The Philadelphia Writers Conference is an annual conference held in Old City every summer. The conference hosts workshops, speakers, and even an agent and editor pitch session. It is the perfect place to attend if you are an aspiring novelist, poet, or if you just love to write.
This is my second year attending the conference. The first year I went I thought I already knew what there was to write: you write a novel, edited for grammar and spelling errors, and then you submit it to a publisher. Boy, was I was so wrong. The amount of knowledge I attained during the first day alone was enough to completely alter my writing future and is the reason I decided to come back next year for round two.
This year marks the Philadelphia Writer's Conference 68th consecutive year. They are the longest-running writers' conference in America.
We kicked off the day with an intriguing class called Planning the Novel. Think about the basis of your novel and all the many things that entail it. We learned that a novel had many episodes that should be tied all together into one major plot.
She taught us a box method to better understand our plot. The first box is meant for everything in your novel about the beginning; think about setting, events, etc.
The second box is your "defining moment." In English class, this was considered the climax. Whatever point of your story that is an essential part of it. After the second box comes the conclusion which will be put in the third box. This box is considered your happy ever after or not so happy ever after box. By following this formula, you will be able to really see your plot and plan out your novel.
Another workshop I attended, that was my absolute favorite, was reaching the maximum emotional potential of your novel. In this workshop, we were taught how to convey emotion out of your readers. The biggest way to do this is by putting your character through a change.
It is not necessarily what events happen that convey emotion, but how your character changes because of them.
Overall, the first day of the conference was an amazing experience. I got to get over my fear of pitching to an agent, meet some great writing friends, and apply what I learned to my own work. If you are an aspiring writer I really recommend checking it out. There's something magical about the writing community.
Have you ever been to any writing conferences? What are your favorite ones to attend?