Author of many books, including The Maze Runner (adapted into a film by 20th Century Fox) and The Eye of Minds. Raised in Georgia, James now lives in Utah. To find out more, please visit his website, jamesdashner.com.
Class: What I’ve Learned: It’s been 10 years since my first book came out, and I’ve learned a lot of important things along the way. Come join me and let’s talk about them!
Watch a the Eye of Minds book trailer here.
Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages. Disney has optioned the film rights for the series.
Keynote address: Ally will talk about the journey to becoming a writer and about the inspiration behind the MATCHED trilogy. There will be 15 minutes of Q & A time at the end.
Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997.
Besides books, Lisa loves movies, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy.
She is the author of the award-winning Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello.
Class: Building Better Characters: The Mr. Potato Head Way - Characters are more than just what they look like on the outside. In this class, we’ll dive deep into how to build a character who is 3-dimensional and real by focusing on the parts of a Mr. Potato Head toy. Participation is required!
Watch the book trailer for After Hello here.
Bree Despain is the author of the Dark Divine trilogy and the upcoming Into The Dark trilogy. Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. Book one of Into The Dark, THE SHADOW PRINCE, releases on March 11, 2014.
Advanced Class: The Secret Ingredient for Great Fiction - Want to know how to make your writing ring true with readers? How to reveal deeper or hidden meaning in your fiction? How to properly plant a plot twist or revelation that feels both shocking and perfect for your story? Or craft an ending that will leave your readers surprised and satisfied? Then come learn about this little-discussed but very important “secret ingredient” for writing great fiction.
Sarah M. Eden is the author of multiple historical romances, including Longing for Home and Whitney Award finalists Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances. She has twice served as the Master of Ceremonies for the LDStorymakers Writers Conference and acted as the Writer in Residence at the Northwest Writers Retreat. Sarah is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at Foreword Literary Agency.
Class: Is This a Kissing Book? - Great love stories don’t happen by accident. Whether you are writing for the romance genre or crafting a romantic subplot, there are tricks to the kissing-book-writing trade. This class will cover the unbreakable rules of romance, how to avoid clichés, creating real romantic tension and developing characters your readers will love to love.
Peggy Eddleman lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Utah with her husband and their three kids. She enjoys painting, playing games with her family (especially laser tag), and of course, reading. You can visit Peggy online at peggyeddleman.com
Class: When Ideas Are Stuck in Your Head and They Can’t Find Their Way Out- Sometimes you have great stories developing in your head, but the desire to get them out onto paper is non-existent. We’ll talk about some of the things that might be blocking you (time, desire, not knowing enough about writing to do the story justice, distractions, etc.), and what to do about them. Because what’s the use in thinking of such great stories if you can’t share them with others?
Watch the SKY JUMPERS book trailer here.
Tyler H. Jolley is a Young Adult author and full-time orthodontist/periodontist (see: Overachiever). He was born in the era of the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sagas. He has been enamored with science fiction and adventure stories ever since. In order to support his hobby of writing he decided to pursue straightening teeth and cutting gums. He divides his spare time between writing, reading, mountain biking, and camping with his family. He is the author of Neto Lexan and the Impox Secret and Extracted. His latest novel in The Lost Imperials series, Extracted, releases 11-12-13.
Class: BAM, POW, KABOOM your books to life- Hey guys, we will be exploring the option of making a comic book from the characters and scenes from your writings. Also we will chat about how to create a comic book from all those wonderful scene and character descriptions you have written.
Class taught with Renee Collins: Genres in a blender- Making mashups that work. Learn the secret ingredients to making a fresh and exiting genre mashup milkshake. We’ll discuss tasty examples as well as what makes some mashups go sour. And then, we’ll whip up our very own unique mashup together in class, full of scrumptious plots, savory characters and a yummy setting.
Watch the EXTRACTED book trailer here.
Kasie West lives with her family in Central California where the heat tries to kill her with its hundred-plus degree stretches. She graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor’s degree that has nothing to do with writing. She writes both sci-fi and contemporary, including–Pivot Point, Split Second, The Distance Between Us, and On The Fence.
Class: Making Dialogue Your Best Friend- Dialogue wants to be your best friend, and if used right, it definitely will be. This class will teach you not only the basics of dialogue but how to use dialogue to help you move your plot forward, build tension, develop characters, and perfect your pacing. We will also discuss how to avoid making dialogue your enemy.
B.K. Bostick, author of Huber Hill series, resides among the magnificent Rocky Mountains. In addition to writing, he has spent his career in education. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Utah and his Masters in Psychology from Utah State University. He has worked as a teacher, after school program coordinator, teacher mentor, and currently works as a teacher evaluator for Western Governors University. He loves spending time with his lovely wife and two kids. In his spare time, he enjoys eating cheetos and watching old episodes of the Twilight Zone.
Class: What’s Your Book About?- As authors, we often get the question, “What’s your book about?” There is a tendency to respond with a rambling, incoherent response as we try to hit all the main points of our story. The class will teach you to answer this question with a clear, one sentence, focus statement as we explore the process of outlining and plotting your story.
Watch the Huber Hill and the Dead Man’s Treasure book trailer here.
Renee Collins grew up with her twin sister on the sunny beaches of Hawaii, though sadly, she is neither tan nor skilled at dancing the hula. Instead, she writes stories about magic cowboys and mermaid bones. Not a bad tradeoff. Renee lives with her family in the red rock desert of Colorado that inspired her debut novel, RELIC, a YA fantasy set in the Old West.
Class: Let’s Build A New World Together - Middle Earth, Pandora, Arrakis, Hogwarts—an amazing setting can bring a story to life like nothing else. In this fully interactive class, I’m going to teach you the Do’s and Don’t's to creating a unique and fleshed-out world, and then we’re going to create a new world of our own together, in class, applying what we’ve learned. Charge your imagination before you come. Your going to need it!
Class taught with Tyler Jolley: Genres in a blender- Making mashups that work. Learn the secret ingredients to making a fresh and exiting genre mashup milkshake. We’ll discuss tasty examples as well as what makes some mashups go sour. And then, we’ll whip up our very own unique mashup together in class, full of scrumptious plots, savory characters and a yummy setting.
Sara B. Larson can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books. Although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes during naptime and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” On occasion you will find her hiding in a bubble bath with a book and some Swedish Fish. Her debut YA fantasy novel, DEFY, was published by Scholastic in January of 2014, and the sequel will be out in January 2015.
Class: A “donut” vs. a “glazed circle of Krispy Kreme joy”: Using description effectively - A learning experience that will help you take your manuscript to the next level with effective description. There might be a surprise or two in store.
YA author, Margie Jordan, was born and raised in a town so small if you blinked you would literally miss it. Because of this, she had to have a big imagination. She spent her childhood jumping from too-high branches in trees, rock climbing with no ropes, toilet papering the neighbors, and creating Indiana Jones-like obstacles courses. Whatever, she couldn’t act out in real life, she wrote about. Thus her love for action, thriller, and adventure was born.
Margie graduated from UVU with a degree in Elementary Education (mostly for the opportunity to teach reading and writing) and a minor in technology (because knowing how to erase wrinkles from your photos is important). She currently serves as a Literacy Coach for her local school district and lives in Spanish Fork, Utah with her husband and three children. As Margie would say, “Write On!…right after we go do something dangerous.”
Class: Author Stalking– not in a creepy way - Did you know that by tweaking the ‘way’ you read books, you can change the ‘way’ you write books. Come and learn specific and efficient ways to study the work of your favorite authors to create better dialogue, pacing, and character development in your own stories.
**This class is an advanced course.
Frank L. Cole has lived in such exotic places as the Philippines and Kentucky, and currently lives with his wife and three children out west. While he strived for years to earn his publishing credits, Frank considers sharing his message of “Exercising Your Imagination” to over 45,000 kids across the country as his greatest accomplishment. The Guardians of the Finisher’s Fury is Frank’s 7th published book.
Class: Writing Humor- Every good book needs at least a laugh or two. Some need more. In this class you’ll learn the basics of how to create hilarious scenes and genuinely funny characters.
You can learn more about his writing here
J Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld fantasy series, the Case File 13 monster series, the Shandra Covington series, a bunch of other books, multiple Facebook posts that he thinks are funny, Tweets that make no sense, letters with strange contents in the envelope (Cheetos do NOT mail well), e-mails with unintentionally funny typos (trying replacing pop with poop now and then), and blog posts where he makes fun of other authors. he has taught many writing classes and how to burp the alphabet in three easy lessons.
You can learn more about his writing here
Watch his author video here
Class: (Advanced) The Art of Creating Stronger Stories Through Subtlety- Quick, what is foreshadowing? Did you say a clue that makes the reader think, “Wow, something is coming?” If so, you are right . . . and wrong. The best foreshadowing is subtle enough that the reader doesn’t even know the clue was presented until they look back, and POW it hits them. You’ve learned how to create strong characters, sharp dialog, memorable scenes. Now learn how to make all of these better using the art of subtlety in this two hour advanced class.
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare. Weird? We know.) Life had different plans. After completing the first draft of her third novel, Jennifer teamed up with dream agent, Amy Jameson, and hopes to soon see her first novel in print. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as seek publication and improve her own writing.
You can learn more about her writing here
Advanced Class: Tension– Make your story a ticking time bomb! - Have you ever been in love with a story concept, written out the first five chapters and then hit the writers block wall? We all have, and the good news is, there is a solution. Let me help you up the stakes of your mystery novel, make your romance all the more desirable, twist your villain into knots, and make your reader genuinely wonder if happily ever after is still even a possibility.
Amy Jameson began her career in publishing working with renowned literary agent Lynn Nesbit at Janklow & Nesbit Associates in New York City, where her first client was Shannon Hale. In 2004, she and her husband Brandon formed A+B Works, an independent literary agency and design firm. Amy has always had a passion for young adult and middle grade fiction. Some of her favorite authors include Sharon Creech, Jerry Spinelli, Madeleine L’Engle, E.L. Konigsberg, Louisa May Alcott, Susan Juby, Cynthia Rylant and, of course, her own clients. Amy enjoys spending time with her three children, trying to grow things in her garden, cooking, singing, and reading really great books.
Learn more about her here
Class: Literary Agents and the Business of Publishing – Wondering what happens after you’ve written a book and you want to get it published? This class explains how the business of publishing works and the role that literary agents play in helping authors get published, including tips for finding the right agent for your particular book and appropriate querying of agents.
Clark Schaffer has spent the last 23 years contributing to the film industry as a production designer, art director, designer, visual effects artist. He has written screenplays that he is currently producing and directing. His credits include Ironman II, Daylight, Dantes Peak, Star Trek Generations, Sphere, Mystery Men and Batman Forever.
You can learn more about him here
Lois Brown’s love of all things mysterious and fantastical began at an early age when her five older brothers made her watch television shows such as “Dr. Who” and “Lost in Space.” (Yes, the originals.) Her passion for science fiction bloomed when, at age 12, she spent an entire summer buying “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” collector cards. She used her babysitting money earned over an entire year to get a full set. Now she likes to write her own stories that spark the imagination. Her first novel, CYCLES, was a top 5 finalist of The Kindle Book Review’s “Best YA Indie Books of 2012.” Its sequel, SPACES, promises to be just as delightful.
Class: How to write the most EPIC battle scene ever (or even just a good fist fight) - Pow! Whap! Ka-Boom! If you want your fight scenes to be a little more realistic than those of Batman and Robin, come learn how to zoom in and out of the action all while creating an exciting epic battle (or fist fight) that will knock your readers’ socks off.
Learn more about her here
Watch her author video here
Tahsha grew up in the best backyard a kid could ask for. It was there that she discovered her love for creating stories, but it wasn’t until she got older that she got the nerve to put her stories on paper. Tahsha is a member of Writers Cubed and a founder of Teen Author Boot Camp. She is also a wife, mother, avid TV watcher and lover of all things ancient and sugary.
Learn more about her here
Class: 10 Habits of Super Awesome Writers- Come to our class and we’ll study the habits that will turn your writing from a simple hobby to an awesome career.
Tyler Whitesides is the author of Janitors, a middle grade fantasy series. Writing has been a passion of his from a very young age. When he’s not working on a novel, Tyler enjoys cooking, fishing, and drumming. During his 27 year lifespan, he has had several odd jobs, including; firework shooter, taste tester, janitor, music teacher, recycleman, and cat sitter. He believes that any life experience can be turned into an interesting story. Tyler lives in Logan with his wife, Connie, who teaches 3rd grade.
Learn more about him here
View his Author video and book trailer here
Jo was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, to a literary, intellectual mother and an artist, naturalist father. Her parents instilled in her a love of art, books, nature, people and philosophy. As a child, though steeped in an atmosphere of creativity and culture, she experienced just enough poverty to make her street smart too. She grew up with five sisters, two brothers and countless cousins and was soon known for her skills as a storyteller.
Jo wrote her first book when she was six and has written ever since. She left home early to travel the world, visiting other countries and exploring their history, writings and belief systems. Jo schooled in London, studying the arts and British literature and then in Utah, first focusing on archaeology and the humanities, and finally settling on English with a writing emphasis. She married and had three sons with her childhood friend who is an artist and filmmaker, living in LA, Oregon, the Bay Area and now Utah. Jo’s next planned adventure is publication. She is represented by Rubin Pfeffer of East West Literary Agency.
Learn more about her here
Class: Be your character’s therapist- Become a head shrinker and make your characters come to life. We all know the rebel, the perfectionist, the shy kid and the weirdo. What makes them tick? Creating a psychological profile for your characters by examining their personality, upbringing or childhood trauma will make their motivations and behavior believable, compelling and relatable.