up—she gave us a pop quiz on grammar! AHHH! Bambrick’s lively presentation laid out many of the common stumbling points for writers, and she kindly provided us with a list of resources we can refer to in the future.

Pop Quiz


The three-day workshops all wrapped up today, and first I attended Rachel Pastan’s Planning a Novel. We discussed the finer points of her three-box schema and refined premises from a number of people in the class (including mine!) to keep us on point while writing. I believe that her structure concept and the idea of causality will help me a great deal when I return to my Work In Progress, and in future endeavors.

Not wishing to deal with the heat or the walk, today J. Thomas Ross, friend Lois Steinberg, and I  lunched at the hotel restaurant. Then we went our separate ways to the final two class periods of the conference.

I completed Worldbuilding with Anna Kashina. Today we did some workshopping using our own ideas, but the focus was to show how few details we really need to provide to give readers the feel of our world. Just two or three telling details can paint a large picture. Kashina reminded us that although worldbuilding should never be the sole purpose of our story, worldbuilding is the basis upon which all else is built. I, for one, have a much better handle on my worlds just from this little workshop, and look forward to diving in and rounding out my worlds.

I wrapped up with Kathryn Craft’s Maximizing the Emotional Potential of Your Novel workshop. Today we examined the paragraph/sentence/word-level ways we can evoke emotion in the reader. Kathryn provided us with a list of spotlighting techniques we can use to highlight and magnify the parts of our story we want to have an emotional impact. I will be referring back to my notes from this class often!

PWC Sunday

Hospitality Room on a Quiet Sunday Morning

The Awards Ceremony took place at 4:15, but I did not stay for it. Check the PWC website for the winners. After 3 days of “people-ing”,  this introvert was ready to head home. Now, I am exhausted but happy. I learned so much this year that will serve me well in my work. I left the conference wanting to work on every WIP at once, so I could strike while the iron is hot!

I want to extend a huge Thank You to the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference Board, the presenters, and everyone else who worked so hard to make this conference both educational and enjoyable. I had a wonderful experience, and look forward to 2017!

Sunday’s Full Schedule

Single Day Workshops

9:00 AM
MASTER CLASS – Dialog in Action: Making Your Character Do More than Talk Pretty – Carla Spataro
MASTER CLASS – Entrances and Exits: Finding the Jewel Point of you Poem – BJ Ward

9:30 AM
Grammar for Writers – Courtney Bambrick
Writing What Matters – Kathryn Craft

Three Day Workshops

11 AM
Basic Playwriting – Bruce Graham
Ekphrastic Poetry: Painting, Sculpting, and Making Music with Words – Bernadette McBride
Insider Secrets to Getting Published (Non-Fiction) – Jeffrey Herman
Planning A Novel – Rachel Pastan

1:30 PM
Blogging with Humor – Donna Cavanaugh
Crafting the Short Story – Kathleen Miller
Memoir: Tell Your Story – Anne Kaier
Writing and World-Building in the Genres of Speculative Fiction – Anna Kashina

3:00 PM
Creating a Television Pilot: From Idea to Pitch – Diane Walsh
How a Poem Should “Be” – Alison Hicks
Magazine Writing Boot Camp – Debra Wallace
Maximize the Emotional Potential of Your Novel – Kathryn Craft

4:15 – Contest Award Ceremony

AC at the PWC








  1. […] day and each day’s schedule — check out Kerry’s posts on Day One, Day Two, and Day Three of the conference — I’m going to share some tips from the workshops I […]


  2. […] attended the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. You can check out our daily recaps here, here, and here, and J. Thomas’ Tips and Pix post […]


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