Rachael Allen is a mad scientist who has held human brains before. By night, she writes Young Adult books while snuggling her two dire wolves. Harley Quinn is her favorite comic book character of all time, and if she had any superpower, it would be to stop time so she could take naps.
Writing Villains and Anti-Heroes
Ursula, Darth Vader, Harley Quinn, Maleficent. What is it that makes villains so fascinating?
This workshop will coach writers on how to create compelling villains, anti-heroes, and antagonists. We’ll talk about our favorite villains, the qualities that make for an interesting and 3-dimensional villain, and how to determine what kind of antagonist your book needs. We’ll work on our villains until they feel fleshed out and real, and we’ll create anti-heroes that you can’t help but root for.
Harley Quinn: Ravenous (HS)
Harley Quinn: Reckoning (HS)
The Summer of Impossibilities (HS)
17 First Kisses (HS)
Elana K. Arnold
Elana K. Arnold is not a pet hoarder. She promises. But she does spend most of her time trapped under a dog or a cat, with a bird on her head and two hungry tortoises waiting for their yum-yums. She's the author of many books for and about children and teens and shares her home with a few humans in addition to the other animals. You can find her online at elanakarnold.com.
Tension: What It Is, How to Exploit It, and Why You Want To. An examination of how tension in prose can be leveraged.
Red Hood (HS)
What Girls are Made Of (HS)
The House That Wasn't There (MS)
Far From Fair (MS)
The Question of Miracles (MS)
Ally Condie loves the Olympics, London, eating food she didn't have to cook, and reading books she didn't have to write. She used to teach high school English, and she loved everything about it except grading her students' research papers (no offense, former students, there were just a LOT of papers). She has a dog named Benedict and a cat named Charlie, and four kids who are maybe the funniest kids on the planet. She is an unskilled but enthusiastic skier and she will hike for miles (but please don't make her camp). She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling MATCHED series, and many other books including SUMMERLOST and THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE.
YA BASIC: What are the key elements to writing stories--and to having fun while you're doing it?
Here (Picture Book)
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe (MS/HS)
Mayra Cuevas is an award-winning journalist for CNN, the author of multiple novels for teens and co-founder of the Latinx Kidlit Book Festival. She has been nominated for multiple book awards but hasn’t won any... yet! She physically lives in Atlanta but her heart is still in Puerto Rico. Mayra loves to try new foods, belly pet her Chihuahua Maggie Moo, and talk to her 87-year-old abuelita. In high school she was horrible at sports, a theater/science club nerd and president of her student council.
Find the Story Only You Can Tell Workshop
We all have a story to tell, what is yours? In this workshop, former award-winning CNN journalist and critically acclaimed author, Mayra Cuevas, will guide students on creative contemplation exercises using meditation and visualization techniques. Students will learn to uncover memories, conversations and sensory experiences from key moments in their life. Like all authors, students will understand the value of their identity and personal narrative, in finding their voices as writers. Questions are encouraged throughout the session.
Does My Body Offend You? (HS)
Salty, Bitter, Sweet (HS)
)Alan Gratz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of a number of novels for young readers, including Prisoner B-3087, Refugee, Allies, Ground Zero, and Two Degrees. He has also, by his own calculations, eaten more than 15,000 pizzas in his lifetime.
"The Hero's Journey"
From the Ramayana to Star Wars to Harry Potter, "The Hero's Journey" is a universal story structure that can be found in many of the world's most lasting stories. Join author Alan Gratz to learn more about how you can use the Hero's Journey in your own work!
Two Degrees (MS/HS)
The Ghost Army (MS/HS) (Graphic novel)
Ground Zero (MS)
Prisoner B-3087 (MS)
Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal have been writing partners and creative soul mates for nearly a decade. Their co-authored debut young adult novel, I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, is a New York Times and Indie bestseller, and NAACP Image Award Nominee and a 2021 Book All Young Georgians Should Read. Their sophomore novel, Why We Fly, is a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a 2022 Book All Young Georgians Should Read. Together, they are two-time Georgia Author of the Year Nominees. Their novels have been named Barnes and Noble and Target YA book club selections and have also been optioned for film by Radar Pictures and Prominent Productions.
Kimberly and Gilly tackle timely and important topics in their novels, which focus on youth and social justice.
When not writing, Kimberly is the Chief Innovation Author for The People's Uprising, and Gilly is the Chief Legal Officer for a group of advertising agencies. They call Atlanta home and can often be found in their unofficial writing offices in coffee shops and pizza joints across the city.
Gilly is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary. Kimberly is represented by LaToya Smith of Arthouse Literary.
Presentation covers co-authoring, writing while still having other responsibilities, how to get past writers block, and finding your stories' voice as well as your voice as an author.
Neutron (date TBD)
How We Can Win (Nonfiction)
I’m Not Dying with You Tonight (HS)
Why We Fly (HS)
Jeramey Kraatz got his start writing X-Men vs Dracula fanfiction when he was a kid using plot lines he definitely stole from Gremlins 2: The New Batch. He still has some of those stories and keeps them under lock and key. Since then he's written The Cloak Society and Spacer Runners series, a forthcoming graphic novel about Lizzie Borden, and hundreds of English dub scripts for anime and video games like My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball, and Attack on Titan.
Whether you’re writing for young adults or exploring the past in a personal essay, conflict is at the heart of every story. It’s what moves plots, transforms characters, and builds tension. Conflict helps determine what details you present on the page, and can be a useful tool for pointing the reader toward a larger significance in your work. In this talk, Jeramey Kraatz explores the vital role conflict plays in writing—particularly in children’s books—and how you can use this essential literary device to amp up your own writing."
The Cloak Society (MS)
Space Runners (MS)
Nova McBee, a Seattle native, has lived nearly half her life in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia drinking coffee of all cultural varieties and making embarrassing language mistakes like the time she accidentally asked an Asian taxi driver to kiss her instead of help her. When she is not writing, she thrives on complex plots, deep conversation, ends of the earth adventures, and spending time with her family and friends. Calculated is currently in development to become a major motion picture. Emmy-Award winning screenwriter, Ann Peacock, best known for The Chronicles of Narnia, will adapt the novel for the screen.
Jumpstart to Story Structure & Plotting
You have a relatable character, a beautiful world, a killer concept, now all you need is that incredible way to put each part into story! Story structure and plotting are essential to writing a compelling story. Come learn a few basic structures and lots of fun, helpful plotting tools, tips, hacks!
Calculated, Book 1 (MS/HS)
Simulated, Book 2 (MS/HS)
Activated, Book 3 (MS/HS)
Liberated, Book 4, coming soon!
In 8th grade, Lisa fell down the stairs at school while carrying her violin.
Caught Up in the Characters! How to make them unique, sympathetic, and appealing to a wide audience.
The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames (MS)
The Forgotten Five: The Invisible Spy (MS)
As a professional musician, Matt McMann played an NFL stadium, a cruise ship, and the International Twins Convention. Now he writes the kind of spooky mystery-adventure books he loved as a kid. He’s hiked the Pacific Northwest, cruised Loch Ness, and chased a ghost on a mountain. While he missed Bigfoot and Nessie, he caught the ghost. He enjoys brainstorming new books with his wife, New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann; viewing his son Kilian McMann’s artwork; and watching his daughter, actor Kennedy McMann, on television. Visit him online at mattmcmann.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @matt_mcmann.
Monsters, Mysteries, and Adventure: How to Get Spooktacular Story Ideas - Do you love spooky stories full of mystery and adventure? Matt McMann will share how he comes up with fresh ideas for his shivering tales and how you can too! Filled with practical examples and fun exercises, this class will lead you on a path through the dark woods toward writing your own creepy stories.
MONSTERIOUS (May 2023) (MS)
ESCAPE FROM GRIMSTONE MANOR (MS)*
THE SNATCHER OF RAVEN HOLLOW (MS)*
*Releasing in May 2023
Dante Medema is an author of books for young readers. Passionate about stories and helping other writers, she spends entirely too much time on TikTok. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband, four daughters, two pups, and a room full of alien memorabilia—and books, of course.! When she’s not writing, she dabbles in baking, cake decorating, and reading up on enneagram personality types.
Think Outside The Book: Unique Structures and how to use them.
Message Not Found (HS)
The Truth Project (HS)
Brittney Morris' favorite video games include Undertale, Papa & Yo, and Life is Strange. Her favorite food is tonkatsu ramen and her least favorite food is okra of any kind. She is a Dance Dance Revolution master and will challenge literally anyone to a match including her own grandmother.
Ever wanted to know what it's like to write books? What about video games? I'll show you the ins and outs of what it's like to write fiction on the page and on the screen, what makes them different and similar, and how you can start a career in either or both!
The Jump (HS)
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Wings of Fury (HS)
The Cost of Knowing (HS)
Daria Peoples likes to take long walks in the desert with her Irish Golden Doodle, Zeus. She is a professional coffee drinker & daydreamer who often loses track of time.
Finding a Story in Your Heart: We will complete writing and drawing exercises to discover the story idea your heart wants to create.
Hello, Mister Blue (Picture book)
This is It (Picture book)
I’ve Got Next (Picture book)
Eliot Schrefer is a New York Times-bestselling author, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. In naming him an Editor’s Choice, the New York Times has called his work “dazzling… big-hearted.” Less known is that he plays video games just as often as he writes, and cannot be trusted around any open bag of marshmallows. He also has a cool scar from when he was bitten by an endangered ape in Congo! He was recently on The Daily Show talking to Trevor Noah--check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJRp8lEAUBU
First Line, First Paragraph, First page, First Chapter: How to manipulate tension to make an opening that can't be put down.
In an ideal world, the muse sits on your shoulder and sings sweetly while you transcribe their words. In the real world, first chapters are drafted and then edited and reconstructed, using craft techniques you might not even have heard about. In this workshop, we'll examine a couple of examples of first pages that make you want to read the next sentence, paragraph, page... until you're hooked. Then we'll practice using these structures in our own work. Participants will leave with a new and unputdown-able first page of a writing, or your money back. (Presenter note: since this workshop is free, you will receive $0 back.)
The Darkness Outside Us (HS)
Queer Ducks (HS)
The Lost Rainforest series (MS)
Although he writes kids' books now, Will pursued static trapeze performance for most of his twenties. He only got good enough to do local amateur shows, but somewhere out there is a video of Will doing a solo "merman" routine to Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid in a blond wig and shiny green leggings, accompanied by a plastic light-up turtle. Will already regrets sharing this information.
Help, I'm Stuck! Practical, easy tricks and tools for getting around the corners when you’ve got to write–for school or for fun–and the words just aren’t coming.
The Language of Seabirds (HS)
Catch That Dog (MS)
Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort (MS)
Maggie & Abby and the Shipwreck Treehouse (MS)
VANESSA L. TORREs
Vanessa L. Torres is a Mexican American author of books for young readers. Fun fact: she did not like to read as a child, mostly because she never saw herself in books. She's set on changing this through her books. But Vanessa hasn't always been a writer. And because becoming Indiana Jones never happened, she loves to reinvent herself every so often, which makes for awesome book material. Here's just a snippet of who she's been. "Cart-girl" on a golf course. Ballet dancer. The Minneapolis Junior Fire Chief. Waitress. Bartender. Shoe saleswoman, Flight medic in a helicopter. Paramedic in Guatemala. Server trainer for The Hard Rock Cafe. Firefighter. Rock climber. SCUBA diver. Trail runner. Ski patrol. A mother. A wife. An author!
Music as your Muse: How to use music as inspiration for your writing. Students will listen to several pieces of music and then draft short scenes inspired by what they hear. If time allows, students can share with the group at the end of the workshop.
The Turning Pointe (HS)
I’m basically a dork who would still be going to school if they’d let me. But they won’t (because weird), so I write fiction instead. All of the research, none of the quizzes. It’s heaven!
what makes me tick
-the great outdoors
-writing tips and tricks!
what makes me ticked off
-the fall forward/spring back time change (yes, BOTH. Sleep is not to be toyed with.)
-not much else! I'm pretty much the eternal optimist.
The Tail-Tale Heart: How to Write Your Own Animal Tale.
We discuss the three elements that each story must have, and focus on character to tell a compelling animal tale! A lot of fun and totally engaging! Participants will leave this session with the beginnings of their very own animal tale.
The Decomposition of Jack (MS)
A Dog Like Daisy (MS)
The Story Collector: A New York Public Library Book (MS)
Zeus Dog of Chaos (MS)
The 13th Sign (MS)
Katy Upperman is a proud graduate of the Puyallup School District. She is a Washington State University alum (go Cougs!), a Taylor Swift super-fan, and a makeup enthusiast. Her favorite social media platform is Instagram, her favorite movie is The Princess Bride (she writes kissing books, after all), and she once created her own original Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Currently, she lives down the street from Disneyland with her husband and two daughters, two spoiled kitties, and the cutest German Wirehaired Pointer there ever was.
First Words Workshop
Learn what makes a strong story opening, and how to appropriately critique peers' writing in this interactive workshop. Participants will submit a 500-word writing sample in advance, and works will be critiqued anonymously during the workshop. Attendees will leave knowing the elements that help to create a compelling story opening, and how to respectfully critique their peers' work. All writing samples will be critiqued by YA author Katy Upperman, and returned to participants at the close of the workshop.
The Impossibility of Us (HS)
Kissing Max Holden (HS)
WHO ARE WE?
WE ARE A PUGET SOUND YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP DEDICATED TO PROVIDING SECONDARY STUDENTS AN AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE WITH THE AUTHORS THEY READ.