Your Guide To The Philadelphia Writing Scene


Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is not only steeped in history and culture but also boasts a vibrant and thriving writing scene. From established literary institutions to grassroots initiatives, Philadelphia offers a rich tapestry of opportunities for writers to connect, learn, and showcase their work. Whether you’re a poet, novelist, journalist, or screenwriter, here’s your guide to navigating the dynamic writing landscape of Philadelphia.

1. Literary Organizations and Institutions

Philadelphia is home to a variety of esteemed literary organizations and institutions that form the backbone of its writing community. The Kelly Writers House, located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, serves as a hub for literary activity in the city, hosting readings, workshops, and other events featuring acclaimed authors and poets.

The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, one of the oldest writing conferences in the country, offers workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities for writers of all levels and genres. Additionally, organizations like the Philadelphia Stories Literary Magazine and the Moonstone Arts Center provide platforms for local writers to share their work and connect with readers.

2. Writing Workshops and Classes

For writers looking to hone their craft and develop their skills, Philadelphia offers a variety of writing workshops and classes taught by experienced instructors. The Musehouse: A Center for the Literary Arts offers workshops in fiction, poetry, memoir, and more, providing writers with opportunities to receive feedback and support from their peers.

The University of the Arts and Temple University both offer undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing, providing students with the opportunity to study under accomplished authors and poets. Additionally, independent writing coaches and consultants in the Philadelphia area offer personalized mentoring and manuscript consultations for writers seeking individualized support.

3. Open Mic Nights and Readings

Open mic nights and literary readings are thriving in Philadelphia, providing writers with opportunities to share their work and connect with fellow members of the literary community. The Moonstone Arts Center hosts regular poetry readings and open mic nights, featuring both local talent and visiting poets from around the country.

The Pen & Pencil Club, the nation’s oldest press club, occasionally hosts literary events and author readings in addition to its regular programming for journalists and writers. Additionally, cafes and bookstores throughout the city often host open mic nights where writers can showcase their poetry, prose, and spoken word performances.

4. Writing Groups and Critique Circles

Joining a writing group or critique circle is a great way for writers to receive feedback on their work, share ideas, and build relationships with other writers. The Philadelphia Writers Workshop offers critique groups, writing workshops, and manuscript consultations for writers of all genres and experience levels.

The South Philly Writers Group and the Philadelphia Fiction Writers Group are two meetup-based organizations that provide writers with opportunities to connect with peers and receive feedback on their work. Additionally, many local libraries and community centers host writing groups and book clubs where writers can meet regularly to discuss their work and support each other’s creative endeavors.

5. Literary Festivals and Conferences

Philadelphia hosts several literary festivals and conferences each year, offering writers opportunities to engage with industry professionals, attend workshops and panel discussions, and showcase their work to a wider audience. The Philadelphia Book Festival, organized by the Free Library of Philadelphia, features author readings, book signings, and literary events for readers and writers of all ages.

The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, mentioned earlier, is another highlight of the city’s literary calendar, offering workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities for writers. Additionally, writers can participate in conferences such as the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and the Philadelphia Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Conference, which offer workshops, pitch sessions, and networking opportunities with industry professionals.

In conclusion, the Philadelphia writing scene offers a diverse and vibrant community for writers to explore, learn, and grow. Whether you’re a seasoned author or just starting on your writing journey, Philadelphia provides countless opportunities to connect with fellow writers, attend readings and workshops, and showcase your work to a wider audience. By immersing yourself in the resources, events, and organizations mentioned in this guide, you can tap into the creative energy of Philadelphia and take your writing to new heights.

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