Wilkes University

Pennsylvania Writers Conference

The Pennsylvania Writers Conference is designed to engage, educate and empower the literary community.

If you’re a passionate writer, reader, or both, join us on the campus of Wilkes University to learn more about fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting.

2018 Pennsylvania Writers Conference

Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4


Keynote speaker: Andre Dubus III • Keynote Reading: Saturday, Aug. 4


Andre Dubus

Andre Dubus III
New York Times Bestseller

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III will be the PWC18 keynote speaker. Dubus will speak about the path that led him to become a writer—one that pulled him out of a life of violence and allowed him to find his voice through the arts.

Dubus grew up in mill towns on the Merrimack River along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. He began writing fiction at age 22, just a few months after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in sociology. He is the author of six books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers: House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love—a collection of four short novellas—was chosen as a Notable Book and Editors' Choice from the New York Times, a Notable Fiction from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus Starred Best Book of 2013. His other titles are The Cage Keeper and Other Stories and Bluesman.

 We're now accepting presentation proposals. If you're interested in presenting,
please complete the RFP and email it to bill.schneider@wilkes.edu by May 1, 2018.

Download the RFP

Pennsylvania Writers Conference is open for new and emerging adult writers of any age. The two-day conference fee is $150. The fee for early-bird registration, college students, and senior citizens is $125.


This year, the Norman Mailer Center and the Colony is offering workshops that explore what Mailer called "the spooky art of writing" and the unique ways writers apply their art to their own creative narratives. These weeklong classes will run from July 29 to August for week 1, and from August 4 to August 10 for week 2. The 2018 Summer Creative Writing Workshops will bookend the Pennsylvania Writers Conference. To learn more and begin your application, please visit nmcenter.org/2018-workshops

2018 Summer Creative Writing Workshops

In 2017, four-day preconference writing workshops were offered to attendees seeking a more intensive writing experience. The two-day PWC that followed included workshops in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and screenwriting. The conference offered pitch sessions with agents, as well as certificate programs in publishing and arts advocacy and education. View the highlights from PWC17 in the program on the sidebar.

In 2016, the two-day conference included an open mic and poetry slam, craft classes, writing workshops, and literary panels hosted by editors, film producers, literary agents, publishers, and writers. View the highlights from PWC16 in the program on the sidebar.

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The Pennsylvania Writers Conference is hosted by the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. Follow your passion, write your story, and work to get published with Wilkes University's M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Learn more.