Posted by: Kerry Gans | June 9, 2019

Philadelphia Writers’ Conference 2019: Day Three

Today was Day Three of the 2019 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, held at the Wyndham Hotel in Philadelphia, PA (full schedule and Award Winners below)! The final day of the conference is always bittersweet. It’s another day full of info and friends, but it’s also the last day.

My themes of perspective and freedom ran through today, although they were not as immediately obvious as the last two days.

My first class this morning was about Self-Publishing. Now that’s freedom! As workshop leader Karen Schobel-Maneely said, self-publishing means you get to do everything yourself…and it also means you get to do everything yourself. In truth it takes a team to self-publish, whether you use a reputable service or gather all the parts yourself.

We completed our three-day Elements of Plot workshop. The lively Q&A touched upon everything from plot elements to contracts as Shirley Hailstock gave us all last bits of wisdom to take with us into the world—good perspective from a multi-published author.

Our lunchtime walk to the Bourse included watching some of the Philadelphia Pride Parade. The exuberant cheering as people celebrated the freedom to be themselves was uplifting and heart-warming.

On this last day, Jonathan Maberry continued to talk about writing from a business perspective. He spoke about setting goals and behaving professionally, as well as talking a bit about taxes and LLCs.

Me, Jonathan Maberry, J Thomas Ross

Kathryn Craft finished off her Character workshop with an archery analogy, a few ballet moves, and a whole lot of discussion on how a character’s backstory creates a perspective that propels his or her future action.

The Conference wrapped with a first-ever Town Hall to get feedback and discuss the direction the Conference should take in the future. For those who didn’t notice it in the program, there will be no full 3-day conference in 2020 (but there will be some event!), so the Board can focus on making the changes that will help the PWC continue to find success and fulfill its mission well into the 21st century. Those who were not there will be able to give feedback in the follow-up survey, so keep an eye on your inbox.

And so we all drift back into our normal lives, but we carry the lessons, encouragement, opportunities, and friendships with us. Safe journey, fellow scribes, and write on.

Sunday’s Full Schedule

9:30 AM
Using Improv for Story Development – Caitlyn Corkery
Should You Self-Publish? – Karen Schobel-Maneely
The Hermit Crab Essay – Randon Billings-Noble
MASTER CLASS: Writing an Action Scene – Jonathan Maberry
MASTER CLASS: Poetry Color Study – Yolanda Wisher

Three Day Workshops

11 AM
Elements of Plot – Shirley Hailstock
Creating a Series for Network, Cable, or Streaming – Dianne Walsh
Erasure Poetry and Power – Jennifer McCreary
Marketing for Tweens and Teens: School Visits – Donna Galanti
MASTER CLASS: The Pit and the Page – Elizabeth Mosier

1:30 PM
Hooks and Plotting: Getting the Genre (Romance) into Your Genre Fiction – Terri Brisbin
The Writer’s Business Plan: Building Your Writing Business – Jonathan Maberry
Magazine Writing – Debra Wallace
Short Story: I Wanna Know What Love Is – August Tarrier
MASTER CLASS: Playwriting – Quinn D. Eli

3:00 PM
This is the Year You Write Your Memoir – Lori Tharps
Keeping the Future Target in Sight – Kathryn Craft
Screenplay Writing – David Greenberg
A Gentle Guide to Expand Your Practice Through Digital Tools – Warren Longmire
The Deadly Art of Writing Horror: What is Horror? – Brian McKinley

4:15-5:15 – PWC Town Hall




1st Place – “Apology” by Connie Swartzman
2nd Place – “Dance” by Steve Delia
3rd Place – “A Response to Janice Joplin’s Take a Little Piece of My Heart” by Beth Moulton
Honorable Mention – “The Latter Day Public Restroom” by Mike Cohen


1st Place – “Biloxi” by Jason Mangano
2nd Place – “Uther” by Francine Roche Kay


1st Place – “You Don’t Have to Thank Me for My Service” by Ed Kratz
2nd Place – “Appalachian Heritage Identity Crisis” by Jennifer Elam
3rd Place – “Even If Your Heart Would Listen” by Elise Schiller
Honorable Mention – “Born with a Broken Heart” by Beth Moutlon



1st Place  – “Visitor” by Fergal O’Donnell
2nd Place – “American Pie” by Beth Moulton
3rd Place – “Head Case” by Mike Cohen


1st Place – “Lucy” by Beth Moulton
2nd Place – “Awakening” by Gloria Matusick


1st Place – “The Woman Talking to Herself” by Steve Delia
2nd Place – “Mrs. Claus” by Beth Moulton
3rd Place – “How They Keep Us Safe” by Sarah Paulos


1st Place – “Yet Another Day” by Rachel Rhee
2nd Place – “Veronica Told Me to Call Her Mother” by Melody Noble
3rd Place – End of Summer” by Steve Delia


  1. […] and unique paths all combine together to create the vibrant writing world we inhabit. Tomorrow is Day Three of the conference, where we will all revel in the camaraderie of the Quest for one more day before […]


  2. […] most of the same sessions. Since Kerry did such a fine job of summing up Day One, Day Two, and Day Three of the conference, I’m going to give you a pictorial […]


  3. […] **If you missed our coverage of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, here are Days One, Two, and Three.** […]


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