Welcome Back to Escape the Plot Forest!

Level-up your storytelling skills. Learn new techniques. Join one of the most supportive and welcoming communities anywhere online.

The summit ran October 22nd to 25th but you can get full replay access for $97.

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 contains lessons on planning your novel, from building the foundations of the story to adding in complications like genre-specific plot points, amazing scenes, and compelling characters. The summit will close with talks about building a plan for your writing life and reflecting on everything you've learned.

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But What If I'm a Pantser?

Sometimes pantsers worry about an event like this. They love learning about the craft, but they are mildly suspicious of a summit about plot because they are, by natural disposition, a discovery writer / pantser.

These kinds of plot-focused events, they worry, are only meant for outliners, planners, writers who see themselves as story arrangers and architects.

A discovery writer, on the other hand, often discovers the story as they are writing it. They are not trying to figure out the story in advance on a spreadsheet or corkboard. Rather they are learning as they write, experiencing the story as it unfolds for them, figuring out different elements in different ways.

The good news? This plot summit is FULL of useful information for pantsers!

In fact, at least three sessions specifically address themselves to pantsers and their approach to fiction.

- Kat Caldwell talks about how discovery writers can get themselves out of a plot hole or writing funk.

- Jessie Cal describes plotting tools for pantsers.

- Emily Thiede explains how her multi-draft method helps her discover her way to a rich, detailed story.

Indeed, there are going to be fewer "big-picture" plot sessions in this event: for this year, I wanted to focus the sessions on micro-skills, on the tools to write a great turning point, a breath-taking twist, a vivid character. These will be great for both planners and pantsers.

Now, if you are a natural outliner, do not fear: you will learn from expert sessions aimed at writers just like you, such as Elizabeth S. Craig's brilliant how-to lecture on how she plans her cozy mysteries.

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.
View the schedule

4 days
26 speakers
5 categories


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: 7,000 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 designed an intense four-day training program for you, how to share more of your work, build an audience, and live a life filled with creativity.

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

More from the previous summits

“ 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.

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