The 2021 Plot summit

as soon as you register, you'll receive the short story guide (37 pages) and entry into our giveaways 

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From the previous summit

Welcome to "Escape the Plot Forest"

You love writing. You love telling stories. But maybe you find finishing stories harder than you would like, or perhaps you feel like your novels seem to wander off track somewhere in the middle. 

That's normal! Plot is a challenge for so many writers. 

Whether you are still working on your first book, or you're working hard to make the next novel your break-out success, the best way you can improve your craft is by learning new plotting skills from a wide range of authors -- and getting re-inspired.

Escape the Plot Forest is your expert training program, your four-day creative writing "degree." 

Each day of the event has a theme, taking you from planning out your novel, to building the foundations of the story, and then on to adding in complications like multiple plot-lines, POV shifts, and time jumps -- and finally finishing with editing, revising, and a deeper commitment to this writing life. 

The four days of the summit: planning, building, complicating, and finishing

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wondering what last year's attendees Felt about the summit? 

Watch this one-minute video:

YOur Instant bonuses

The summit begins on October 16th. However, as soon as you register, you'll receive our 37-page guide to writing a compelling, character-first short story (usually $19). 

And you'll be entered into raffles from Books of the Month and other great prizes.

preview of the pdf short story guide: the cover, the first page, and a sample lesson

Your host

I'm Daniel David Wallace, an award-winning writer and teacher. I spent four years of a PhD researching new ways to help writers like you tell a great story.

My stories, reviews, and essays have been published in great magazines like Tampa Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Air Schooner, and my writing won me awards like the Toni Brown scholarship and the Hodges prizes. But when I sent my first novel to the big publishing houses, it was rejected. This was a tough experience! And so I designed a way of teaching storytelling that the younger me would have wanted to find, the "character-first" approach. 

I'm grateful that this approach has resonated with so many people: 5,000 writers read my newsletter each week and, without leaving my home in Tennessee, I've forged connections online with so many great teachers and authors.  

In this event, I've design an intense four-day training program for you, building up your plot skills and re-inspiring you to tell the stories you have been dreaming of. 

I am so happy to bring back the plot summit for its second year and I can't wait to get to know you and all the other participants.

The Big Problem with *SOME* Writing Conferences

At some writing summits, you can watch a lot of great talks, but you finish the event unsure how to apply the advice to your book, your writing, your life. After all, you've got stuff to do. You've got a lot on your plate: send that email to your boss, feed your demanding cats, scroll through social media in terror.

While each talk was great, you might wonder what to work on first.

The Solution: The character-first novel approach

That's why, during Escape the Plot Forest, Daniel (that's me) teaches the essentials of his "Character-First Novel" approach. Over the two middle days of the summit, you'll get access to the core of his training program for free: each lesson will guide you, via prompts and new techniques, to solve the problems in your current plot — or help you start your next book. You'll get specific, concrete advice that will get you writing.

These sessions also weave together the tips and advice from the different speakers, helping you connect the different lessons from the day into a clear picture.

It's miserable to be stuck re-writing chapter three again… and again...

Escape the Plot Forest mixes daily prompts, community support, and expert lectures. You'll finish the conference with specific, concrete goals for plotting your next draft.


7 days
30 speakers
9 categories

More REviews of last year's summit

“ All the resources were really useful and everyone was so warm and welcoming.”

“The 3 sessions on the character first novel were so timely for me and really helped me with a new story.”


“The Character First session, where we talked about Orientation burst open such an AHA! moment for me. It's already transforming my writing, and I am eternally grateful." - Paige T.

“The memories were pleasantly surprising and inspiring because it was explained from different perspectives.”

"It has already enhanced my WIP for NaNoWriMo"

"This was a highly instructive summit and did not simply regurgitate the same topics we've been fed over and over. There were topics I didn't even know were topics and speakers I'd never heard of and I loved that so much.” - Frances P.

"It feels great! Lots of different ideas!"

“The conference provided a wealth of useful and inspiring information. It was fantastic!”

"The 7 essential tips lecture was inspiring and helpful, the talk about plot payoff was incredibly organized and taught me a great deal, the lecture series organized by Daniel offered very easily digested ideas that simplified the conceptual side of creating a story. ” - Julia F.

"I appreciated the hour or two breaks between the presentations because most of us are multi-tasking. I did miss one morning so have to catch up. The Plot Pass made that worry free.”

“You covered everything. From how to write a novel to how to publish it. Great context. Very well organized. ”

“Hearing such a wide range of speakers talk about their craft with such passion. Listening to them gave me the enthusiasm and determination to keep going with the story I have lodged in my head.” - Zoe J.