Greater Lehigh Valley
Writers Group

 Due to PA Act 153 of 2014 and House bill 1276 of 2015, any person under 18 years of age
must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at any GLVWG event.

Academic and First Timer

Three Full Days Featuring One Day Seminar:

Ben Wolf & Charis Crowe
'Into the Deep'
An Advanced Study
of the Genre that Rules Books,
Movies and TV:

Speculative Fiction

Phone? Zoom In!

Scroll Down for Saturday Sessions Descriptions

Academic Discounts 15 - 25% w/Code!
Full Conference $329 - $249

Thursday $110 - $89
$120 - $99
Saturday $130
- $109

Limited Availability!


Academic and First Timer Discount Code xyzzy When You Register
Limited Availability!

 Hotel and Conference Center, 300 Gateway Drive,
Bethlehem, PA, 18017  For Rooms at the Conference Rate
Contact the Hotel directly: 610-866-5800

Registration Open

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The Write Stuff Writers Conference 
30 Great Events over Three Days


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Be sure to read the REGISTRATION POLICIES page

Thursday March 21 
  Includes Lunch and Writers Cafe

Into the Deep: An Advanced Study
of Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction rules today's popular culture in books, movies, and TV shows. Learning the ins and outs of the various genres is absolutely essential for writers who intend to compete in a saturated yet hungry market.

This extended workshop delves deep into speculative fiction and its sub-genres and will discuss the conventions, philosophies, types, standards, and other key elements that help define the genre.

So strap on your blaster, mount your dragon, and fly with us into the depths of the weird and wonderful world of speculative fiction.

 12-12:45 Lunch  (included) plus: Networking Opportunities

Ben Wolf
 and Charis Crowe

Into the Deep: An Advanced Study
of Speculative Fiction


    Writers Cafe:

    Lehigh Room - Facilitated by Bart Palamaro

    Get ready for Friday night Page Cuts or Saturday Agent/Editor pitches by bringing your pitch or opening page and we will give you instant feedback!  Or just bring the first page of your manuscript for a critique. 

    ALL registered Conference attendees are welcome to attend this Conference version of GLVWGs monthly read and critique meeting. 

    It's a fun time!


    Friday, March 22
    Half-Day Seminars: 
      Includes Lunch, two half-day workshops, 
    Thursday's Writers Cafe plus all Friday evening activities including
    Page Cuts Critique (with $10 fee) ,
    Pixar Method, and Reception.
    Time Craft

    Ben Wolf and Charis Crowe

    The Three Pillars of Storytelling

    Storytellers throughout the ages have employed three essential elements to weave compelling tales: the high concept, the characters, and the plot. Each of these elements, when utilized efficiently, work together to support everything from short stories and flash fiction to epics sprawling across multiple movies, shows, and books.

    This half-day workshop begins with a discussion of the story's high concept and what makes for an irresistible idea. Then follows a breakdown of how to create engaging and realistic characters with backstories and motivation. The class concludes with an exploration of how to create interesting plots based on the classic three-act structure. Developing these three pillars of storytelling will help propel any story (and any storyteller) to new heights.

     Lunch  (included) plus: Networking Opportunities

    Book to Market: Tips to Package, Promote,
    and Publish Your Book

    Janeen Ippolito

    Should you aim for a traditional publisher or try to publish yourself? Is there a way to make selling books easier? And what social media should you really be using? Get clarity on your publishing and marketing options from publishing industry pro and marketing coach Janeen Ippolito. These three sessions take out the "overwhelm" and enable you to make decisions with confidence about your manuscript's future.


    Page Cuts Critique Sessions
    Advance registration necessary 
    sessions fill quickly. 

    Page Cuts critique sessions are optional ($10.00 session charge) Participants will be assigned to a room headed by a team of publishing professionals who have been asked to provide feedback on your work.  This kind of "cold critique" i.e. where first impressions count, is exactly like someone reading the first page of your novel at a bookseller, whether on line or in a store.  That impression is what determines whether they buy your book.  Don't pass up this opportunity to get that first page polished so it shines!

    Your work will be read aloud by a room moderator and commented upon by our panelists. No names will be used, all works are COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS. Opinions of workshop panelists are theirs alone and do not represent the opinions of GLVWG.

    Limited readings. Participants who have been informed of their successful enrollment should bring to their session four copies of the first page of a longer work (fiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir) along with four copies of a 100-word overview of the entire work.

    Copies must be formatted. Double-spaced, 12 pt. “Times” font, 1-inch margins, Title & Genre at top of page. No names please. Print to start at the top of the page.

    LIMITED SEATING: additional $10.00 charge with any registration


    The Pixar Method

    Charis Crowe

    Through the magic of engaging characters and heart-tugging plot lines, Pixar has brought us stories that ring true to who we are for over 20 years. Discover their methods, unpack the Pixar secrets for success, and learn how to apply them in your own writing.


    Reception/Social Gathering

    A relaxing atmosphere with snacks, soft drinks, cash bar. A perfect opportunity to network among fellow writers, presenters, agents and editors.

    Saturday, March 23 Overview
    20 workshopsAgent./Editor pitch sessions, marketing consults
    plus lunch and Keynote address, Book Fair, Flash Literature Writing Contest

    Door Prizes. Saturday Registration Includes Thursday Writers Cafe,

    all Friday evening activities including Page Cuts Critique ($10 fee)
    The Pixar Method sessionand Reception.


    Cedar Crest



    Double Session

    7:00 - 7:50

    Check-In and Announcements in Lehigh Room

    8:00 -


    Are Your Characters Right for the Part

    Jon Gibbs

    Agent Panel

    Suzanne Mattaboni Moderator

    Backstory: Your Secret Weapon to Engaging Readers  

    Ben Wolf

    Strengthening Your Writing

    Donna Brennan

    24 seat limit

    9:00 –


    Marketing Execution for Authors

    Charis Crowe

    The Publishing Contract  David Fessenden

    Writing Flash Fiction that Sells

    Ben Wolf

    10:00 –


    Finding Your Author Voice

    Charis Crowe

    Those Critical First Pages  Kathryn Craft

    Powerful Tools to Enhance Your Writing

    Larry Schardt

    The Seven-Sentence Solution

    Jon Gibbs

    24 seat limit



    YA is Here to Stay 

    Charis Crowe

    The Writer/Editor Relationship

    David Fessenden

    Putting a Positive Spin on Rejection

    Larry Schardt

    12:00 –


    Lunch in Salon A and B

    Ben Wolf - Keynote:

    "Writing Through Adversity"



    Fundamentals of Fiction: Inside Out

    Janeen Ippolito

    The Dreaded Outline: What Your English Teacher Never Told You David Fessenden

    Getting Started Writing for Magazines

    Donna Brennan

    Say That and More: Writing Effective Dialogue

    Kathryn Craft

    24 Seat Limit

    2:40 -


    How to Write Romantic Subplots

    Janeen Ippolito

    Editing Your Own Material

    David Fessenden

    Putting Off Procrastination

    Donna Brennan

    First Timer Discounts 15 - 25% w/Code!
    Full Conference $329 -  FT: $249

    Thursday $110 FT: $89
    $120 -  FT: $99
    Saturday $130
    FT: $109

    Limited Availability!

    Academic and First Timer Discount Code xyzzy - Limited Availability! 

    Registration Closes Sunday, March 10, 2019

    Read the Registration Policies page for refund information, etc.
    Go to the Registration Page and choose Member, Non-Member or Student registration.
    Then choose Full Conference Registration or which day(s) you would like to register.
    Depending on day(s) chosen, there may be other options, such as Friday evening
    Page Cuts Critique or Saturday Agent/Editor pitch session and Marketing Consults.

    For Hotel Accommodations and Directions see:
    Directions and Lodgings

    Click to learn more about our Presenters
    Agents and Editors
    and Marketing Consultants


    First Timers Use Code xyzzy - Limited Availability!

    2019 Saturday Course Descriptions
    The Write Stuff
    Writers Conference(TM)


    Saturday March 23, 8 am - 5 p.m.
    7:30 a.m. Check-In table opens
    Pick up registration materials at the
    check-in table

    7:00 - 7:50
       Announcements in Lehigh Room
     8:00 - 8:50 a.m. 


    Concurrent marketing consults during this time.

    Are Your Characters Right for the Part (Cedar Crest)

    Jon Gibbs

    When you create a character for a book or story, it’s tempting to stick with the first ‘person’ who turns up to audition, but what if he/she isn’t really right for the part? How can you make sure the ‘actor’ you end up using is the best one for the role? Join New Jersey author, Jon Gibbs, for a fun, informative, workshop on auditioning potential characters. 

    Also, there may be candy.

    Please note: This is a hands-on session. Attendees should bring pens and plenty of paper to work with.

    Agent Panel (Muhlenberg)

    Moderated by Suzanne Mattaboni

    Agents will share insights, guidelines, and ideas for writers. These agents will also meet with participants to hear pre-scheduled pitches throughout the day.

    Your Secret Weapon to Engaging Readers (Lafayette)

    Ben Wolf

    Backstory is typically vilified as being unnecessary or slowing down your story’s flow, especially in the opening. But if you can learn to make that backstory work for your story rather than against your story, it’s an incredible asset. In this class, conferees will learn what backstory is, how NOT to use backstory, and how to use backstory to grip their readers and make them want to keep reading.

     8:00 - 9:50
    Double Session

    Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

    Strengthening Your Writing
    (Moravian: Double Session)

    Register Early - Seating Limited to 24

    Donna Brennan

    This interactive session will show you how to improve your writing using strong verbs, tight dialogue, less telling, and more action. We’ll work on ways to say more with fewer words. Bring a pen and paper for the short in-class exercises.

     9:00 - 9:50 a.m.


    Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.


    Marketing Execution for Authors (Cedar Crest)

    Charis Crowe

    Covers, blurbs, Facebook release parties, Instagram hashtags, and meme machines. The world of marketing your books can feel like a giant maze. Learn how to create a product that sells and how to get it in front of readers.

    The Publishing Contract (Muhlenberg)

    David Fessenden

    Just when you are rejoicing that your book is going to be published, you receive a thick envelope in the mail — the dreaded publishing contract. This seminar will explain the clauses in a standard book contract, from a layperson’s perspective.[Disclaimer -- I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t dispense legal advice!]

    Writing Flash Fiction that Sells (Moravian)

    Ben Wolf

    In this class, I teach on Splickety's specialty: flash fiction, which I define as 1,000 words or less. Attendees will learn what makes a flash fiction story great (elements like plot, structure, conflict, character development, etc.) and how to condense everything into such a small number of words. By the end of the presentation, attendees will know why they should write flash fiction, what it takes to write compelling flash fiction, and how to elevate their flash fiction from just being good to becoming truly unique and special.

     10:00 - 10:50 a.m.


    Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.


    Finding Your Author Voice (Cedar Crest)

    Charis Crowe

    Lovable characters and an exciting plot--these are things every story needs to be successful. But if you're looking for longevity in publishing, you're going to have to dig deeper. Every writer has a reason "why" they write. Learn what yours is and how to use it to keep readers coming back for more.

    Those Critical First Pages (Muhlenberg)

    An agent’s request for a full manuscript is so exciting for an aspiring author—but how much of your novel will an agent really read? Perhaps only a few paragraphs—about all you would give a book when browsing in the bookstore. We’ll analyze opening pages that refused to let publishing industry pros go.

    Powerful Tools to Enhance Your Writing (Lafayette)

    Larry Schardt

    Suffer from writer’s block, overwhelm, lack of focus, stalled creativity, anxiety . . . ? Yikes! In this workshop, Dr. Larry “Rock ’n’ Roll” Schardt shares ways to blast through these maladies and empower your writing, and your life.

    From daily routines, to mindfulness, to programs, to conferences, to potent psychological tools, and beyond, Larry shares secrets to improve your life and enhance your creativity. Supercharge your mindset, and your writing, with tools to help you reach your maximum potential.

     10:00 - 11:50
    Double Session

    Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

    The Seven-Sentence Solution
    (Moravian: Double Session)

    Register Early - Seating Limited to 24

    Jon Gibbs

    Can you tell your novel’s story in seven sentences? What about your characters? Can you tell their arc, and how the story has changed them, in seven sentences? Join New Jersey author, Jon Gibbs, to learn how applying the Seven-Sentence Solution to your story (and to the people who take part in it) can make writing your book a lot easier, and reading it a lot more fun.

    Also, there may be candy.

    11:00 - 11:50

    Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

    YA is Here to Stay (Cedar Crest)

    Charis Crowe

    Young Adult fiction isn't just for teens. Learn the ins-and-outs of popular YA subcategories and how this super-powered genre can enhance your writing portfolio.

    The Writer/Editor Relationship (Muhlenberg)

    David Fessenden

    Writers and editors sometimes have a love/hate relationship — but it doesn’t have to be that way. This workshop covers what an editor looks for in a writer, and how you can be the kind of writer-editors love to publish!

    Putting a Positive Spin on Rejection (Lafayette)

    Larry Schardt

    A writer’s work is always on the line for criticism or rejection or both. When rejected you may be tempted to toss your computer off a cliff, watch your hard work smash into tiny shards on the rocks below, crawl in a cave, and sink into the gloomy dungeon of self-pity.

    This workshop will provide you with the tools to help you escape from the dungeon and explore rejection from a different perspective . . . So you can grow, persist, and flourish.

    You will learn the secrets of becoming a victor instead of a victim, making happiness a habit, and overcoming the diseases of cynicism, negaholism, and blame. You will also learn the secrets of enjoying a life of “Success That Rocks.”

    12:00 - 12:45
        Banquet (included with Saturday or Full Conference)
    12:50 - 1:30 
       Dessert - Keynote Speaker - Ben Wolf                                                                                  
    "Writing Through Adversity"

    Life is a tyrant. It demands constant attention from us, throws fits seemingly at random, and never seems to let up. It's unpredictable, precarious, and oftentimes rude.

    In his keynote address, award-winning author, publisher, and editor Ben Wolf will share the un-killable drive that propels him forward even when every aspect of life tries to hold him back, and he'll offer strategies and encouragement to attendees to help them capture that same driving force for their own writing careers.


    1:40 - 2:30 p.m.

    Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

    Fundamentals of Fiction - Inside Out (Cedar Crest)

    Have an idea for your story, but nowhere to start? Have the start of a draft, but unsure of how to finish it? Heard a lot of writing terms, but unsure where they fit into the big picture? This workshop is for you! It starts by targeting your core motivations with key questions, then breaks down the big task of writing a story into manageable chunks and simplifies the myriad of story-telling concepts into action-items that you can use in your work right now. Come away with a solid foundation for tackling your fiction writing project.

    The Dreaded Outline:
    What Your English Teacher Never Told You (Muhlenberg) 

    David Fessenden

    Do you dread preparing an outline? It’s not surprising, if you are doing it the way you were probably taught in grade school. This workshop shows you how to break free of strict and silly rules so that you can use an outline as a writing plan.

    Getting Started Writing for Magazines (Lafayette)

    Donna Brennan

    How to find magazine and ezine markets that accept articles and stories from newbies. You’ll learn how to find the best markets for you and your interests, and how to tailor your work to fit your target magazine’s needs. We’ll go over terminology and expectations, and cover how to take the next step to writing for bigger markets.

    1:40 - 3:30
    Double Session

    Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

    Say That and More: Writing Effective Dialogue
    (Moravian: Double Session)

    Register Early - Seating Limited to 24

    Kathryn Craft

    In this workshop, you will participate in a series of exercises that will challenge you to improve your dialogue writing. Prepare to leave with a whole new respect for this multi-tasking tool—and perhaps the germ of a new story idea, as well.


    2:40 - 3:30 p.m.

     Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

    How to Write Romantic Subplots (Cedar Crest)

    Think romance is just for romance novelists? Think again! Romantic subplots can enhance all kinds of speculative fiction and broaden your reader base. Learn how to use romance to push plots effectively so that romance-fans AND non-romance fans will pick up your books!

    Editing Your Own Material (Muhlenberg) 

    David Fessenden

    It’s a basic fact of human nature — we tend to be blind to our own mistakes. (Otherwise, we wouldn’t make the same ones over and over again!) These tips on self-editing show you how to step out of your skin — to be “objective” in the truest sense of the word — and smooth out the rough spots in your manuscript.

    Putting Off Procrastination (Lafayette)

    Donna Brennan

    What’s keeping you from writing? Kids, stress, your favorite TV show, Spider Solitaire? Do you have your priorities and goals lined up? In this light-hearted session learn ways to avoid procrastination and get down to the business (and fun) of writing.

    3:30 - 5:00 p.m.  


    • Refreshments

    • Book Fair**

    • Contest Winners

    • Door Prizes

    • Conference closes

    **All published GLVWG members are eligible to participate in the book fair. Please contact book fair coordinator Michelle Meeh to reserve a space by March 3, 2019

    Detailed instructions for selling your book(s) at the Book Fair are HERE

    Register Here

    Academic and First Timer Discount Code xyzzy -
    Limited Availability!

     2019 Write Stuff Presenters

        Keynote Speaker Ben Wolf

    Ben Wolf is the founder and owner of Splickety Publishing Group (Splickety) and the publisher of three quarterly flash fiction magazines. He has edited, written, and/or published over 100 published works and has taught at 40+ writers conferences nationwide.

    Ben’s debut novel Blood for Blood won the 2015 Cascade Award and is characterized as "bold...with nonstop tension." His debut children’s book, I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You, won the 2016 Cascade Award. In his spare time, he practices Brazilian jiujitsu (where he tries to choke out his friends).

    You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.

    Donna Brennan was a technical writer for over ten years before becoming a computer programmer. Since leaving the corporate world after her twins were born, she’s had numerous short stories, interviews, and nonfiction articles published online and in print magazines including Thriving Family, Encounter, Splickety, and Christian Fiction Online Magazine. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG). She’s served in various capacities on the GLVWG board, including several terms as Conference Chair. She’s always looking for opportunities to encourage others and to share what she’s learned.

    Kathryn Craft is the award-winning author of two novels from Sourcebooks, The Art of Falling and The Far End of Happy, and the author of chapters in Author in Progress and The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing from Writers Digest Books. Her work as a freelance developmental editor at follows a nineteen-year career as a dance critic. She mentors novelists through her Your Novel Year program. Long a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene, she is an active member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Pennwriters, and a marketing cooperative of women authors, Tall Poppy Writers. Kathryn leads writing workshops and retreats, and blogs at Writer Unboxed and Writers in the Storm.

    Charis Crowe is a professional freelance writer with corporate writing, advertising, and ghostwriting experience. With several completed novels and published short stories, Charis is passionate about finding that one thing a character would never do and making them do it.

    She loves all things geeky, weird, and downright impossible. Whether it’s dragons soaring to new heights, unexplored distant planets, or monsters that lurk in the dark, Charis is always ready to help new writers explore their worlds and find more chaos.

    You can follow Charis on Instagram (@CharisCrowe).

    David E. Fessenden is the publisher for Honeycomb House Publishing LLC, and a literary agent for WordWise Media Services. He has degrees in journalism and theology, and over 30 years of experience in writing, editing, and editorial management for Christian book publishers.

    Dave has published seven books, written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and edited numerous books. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract, and  A Christian Writer’s Guide to the Book Proposal, both published by SonFire Media, are based on his experience in Christian publishing. The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, Dave’s first novel, reflects his love for history and for the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan-Doyle.

    Nonfiction writing blog:

    Author/publisher website :


    Born in England, Jon Gibbs now lives in New Jersey, where he lectured on Creative Writing at Georgian Court University from 2014-2017. Jon is the founder of The New Jersey Authors’ Network (, his middle-grade fantasy, Fur-Face (Echelon Press), was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award. The sequel, Barnum’s Revenge (also from Echelon Press), was published in 2013. 

    Jon has a website: and a blog: When he's not chasing around after his three children, he can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.

    Janeen Ippolito crafts words that transform worlds. She writes urban fantasy and steampunk, and creates writing resources, including the reference book World Building From the Inside Out and the creative writing guide Irresistible World Building For Unforgettable Stories. She's an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, marketer, and is the leader of Uncommon Universes Press, a small science fiction and fantasy publishing house. She’s also the cohost of the podcast Indie Book Magic. In her spare time, Janeen enjoys sword-fighting, reading, pyrography, and eating brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website:

    Dr. Larry Schardt can be your catalyst to incite you to achieve your writing goals.  Larry knows what it is to live without peace and joy. His struggles in life led him to research the science and art of happiness and success.  Why is he determined to find happiness? Happiness enhances creativity, crushes mediocrity, and frees your mind . . . Enabling you to become the writer you are meant to be.  Larry’s passion is people . . . He cares about you and wants to lead you to the path of achieving your maximum potential.  For over 35 years, Larry’s presentations on writing, leadership, and happiness have entertained and motivated audiences across the United States.  During that time Professor Schardt has taught at multiple universities and is currently at Penn State.  Larry is an award winning author. His daily Facebook blog inspires, encourages, and motivates.  Schardt is co-founder and facilitator of the highly successful Mindful Writers Retreats.  Through his workshops he teaches secrets and tips to improve your writing, find your muse, and continue your personal growth.

    Register Here

    Academic  and First TimerDiscount Code xyzzy -
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    2019 Marketing Consultants

    Donna Galanti writes thrillers for kids and grownups. She is the author of the bestselling paranormal suspense Element Trilogy and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series. Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine, a writing contest judge at, and regularly presents as a guest author at schools and teaches at writing conferences. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Visit her at

    Deborah Riley-Magnus is an author and an Author Success Coach with forty-plus years professional background in marketing, advertising, and public relations. She has been a writer for print, television, and radio. She writes fiction and nonfiction and has been a ghostwriter for several clients.

    For over a decade Deborah has been working with authors to help them find sales success. She produces several pieces monthly for various websites and online publications. She teaches online and live workshops, clinics, and boot camps. She writes an author marketing industry blog and coaches authors, one-on-one, for sales success.  Teach -  Fiction –

    Register Here

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    Limited Availability!

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