Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 pennwriters conference


There is no doubt about it--the annual Pennwriters Conference rocked again this year...which is kind of amazing since Pennsylvania has a reputation as a largely rural, largely stagnant state, not much of a leader in anything except, perhaps, fracking. But you don't have to take my word for it. You can ask people from Oregon, Michigan, and Florida why they travel so far for this particular conference. Or you could ask keynote speaker and workshop leader Donald Maass why he keeps coming back. You could ask presenters Jonathan Maberry, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Chuck Sambuchino what brings them back again and again.

2013 Conference Coordinator Jess Williams and her keynote speakers, Donald Maass and Bobbi Carducci
Conference coordinator Jess Williams with keynote speakers Bobbi Carducci and Donald Maass
photo: Heather Desuta

Building Your Freelance Portfolio with Chuck Sambuchino
Chuck Sambuchino presenting "Building Your Freelance Portfolio"
photo: Heather Desuta

Perhaps because it attracts over 200 dedicated, motivated, and imaginative writers every year.

Writing That Matters with Kathryn Craft
Kathryn Craft on "Writing That Matters"
photo: Heather Desuta

Maybe it's the broad scope of topics that are covered, from creativity, to technique, to marketing, to publication. Perhaps it's because we enjoy welcoming new members and making them feel at home with us. Perhaps it's the number of agents and editors who also attend. Or, maybe it has something to do with the food, the drink, and the fact that when we're finished with work, we enjoy one another's company at the end of the day.

Whatever the reason, this year's conference was another rousing success.

Keynote speaker Donald Maass challenged us to raise the bar on our writing. His son, age 5, is just learning to read. He left us to ponder this question: "What will you write that my son should read?" Put another way, what will you write of value.

Kathryn Craft posed a similar question: After you die, what would you like your fans to say about you?

What legacy do you wish to leave?


  1. Fantastic. Agreed 100%! Just hoping that everything I absorbed this weekend will come out in my writing.

    1. I enjoyed your company over the weekend and I'm looking forward to doing whatever I can to help get ready for next year's conference.

  2. Jan, this ought to be used as a promo piece for the conference! Nicely done!

    1. Thanks, Susan. And I forgot to mention the baskets...the fabulous baskets that are raffled off...