Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc.

WRT#7 will be on October 12, 2019.
Updated workshop information will be posted soon. 

TinyBurst--- Why Attend the Writer's Road Trip --- 

We’ve all been there. You bring home that new “assembly required” piece of furniture or equipment that may contain many parts, unrecognizable items, and hundreds of fasteners. The directions (translated from Chinese), are in a step-by-step format, with hard-to-comprehend line drawings. While the picture on the box depicts the beautiful item you hope to soon use and enjoy, the pile of pieces spread before you hardly resembles anything.

But what if you didn’t have these instructions? Or worse yet, a vital piece is missing? Then what? Your results could be nothing but frustrating.

The SAME goes for writing good material and getting it published!

BookLoveThat’s why the Area 1 Pennwriters put together an enjoyable writing experience titled A Writers’ Road Trip. Our goal is to introduce you to the “Keys to Great Writing” and give you the opportunity to master the elements of composition, revision, publishing, and marketing.

During our 6th annual one day conference, we’re once again hosting a personable group of experts to help pull your writing together so it looks like that book (or article or story or poem) you envisioned when you first sat down to write. Unlike the “assembly required” furniture, these experts supply the missing instructions.

This is not a virtual event. You actually will meet with other writers to learn, share, laugh, talk writing, eat, and spend the day in beautiful, fall-colored, northwestern Pennsylvania. This interaction could lead to discovering the writing mentor you always longed to meet, having your first book published, or learning how to finally break through to the marketing success you need to see your work succeed. 

Check out A Writer’s Road Trip 7 (October 12th, Erie, PA) at Pennwriters.org and/or https://www.facebook.com/WritersRoadTrip.

If you have a question about the Road Trip, you can also email Area 1 Rep, Todd Main at toddmain (AT) neo.rr.com.


Are You Tired of Going It Alone?

Are You Ready to Get the Info You Need to Succeed?


TinyBurst--- What Makes A Writer's Road Trip Unique? --- 

• We offer industry experts, published authors, and other specialists in their field.
Bookgirl sm
• Our venue is small enough to allow you one-on-one interaction with speakers and guests and time to get your writing, publishing, and marketing questions answered.

• In between attending workshops, you can spend time in our hospitality suite where you can talk with like-minded writers, chat with speakers, browse and buy books by our speakers, and enter our silent auction.

• A variety of workshops for all genres and all levels of writing skill, from beginner, to published, and everything in between.

• Choose to pay $5 at the door and pitch your work to a literary agent. 

• A delicious buffet lunch is always included. 


TinyBurst--- Pitch Your Book to a Literary Agent ---

"Writing a book is something you do to get your life back." ~Richard Bach

MelanieBillingsThis year we welcome back Ms. Melanie A. Billings (Editor, Special Projects Department, Wild Rose Press) after a very successful debut at Writer’s Road Trip 4 she has become an enjoyable addition to subsequent Road Trip events.

Not just for romance anymore, after eleven successful years of operation, The Wild Rose Press has expanded fields. Melanie is looking for genres including, but not limited to: women’s fiction, mystery, thriller, historical fiction and erotica from 7,500 – 100,000 words.

Pay just $5 at the door for this option. Email Todd Main, Conference Coordinator, at toddmain (AT) neo.rr.com to secure your spot.


TinyBurst--- Writing Contest Judged by Your Peers ---

All entries will be posted on the wall outside of the conference rooms at the start of the day. Instructions for casting votes will be included in each member’s welcome packet. All votes will be tallied and the winners will be announced at the close of the day. Winners must be present to win.

1st Place: Full Paid registration for Road Trip 8*

2nd Place: Half Paid registration for Road Trip 8*

3rd Place: $15 Gift Card


1. Only paid Road Trip attendees may enter.

2. All entries must be received by October 1, 2019.

3. Entries must be sent as an email attachment as either a Word document or PDF.

4. Your entry must be a complete work on one, easy-to-read, 8.5” x 11” page.

5. Put the title at the top of the page; DO NOT put your name on the entry.


For official rules, additional directions, and other notices click here


BusyGal photoRing"I am so grateful for my Area 1 friends. Whenever I need a boost to keep me going, they are a meeting, email, or Facebook Post away. I attended the WRT the past two years and can't say enough about how well-organized, valuable, and interesting this mini-conference is. I am going to be a published author of a novella (a Rosette) due to pitching my story to Melanie Billings, the editor at this [past] year's conference. She has helped me so much in this publishing process, which is brand new to me. I owe a lot of my courage to even put my work out there to Area 1 writers and the Fellowship of the Quill. This is the first that I'm sharing this news with anyone besides my family members and a few friends; I wanted to go through the motions before announcing. It's a small step into the publishing world, but one I never would have tried if not for this group and Pennwriters as a whole. I have grown so much as a writer since attending my first conference in Pittsburgh in 2013. Not only am I a member of this great organization, but I am also a superfan! Go Pennwriters!" ~Donna Snyder-Lucas


BusyGal photoRing"In 2012, Area 1 launched the very first one-day mini-conference, under the expert and determined guidance of Todd Main. The event is called A Writer's Road Trip, and it continues to get bigger and better heading into its fifth year. Todd and his team of volunteers hope to inspire similar events across all Pennwriters Areas, so members can get an idea, locally and at an affordable cost, of what to expect from attending the Annual 3-Day Conference. I was lucky enough to attend A Writer's Roadtrip in October of 2017, it was well worth the trip.." ~Hilary Hauck, Pennwriters President


BusyGal photoRing"At the Pennwriters Road Trip one-day conference, I took Deborah Riley-Magnus workshop. She talked about joining Facebook groups and posting on them to gain followers for your book. I joined several groups and started posting regularly. The head of one of the groups contacted me to write for his web page. He was so impressed with my writing he asked me to write a piece for his book and gave me access to his social media pages to post inspirational quotes. Deborah's advice helped build my platform and promote my writing." ~ Aimee Eddy Gross


If you’re ready, you can sign up using the button below (registration takes place on the main, Pennwriters, Inc. website). Or click the More button to continue learning more about the Writer's Road Trip.


SignUp Button      MoreButton


Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc.


There are two ways to register for the Writer's Road Trip Conference:

1. You can choose your plan and pay via the Pennwriters official website.
Clicking the links below will take to to the registration page. 

2. You can mail a check to Todd Main, 1248 W. 22nd Street, Erie, PA, 16502.
Please include the registration form you can download by clicking here

Questions? Stop by our Facebook Page and message us or
Email Todd Main, Conference Coordinator at:
toddmain (AT) neo.rr.com



BuyNow MBearlybird
BuyNow MBlate





BuyNow MBearlybird
BuyNow MBlate




Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc. 

Check back soon for new additions to the list for 2019!


AnnetteDashofyAnnette Dashofy

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle of Influence (2014), published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and Bridges Burned (2015) and No Way Home (2017) were Agatha Award finalists for Best Contemporary Novel. Cry Wolf, her latest release, is the seventh in the series. Her short fiction includes a 2007 Derringer Award nominee featuring the same characters as her novels. She also serves as Pennwriters’ Coordinator of Area Reps and is a past president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime.




Stop back to see who this mystery guest will be!




Susan GableSusan Gable

Susan Gable is a formerly-traditionally-published author gone indie. Reviewers and readers alike often cite her ability to convey strong emotion in her books, to make them both laugh and cry.

Her books have been Golden Heart and Rita ® Award finalists, been recognized by Romantic Times nominations for Best Superromance of the Year, and she’s won numerous awards, including the National Readers’ Choice Award. Over a half-million copies of her books have been sold worldwide.

A former elementary teacher, Susan is a popular workshop presenter who has spoken at many writing conferences.



Hilary HauckHilary Hauck

Hilary Hauck grew up in the UK, and lived in Italy for over a decade before moving to the US. She writes fiction, poetry, and articles, often exploring the vulnerability and strength of the human condition, particularly through cultural identity, life lessons, and the food we eat.
Hilary Hauck recently graduated from Pennsylvania’s premier leadership program, RULE (Rural and Urban Leadership), a two-year program through Penn State Extension, where she developed an entirely new perspective on life and her writing path. Active in the writing community, Hilary is the founder of the writing group, The Inkwell, co-founder of the Allegheny Regional Festival of Books, and current president of Pennwriters.



Catherine McLeanCatherine McLean

In the quiet of the rural Pennsylvania countryside, Catherine writes lighthearted tales of phantasy realms and stardust worlds (fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal adventure-romance).

Her short stories have appeared in hardcover and online anthologies and magazines. Her books include Hearts Akilter (a fantasy/sci-fi romance novella), Jewels of the Sky (sci-fi adventure), Karma & Mayhem (paranormal fantasy romance), and Adrada to Zool (a short story anthology).

She is a long-time member of Pennwriters. Her nonfiction guidebook for writers is Revision is a Process - How to Take the Frustration Out of Self-Editing.



Kathy OttenKathy Otten

Kathy Otten is the published author of multiple historical romance novels, novellas, and short stories. She is also published in contemporary romance and historical fiction. She is a Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star winner and Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist. A Place In Your Heart is her fourth full-length novel. Currently, she is putting the finishing touches on a contemporary young adult novel.

She teaches fiction writing online and at a local adult education center, and is a regular presenter at area events. Kathy also does manuscript assessments and editing. She lives in the rolling farmland of western New York where she can often be found walking her dog through the woods and fields. She has been married for thirty-four years and is the mother of three grown children and one grandson.



Fritze RobertsFritze Roberts

Fritze Roberts is a freelance editor and former project manager who helps authors commit to their writing projects and enjoy success.

Fritze writes about monsters, aliens, addicts, and animals – even though she is none of these things. Her science fiction and fantasy stories contrast the small activities of every day with the larger mysteries of life.




JamieSaloffJamie Saloff

Jamie Saloff is passionate about helping self-publishing authors create professional-quality books. A longtime book designer, self-publishing expert, and former web designer, she’s helped countless authors achieve their published dreams.

She is the author of seven books including 7 Easy Steps to Professionally Self-Publish Your Book Using Lightning Source or IngramSpark: A Quick Reference Guide for Creating Print-on-Demand Books that Increase Your Income & Visibility.

In addition, Jamie is the author of Transformational Healing, Marvelous Messages, and several other books designed for deep, self-exploration and personal achievement. She is a graduate of Lily Dale’s Fellowships of the Spirit.



Debra Ray SanchezDebra Ray Sanchez

Debra R. Sanchez has moved over thirty times...so far. She and her husband have three adult children, four grandchildren, as well as a cat and a dog.

She leads and attends various writing groups in the Pittsburgh area and also hosts writing retreats. In addition, she teaches and tutors Spanish and ESL to people of all ages and is a freelance (English/Spanish) translator.

Her bilingual picture book And My Mother Cried/Y Mi Mamá Lloró won The Author Zone TAZ Award for "Best Children's Book 2017" and her writing guide Prompted, Prodded, Published: How Writing Prompts Can Help All Writers was awarded 2nd place TAZ Award in the business book category. Her other writing has won awards at writers’ conferences in various genres, including children's stories, poetry, fantasy, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Several of her plays and monologues have been produced and published. Her other works have been published in literary magazines, newspapers, and anthologies.



Dave Szymanowski

Dave Szymanowski

Dave Szymanowski has worked in hospitals, state hospitals, correctional and university settings. He has been Deputy Warden for a prison with mostly violent offenders. He has completed numerous TV, radio, and newspaper interviews as well as presentations and training to professional and lay audiences.

Dave often provided technical assistance, served as liaison to multi-agency task forces and provided statewide responsibility for a number of different programs. He supervised on-site graduate student placements in educational research, epidemiology clinical psychology, counseling, sociology, and criminal justice.

Mr. Szymanowski organized, directed and developed the state-wide Comprehensive Sex Offender Treatment and Research Program (cSTAR) as well as directed programs in other states. He trained staff and developed the computerized-assisted profiles system (CAPS).


If you’re ready, you can sign up using the button below (registration takes place on the main, Pennwriters, Inc. website). Or click the More button to continue learning more about the Writer's Road Trip.


SignUp Button      MoreButton


Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc. 

Note! These are the 2018 Workshop Descriptions!
The 2019 Workshops will be posted soon! 


The Writer's Road Trip offers a three-track conference schedule along with time for lunch. Attend any workshop you choose. Some of the more in-depth workshops extend through two periods. You can download the whole schedule to pre-plan your learning experience. Also, check out the special events that are happening in the Hospitality Suite for those who just want to chat, browse our offerings, or just sit back and chill. Not sure which workshop is for you? Ask on our Facebook Page or email Todd Main at toddmain (AT) neo.rr.com for more information. 


TinyBurst--- FILLING THE SUITCASE --- (What to Put into Your Writing) 
--- Timons Esaias

TimonsEsaiasOnce you've stripped all the bad stuff out of your first draft, it's time to address the important matter of adding Good Stuff: significant details, POV signifiers, colorful characters, theme music and more. For long works Tim will suggest a series of focused "preliminary passes" to make, each addressing a specific issue. We'll get to the heart of craft: how to really write, without using the same five sentences over and over. We will remember our notebooks, and practice the martial art of their use. Malt balls will be available for participation.


TinyBurst--- BABY ON BOARD --- (Writing Children’s Books—From Ages to Stages)
--- Debra Ray Sanchez

DebraSanchezWriting for the children can be rewarding. It can also be frustrating. There are many things to consider when writing for children. This workshop will focus on the basic principles of writing for children. Workshop includes hands-on exercises, if time permits. Also included: 

Age of the Reader: Parent Reading to Child; Beginning Reader, Stage Action/Directions

Type of Book: Picture, Easy Reader, Chapter, Middle Grade, YA

Reading and Interest Levels of Books: Balancing Levels, Interest and Ability, Age Appropriate Material, Ability vs Maturity level

Specific Rules of Formatting: Certain Number of Words Per Page/Chapter/Book, Certain Number of Pages in a Book, For Self-Publishing (font styles, font sizes, page layout)


TinyBurst--- DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS --- (Project Your Personality)
--- Dave Szymanowski

Dave SzymanowskiLearn to develop modified projective techniques to broaden and deepen your character’s personality. This is an interactive class.



TinyBurst--- DETOURS --- (Mistakes Writers Make When They “Think” They’re Ready to Submit)
--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyDo you think you’re ready to submit? Or have you already taken the plunge only to receive rejections or no response? In this workshop, we’ll look at all the little mistakes we might overlook or be blind to in our own pages: POV shifts, passive writing, lack of tension, and being too nice to your characters.



TinyBurst--- COMPACT CAR OR SEDAN --- (Writing a Short Story – Easier Than a Novel?)
--- Kathy Otten

Kathy OttenShort stories by definition would seem to be easier to write than an entire novel: less words, less characters, less complicated. Simple. But writing a good short story is not as easy as it would first appear. Many people struggle to weave plot, characters, conflict, setting, and backstory into a limited number of words.

In this workshop, we’ll look at ways to incorporate seven elements of a full-length manuscript into that tight word count and create a story as memorable as any novel including: 

  • How Short Is Short?
  • Characters
  • Point-of-View
  • Plot
  • Back Story
  • Pacing
  • Dialogue


TinyBurst--- BREAKDOWNS ALONG THE WAY --- (Nightmares and Triumphs: Real Stories from the Road to Publication --- Jamie Saloff

Jamie SaloffThese real-life writing and publishing stories will change the way you see your book’s path. Learn what kept these authors awake at night, why size matters, what costly mistakes they made, (and more), so you don’t have to. With over twenty years experience in helping authors move from manuscript to publication, Jamie will share the insider secrets you need to know to enhance your book’s success, regardless of how you choose to publish.


TinyBurst--- STOP OR YIELD  --- (Comma Trouble)
--- Catherine McLean

Catherine McLeanHate the comma? Love the comma? Baffled by comma "rules?" You need no English or grammar manual to end this comma trauma. Learn the simple guidelines and take a commonsense approach to commas that net effective, smoothly-flowing fiction, storytelling, and dialogue. There will be hands-on exercises to enhance your skill and increase your confidence with comma usage.

IF TIME PERMITS— Get hands-on help and feedback by bringing two copies of up to three sentences of your work on one page, double-spaced, done in 12-point Courier New font. Put your name and email address at the upper right corner. Or—if you've read a book and a sentence's comma usage baffles you, make two copies of the passage (be sure to give the work's title and author's name).


TinyBurst--- ARRIVING ON TIME --- (Time Management. How to Get Your Writing Done)
--- Fritze Roberts

Fritze RobertsIn this session, we’ll discuss how to accomplish your writing goals. Learn how to prioritize, quit procrastinating, and manage the little time you have for writing. Get tips for organizing story ideas and learn how to keep going even when the going is tough.


TinyBurst--- LITTLE RED CORVETTE --- (Red Herrings and the Moon Walking Bear)
--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyGeared mostly toward mystery authors—do you fear your mysteries are too easy to solve? Do your readers know whodunit before you want them to? In this workshop, learn how to lead your reader down the wrong path with believable red herrings and misdirection techniques.


TinyBurst--- DRIVING TRAFFIC: THE NUTS & BOLTS --- (If You Write It… Will They Find It? Help Readers (Even Agents and Publishers) Find Your Work on a Crowded Highway)
--- Susan Gable

Susan GableIf you write it, will they read it? A gazillion books are pubbed every year. How will readers find yours? Marketing isn't a dirty word. And you'll have to market, even to publishers and agents. Learn how to Drive Traffic to your books, whether traditional or indie pubbed.


TinyBurst--- WHO'S DRIVING YOUR CAR --- (Who’s Telling the Story – Viewpoint and POV)
--- Kathy Otten

Kathy OttenPoint-of-view is the central device of fiction. It can be one of the hardest things to learn, and it needs to be right before submitting or publishing your story. In this workshop, we’ll look at the difference between viewpoint and point of view. We’ll explore how deep point of view is one of the best ways to create memorable characters your readers will never forget.

I. Various Points of View: Present Tense, Past Tense, Future Tense

II. Whose Voice Will the Reader Hear?, Who Is Your View-Point Character? How Far Are They From the Action? Head Hopping

III. Switching Point-of-View: Scene Breaks, Wide Angle View, Leave and Stay


TinyBurst--- ROAD TRIP SELFIES --- (Real-Life Perspective For Memorable Characters)
--- Hilary Hauk

Hilary HaukStories help us make sense of life, so it follows that life should inspire our stories. But life’s a messy affair, muddled by emotions and unforeseen events. We’ll pare away at the chaos of the human condition to reveal the elements that drive memorable characters through the mechanics of story.



TinyBurst--- YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE --- (How to Devise a Magic System that Won’t Disappoint) --- Fritze Roberts

Fritze RobertsWhy can’t the wizards in the Harry Potter series solve the problems of violence, disease, or hunger? Why doesn’t Gandalf magically destroy the One Ring? By analyzing some of our most beloved fantasy, we can understand the rules for developing our own magical systems. We’ll discuss what makes magic captivating, and how it can fail in fiction.



TinyBurst--- ROAD SHOW --- (Stage Playwriting—From Page to Stage)
--- Debra Ray Sanchez

Debra Ray SanchezWriting for the STAGE is not the same as writing for the PAGE. It is also not the same as writing for the SCREEN. This workshop will focus on basic principles of writing for live stage performance including: 

  • Elements of a play: Character development, Dialogue & Monologue, Setting

  • Stage Action/Directions: Formatting, Markets

Workshop includes hands on exercises, if time permits.


TinyBurst--- ROAD RAGE --- (Getting Conflict on the Page)
--- Timons Esaias

TimonsEsaiasThis workshop will consist of exercises to remind the writer that conflict needs to be on every page -- and actually in almost every paragraph -- of your fiction. We will get even with everybody who has ever annoyed us in any way, without triggering a Protection from Abuse order. We will develop a Poison Cabinet. Yes, it's gonna get ugly in there. Malt balls will be available for participation.


TinyBurst--- ACCIDENT: TYPE & CROSSMATCH --- (Personality Types)
--- Dave Szymanowski

Dave SzymanowskiHow would you react in a roadside accident? How would your protagonist of antagonist behave? Just as there are different blood types, there are different temperaments. As an author, you may act differently; so, might your characters. Come an explore two different type measurement systems. We will take one type and explore it in depth so that you may glean the amount of information you will acquire to delve more in-depth within your characters.)


TinyBurst--- KEEP ON TRUCKING --- 

After the workshops, meet back in the Hospitality Suite for the silent auction, book signing, announcement of the Writing Contest winners, turn in your opinion survey, and closing remarks.


Download the day's schedule by clicking here. 



If you’re ready, you can sign up using the button below (registration takes place on the main, Pennwriters, Inc. website). Or click the More button to continue learning more about the Writer's Road Trip.


SignUp Button      MoreButton