Bree Despain is the author of the Dark Divine trilogy and the 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 cats.http://www.breedespain.com
Class: The Secret Ingredient to Great Fiction
Why do some stories stick with you long after you've finished reading them? How come some characters feel like old friends you've known for years? Why do some stories fall flat while others sing? Come learn the answers and how to apply them to your own writing. Advanced.
C. Michelle Jefferies
C. Michelle Jefferies writes about grand adventures and the occasional fantastical monster that might live under beds, and in dark closets. She loves to explore what would happen if we allowed our imaginations to roam the countryside. When she is not filling pages with words, she loves to cook Chinese food, make art, take yoga classes, and play her handmade frame drums. She lives in the wilds of Wyoming with her family where the winds blow, and magic is abundant.https://cmichellejefferies.wordpress.com/
Class: Writing the "Super Team" in fiction. (Or, what Marvel is doing right.)
With superhero's being all the rage now, it makes sense to learn how to do it right. This class will show you the how, what and why of the power trio, five-man-band, elemental teams and more. And why Marvel is doing so well in the box office and on TV. This class is for moderate to advanced writers.
Daniel Swenson lives with his wife and children in Utah nestled between the foothills of the mountains and the shore of Utah Lake. He and his family enjoy hiking, riding bikes, playing outdoors and game nights where they play different board and card games.
Daniel has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since he first sat down and watched Star Wars, Voltron, Masters of the Universe and the Transformers. Since witnessing the spectacle of Star Wars Daniel has been an avid movie goer and found his love of reading at a young age when he journeyed in the lands of Krynn and Toril alongside the creations of R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
He is the creator and host of the Hugo-nominated podcast Dungeon Crawlers Radio. A successful podcast that covers all things geek including interviews with upcoming and best selling authors. Because of the show Daniel has been able to build relationships among the writing and publishing community that has helped to cultivate his talents.
For the past twenty years he has been refining his craft of story telling by creating profound and unique adventures for various gaming groups. Now he spreads his love of gaming with his kids and their friends.
His debut novel, "The Shadow Above The Flames," is available now through Immortal Works. He also has a short story, "Tremors Within The Storm," that will be included in Jason King's Valcoria Awakenings anthology later in 2017.http://www.Dragonsfate.com
Class: Workshop Instructor
Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She lives in the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy at her writing desk. Her works include THE ADVENTURES OF FINN MacCULLEN series, and her latest book, DEL TORO MOON, releases 2018 from Owl Hollow Press. Best thing ever: her YA series, GRIFFIN RISING, has been optioned for film.http://www.darbykarchut.com
Class: Class #1: The Beating Heart of Story-Telling: Female and Male Archetypes Class #2 Writing like An Anthropologist: World Building 101
Rebels, librarians, pilgrims, tricksters, and kings. Great stories begin with great characters, and some of the most powerful ones are often based on timeless archetypes. Come explore the various types found in literature and film, and how writing to these archetypes will give your story extra zip, boom, and bam!
What do Middle-earth, Hogwarts, and Panem have in common? They are fully realized civilizations or cultures. Discover the eight basic elements that make up all human societies, and how incorporate those elements into your own "brave new world” to give your story extra depth and richness.
Dustin Hansen, author of Game On! and the Microsaurs series, was raised in rural Utah, where he spent many days hiking red rock canyons that once belonged to the dinosaurs. But even the beautiful mountains couldn’t keep him away from his love of pixels and controllers. He has been writing and creating art for the video game industry for more than two decades. Dustin and his family live in rural Utah once again, where he is the current king of the family Mario Kart circuit.http://dustwrites.com
Class: Class #1: Podcasters, Youtubers, and Instagram- Oh my! Class #2 "I don't know what to write" and Other Famous Excuses for Quitters
Where do you go writing information and inspiration? Let's build the master list to end all master lists. Bring your phone and get ready to follow along - literally - as we discuss the best podcasts, youtubers, and more for writers.
My ideas are embarrassing. My stories are too personal. I don't know where to start! I'm not good enough. You've heard them all, but in this lively workshop we're going to destroy them all, ONE BY ONE, until the only excuse you have left is 'my fingers are tired from last night's writing binge!'
Elaine Vickers is the author of LIKE MAGIC and PAPER CHAINS (HarperCollins). She's also a chemistry professor at SUU and a mom of three who would rather have her students set things on fire than her kids. She always wanted to be a writer, except when she wanted to be an artist, a judge, an architect, or an Olympic gymnast.http://elainevickers.com
Class: Science in Fiction
Explosions! Time travel! Outer space! Using examples from books, TV, and movies, this class will cover some basic laws of science that can take your story to the next level, whether you’re writing scifi, fantasy, or even contemporary/historical! Taught by a university science professor. beginner-advanced
Emily R. King
Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. Emily lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat. Her debut, The Hundredth Queen, released June 2017.https://emilyrking.com/
Class: How to Compile a Story Bible and Why You Need One
A story bible is a must-have organizational tool for writers. We will discuss what a story bible is, when to build one, and what goes into it. This class will be especially helpful for those writing big, complex worlds and need to keep their characters and worldbuilding straight. We will also discuss what worldbuilding consists of and how to balance the right amount to create an immersive fictional universe.
Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. After teaching high school for a few years, she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer. The scenic detour provided world-building inspiration for writing. It gave her the vision to draft YA fantasies. She is the author of EVER THE HUNTED, EVER THE BRAVE (2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and ONCE A KING (2018 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Erin and her family currently reside in Utah.http://www.erinsummerill.com
Class: Pimp Out Your Prose
Want to publish a novel? Learn how to hit the reader with powerful literary devices and prose. Learn how to make each word in your novel count. One word can carry power and emotion with a punch. This class will teach you to cut the excess, and replace unnecessary lines with literary devices that will add depth and emotion to your writing. Literary devices are tools that should be in all writer's tool boxes. Come and pack your toolbox with the very best punch-worthy words.
Frank L. Cole is the author of 9 published books, and his 10th, Potion Masters Book One – The Eternity Elixir, releases January 2018.http://www.frankcolewrites.com
Class: "That's What She Said" - The Art of Character Development Through Dialogue
Learn how to weave the critical component of conflict into your dialogue and how to adjust the flow of your writing to keep the pace headed in the right direction. Discover how to uniquify (that might be a word... some day) your characters so they don't all end up sounding like the same piece of cardboard.
J Scott Savage
J Scott Savage is the author of eighteen published novels including the Farworld series, the Case File 13 series, the Mysteries of Cove series, the Shandra Covington series, and others. Savage's books have received starred review from Kirkus and Publishers weekly as well being Amazon Book of the Month , Barnes and Noble Select Book, and receiving several awards. Savage has visited over 1500 schools across the country urging students to change the world through Creativity.http://www.jscottsavage.com
Class: My Evil Plot is Working
Ever come up with a great story idea, only to have it fizzle after the first ten pages? Know how your story starts and ends, but unsure what to do in the middle? J Scott Savage will show you how to go from idea to plot including key milestones, mapping it out, what to do when you aren't sure what happens at a certain point, using multiple story lines, and much more.
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer Jenkins had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington, the Napoleonic Wars, and Ancient Sparta . . . until the writing began. She is the author of the NAMELESS trilogy (YA Fantasy, Month9Books) and co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, a federal non-profit organization dedicated to promoting teen literacy and authorship. She divides her free time between reading, writing music, taking spontaneous trips, researching random events from the past, and fostering her adrenaline junkie addictions.http://jajenkins.com
Class: Magic Systems
As a child, Jennifer Nielsen had the unfortunate habit of assuming she could do things that weren’t particularly safe, and Is lucky to still be in one piece. As an adult, she is nursing a serious addiction to Diet Mountain Dew and tries to avoid filling up on healthy food if dark chocolate is available.http://www.jennielsen.com
Class: Everything I Need to Know About Writing I learned from Hamilton.
Whether you're a fan of the hit musical or not, Hamilton is a master class on what to do and be as a writer.
Jo is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film and is a Taekwondo black belt. She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp. Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and community. She is passionate about the arts, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging. She has recently returned to school at BYU to pursue a degree in Public Relations.
Jo is a native Californian now living in the beautiful mountains of Utah with her three strapping sons.
Class: How to write a kick-butt fight scene!
Sometimes your characters have to get violent! Learn the keys to writing realistic and exciting fight scenes that will keep your readers on the edge of their seats!
“I write what I like to read,” says Johnny. “That guarantees me at least one fan.”
JOHNNY WORTHEN is an award-winning, best-selling author, voyager, and damn fine human being! He is the tie-dye wearing writer of the nationally acclaimed, #1 Kindle best-selling ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN. Among his other excellent and very read-worthy titles are the adult occult thriller BEATRYSEL, the award-winning mystery THE BRAND DEMAND, and the genre bending comedy-noir THE FINGER TRAP, winner of the Diamond Quill for best book of the year. And of course the continuation of THE UNSEEN Trilogy, with CELESTE and DAVID which also have won awards.
Trained in stand-up comedy, modern literary criticism and cultural studies, Johnny is a frequent public speaker, teacher and blogger. He’s an instructor at the University of Utah and an acquisitions editor for Omnium Gatherum, a publisher of unique dark fantasy, weird fiction, and horror.http://www.johnnyworthen.com
Class: A Novel in 90 Days-Fake it 'Til You Make It!
A confidence building exercise in discipline and creativity. Using focused self-delusion and the magick of positive thinking we discipline ourselves into a routine to encompass an entire project from inception to rough draft. The class is meant to inspire a writer to overcome their greatest obstacle - a completed book. The course offers concrete advice from tools to times, inspiration, pre-writing tactics and thematic considerations. Think like an author, act like an author. Be an author.
Kasie West is not a teen nor has she ever been to boot camp. But she used to be a teen and she wrote a book about boot camp (no she didn’t) so she definitely belongs here. She writes contemporary romance for HarperTeen and Scholastic (books like, The Distance Between Us, P.S. I Like You, The Fill-In Boyfriend, and more). When she isn't writing, she mainly plays taxi driver to one of her four kids, eats chocolate, or binges a television series on Netflix in record time.http://kasiewest.com
Class: Kiss and Tell: The art of writing a romance that gets people talking
Remember when you were a kid and you’d take Barbie and Ken’s head and smash them together because you had no idea how to kiss but you knew it must involve full facial contact? Sure, there are times we’d love to just smash our characters faces together and get on with it, but writing a good love story involves so much more than that. In this class we will discuss the elements of a romance that leave you dying for the characters to kiss.
Matthew J. Kirby
Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the middle grade novels The Clockwork Three, Icefall, The Lost Kingdom, Infinity Ring Book 5: Cave of Wonders, and The Quantum League series, the Dark Gravity Sequence, and the Assassin’s Creed series, Last Descendants. He was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, he has won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, the PEN Center USA award for Children’s Literature, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Award, and has been named to the New York Public Library’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing, and the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults lists. He is also a school psychologist, and currently lives in Utah with his wife and three step-kids.http://matthewjkirby.com
Class: Keynote Address
Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of over a dozen YA novels, including: 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Name of the Star, Suite Scarlett, and Truly Devious. She has collaborated with Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Robin Wasserman on The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and with John Green and Lauren Myracle on Let it Snow. She is the co-editor (along with Tim Federle) with the upcoming collection How I Resist, to benefit the ACLU. Maureen lives in New York City, and on Twitter @maureenjohnson.http://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com
Class: Kenote Address
McKelle George is a reader, editor, perpetual doodler, and associate librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books.http://mckellegeorge.com
Class: Retellings of Classic Literature
Reworking a fairy tale is one thing--but what about reworking classic works of literature from the greatest writers of our time (like, say, Shakespeare or Jane Austen)? Everyone knows that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but how do you find the balance between creating something that is wholly your own, while also keeping true to the original’s spirit? In this workshop, learn how to create a high concept story angle for your retelling, deal with the pressure of expectation while somehow keeping the story unpredictable, and above all, finding the balance between your inner fangirl/boy and the professional writer.
McKenzie Wagner is seventeen years old and already has six published books under her belt. An ambitious girl who began writing at age seven, McKenzie is best known for The Magic Meadow and the Golden Locket, published at age ten, and the Benotripia trilogy, the most recent book being released at age fourteen. Inspiring thousands of kids to follow their dreams, McKenzie has visited several elementary schools across the state of Utah and done numerous book signings in Costco, Barnes & Noble, and Hasting stores. When she isn't writing, McKenzie spends her time reading, acting, writing, and hoping Peter Pan will take her to Neverland.http://www.mckenziewagnerbooks.com
Class: Workshop Instructor
Michele Ashman Bell
Michele Ashman Bell grew up in St. George, Utah. In fourth grade her
teacher wrote on her report card that she had a tendency to daydream
and would probably do well with creative writing. Her love for books
and learning about people and places has helped her make her teacher's
prediction come true. Michele is the author of many books and Christmas stories. She is married and is the mother of four children,
and is a grandma of three granddaughters and one grandson. Aside from supporting her children in all of their many activities, she has taught fitness classes for over thirty years and currently teaches Zumba, she loves to travel and do research for her books and her favorite food is chocolate and cinnamon bears, preferably together.
Class: Rock your reader - using the five senses in writing
Imagine going to Disneyland but while you're there you aren't able to smell all the wonderful smells or tastes all the yummy treats like churros and popcorn. Imagine you can't hear the sounds of screams as people ride the rides, or hear the music from the parades and shows. Imagine you can't even see all the colors and characters, or feel the thrill of the wind as it rushes past your face on your favorite roller coaster. How boring and dull would that experience be? Using the five senses in your writing will make your stories and characters come alive. Learn how to Rock Your Readers in this fun, hands on (ears, eyes, nose and taste too) workshop that will supercharge your writing!
When he’s not saving the world from evil villains or changing diapers, Mikey Brooks is writing illustrating, or daydreaming. He’s published eight middle-grade books and several more picture books. He lives in Utah with his beautiful wife, their four adorable kiddos, five crazy chickens, and one or two invisible dragons. You can learn more about him at: www.mikeybrooks.comhttp://mikeybrooks.com/
Class: Words & Art: An Author/Illustrator's Journey
Words and Art are like the best couple ever. Better than ketchup and mustard, better than salt and pepper, better than baloney and cheese, even better than toilets and … you know. This presentation will discuss all the ways in which art and words are used together to make a story; picture books, chapter art, graphic novels, illustrated books, book covers, and using art as inspiration for your words.
Renee Collins started writing in high school, pouring her heart into love poems for boys that probably didn't deserve her ardent affection. As an adult, she's gotten a little wiser (though, not much,) but she still loves to write about heart-aching romance. She is the author of RELIC, UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN and REMEMBER ME ALWAYS. She lives in Colorado with her family and a parakeet named Dr Pepper.http://www.reneecollinsauthor.com
Class: Kiss and Tell: The art of writing a romance that gets people talking
Remember when you were a kid and you’d just smash Barbie and Ken’s heads together in a kiss? Sure, there are times we’d love to do that with our characters and get on with it, but writing a good love story involves much more than that. In this class we will discuss the elements of a romance that leave your readers dying for those characters to kiss.
Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the reading and telling of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. She has a PhD in English, emphasis on rhetoric and composition, from Penn State, and she teaches writing at Southern Utah University. Her debut novel, a historical YA fantasy, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, is out now from Knopf/Random House, and the sequel, LOST CROW CONSPIRACY, comes out March 2018. You can Find Rosalyn Eves on her website HERE.http://www.rosalyneves.com
Class: Building Castles from Sand: Strategies to Revise your Story
Good writing is often the product of good revising--but many authors (especially new ones) struggle to turn feedback into effective revision. Shannon Hale wrote that first drafts are “simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” In this class, we’ll talk about practical strategies for revising (for making sand castles), such as seeing plot issues and revising scenes on for increased tension.
ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the author of the instant New York Times bestselling novel, The Star-Touched Queen, and its companion, A Crown of Wishes. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Aru Shah and the End of Time, her middle grade debut, was inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani's all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in Georgia and says "y'all," but she doesn't really have a Southern accent. Follow her online at roshanichokshi.com and on Twitter at @roshani_chokshi.https://roshanichokshi.com/
Class: Keynote Address
Sara B. Larson
Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology (DARK BREAKS THE DAWN and BRIGHT BURNS THE NIGHT). She 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, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.
She’s online at www.SaraBLarson.com.
Class: Journal your way to better writing
One always wanted to be an author, one didn't start writing until later in life...but both were avid journal writers growing up (complete with pages of real life dialogue and events) and they both agree that journaling helped them hone their craft. How? Join best selling authors Kathryn Purdie and Sara B. Larson as they discuss how journaling and documenting "real life" can help take your dialogue, voice, and characters to the next level and truly make your writing stand out. (And they might even share a page or two of their actual journals with you, for kicks and giggles.)
Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, a YA fantasy series from Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read another textbook again. When she's not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, and watching her favorite TV shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.https://tricialevenseller.com/
Class: Proactive vs. Reactive Characters—Disney Princess Style!
Proactive characters are characters who DO things rather than have things done to them. In this class, we’ll examine the differences between proactive and reactive characters with examples from Disney princess movies and learn how to use characters to move forward plot.