2018 Authors & Workshops
When Soman was ten years-old, he randomly predicted a fire in his uncle's house and ever since then, his parents have been a little scared of him. When he is not predicting house fires, Soman enjoys playing tennis -- a sport he thought he would play professionally until all the other boys got bigger than him. Now he has a complex about being skinny and works out too much. If you meet him, ask him about his secret TWILIGHT obsession because he's afraid to talk about it in public.
BEAUTIFUL EVIL: Once upon a time, Good and Evil were easy to distinguish in stories (think every Disney cartoon ever made!). Now that we're more sophisticated readers and writers, we can't get away with cliched villains and the usual depictions of Evil. The world has changed, after all, and Good often masquerades as Evil and vice versa. What makes a villain compelling, then? What makes them believable? In this workshop, you'll a) do some hardcore critiques of Disney movies b) plot out new Rules of Evil and c) craft your own deliciously unique baddie and get a jump start on a killer story.
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD & EVIL: Quests for Glory (MS/HS);
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD & EVIL: The Last Ever After (MS/HS); THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD & EVIL: A World Without Princes (MS/HS);
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD & EVIL (MS/HS)
Completely normal and random and true facts about Rose:
She suffers from spontaneous laughter syndrome, often triggered from a joke told several days earlier. And sometimes she snorts. But let’s not talk about that. Actually, let’s forget that was ever mentioned, ok?
For as long as she can remember, people have laughed at her. Her defining moment (not trying to brag) was being nominated for funniest person in her family. Three years in a row. BAM!
She loves to find the humor in any situation. Even if it’s an awful, terrible, and creepy situation. Like living at a cemetery. Or riding in a hearse. Occupied. With a corpse. Jealous much?
Rose has met the man inside the Chucky Doll. True story! She even has a picture to prove it.
Rose's most paralyzing fear, ever? Moths. Yes, seriously. Don't judge.
She loves playing dress up with her adorable cat and puppy. The cat is still holding a grudge…
Show Me The Funny!
Did you know there are a bazillion different types of humor? One type is exaggeration. I will show you how to add humor to your writing and/or illustrations, how to find the funny in any situation, and what types of humor work best for your style.
There will be exercises (not the running and sweating kind-eww!) for writers and illustrators. This workshop will be a safe place. Anything said or done will not be held against you. But prepare to be outrageous and silly and funny. And totally serious. And I will have chocolate. So… remember to bring me some!
I Text Dead People (MS)
The Ungrateful Dead (MS)
Jeramey Kraatz is the author of THE CLOAK SOCIETY series and SPACE RUNNERS series. If he could choose to have any superpower, it would be telekinesis (mostly because he's lazy). Despite writing about kids on the moon, he's actually pretty terrified of space.
Trouble Talk: Author Jeramey Kraatz discusses how you can beef up your stories using conflict and dynamic dialogue.
Space Runners #1: The Moon Platoon (MS),
Space Runners #2: Dark Side of The Moon (MS)
Eliot Schrefer has journeyed deep into the jungles of Congo and the Amazon to research his novels. He's the author of Endangered, Threatened, and Rescued, survival stories about great apes which have twice been finalists for the National Book Award. He’s also written for the Spirit Animals series, and is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Rainforest. He’s got a scar from when he was bitten by an ape, and loves sharing stories about his animal friends.
Getting Animals into View:
Have a favorite animal in your life? Let’s talk about the best ways to get animals to come to life in stories. Arf! Hiss! Meow!
The Lost Rainforest (MS)
Before I became an author I did Internet start ups, back in the olden days when Amazon only sold books and the only search engine around was GoTo.com. I grew up in Amsterdam and while I don't know much about Disney, I can tell you all about Dutch speaking Smurfs. Since then I've lived everywhere from London to LA and everywhere in between. I do a good Southern accent. Aside from writing, I'm obsessed with Chapstick, Barre3, Christopher Marlowe, and Riverdale. Can we please talk about Jughead and Betty?
Your Personal Writing Process
My workshop will teach you how to develop your own personal writing process, and how to rely on that process for everything from developing a story to completing your first book to breaking through writers block and other "creative constipation" (I wish there was a prettier word to describe it but alas, that's what it is).
The Witch Hunter (MS/HS),
The King Slayer (MS/HS)
Dhonielle Clayton wishes she was born on a different planet and that's why she was born two weeks late and grumpy. She eats cupcakes upside down and is afraid of whales and other large sea mammals. She's really into pizza even though she's allergic to cheese. She wanted to be a doctor but earned a big fat F in Chemistry so she went back to reading books and became a teacher instead. She writes books because she's a nerd and loves words.
Diversity and writing, etc.
Tiny Pretty Things (MS/HS), Shiny Broken Pieces (MS/HS), The Belles (MS/HS)
Alan Gratz, the author of Prisoner B-3087, Code of Honor, Projekt 1065, Refugee, and The League of Seven series, has eaten a pizza for dinner almost every night for the past thirty years. That's approximately 10,500 pizzas. His favorite food is pizza.
The Hero's Journey--from the Ramayana to Star Wars and beyond, Joseph Campbell's "monomyth" is a universal story structure that can be found in many of the world's most lasting stories. When you've peeked behind the curtain, you'll never see a bestselling novel, blockbuster movie, or your own stories the same way ever again!
Refugee (MS/HS) and
Ban This Book (MS)
I used to work in video games as an artist! Also, when I was a kid, I was bitten on the eyelid by a rat. I'm hoping I get superpowers at some point, but I'm still waiting.
Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. He is currently working on Dragonwatch, the five-book sequel series to Fablehaven. A couple of decades ago, Brandon lived in Chile for two years where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a gold medal in a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma's house. He currently lives in Utah with his four kids and a dog named Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Imagination can take you places
Natalie C. Parker
Natalie C. Parker is the author of books about southern girls, gatorboys, and -- since she's not sure she can cuss in this bio -- kickbutt ladies on the deadly high seas. While her family is from the Deep South, she grew up in Virginia, Japan, Washington state (shout-out to Central Kitsap High!), and finally returned to her roots in southern Mississippi where she finished college before settling down in the surprisingly landlocked territory known as Kansas. She's as Gryffindor as they come and once ran in the direction of a potential gunman because she was convinced her partner was in potential danger. Her partner, who is as Slytherin as they come, has made her promise to think before she acts. Natalie has stared into the eyes of an alligator, followed a SCUBA instructor to a depth of 100 feet, and traveled the country with an a cappella signing troupe. All of which she thought about first.
Word by Word: Building killer first lines
Question: How much work can your first line really do? Answer: SO MUCH WORK. We'll analyze a few lines from some of your favorite novels as well as some of your own. Bring first lines if you've got 'em and we'll workshop them together.
BEWARE THE WILD (MS/HS)
BEHOLD THE BONES (HS)
THREE SIDES OF A HEART (HS)
Kiersten White is a super happy cheerful person whose house is decorated with skulls. She is probably shorter than you. She knows how to use nunchucks, but, sadly, that skill has never come in useful either as a mom or a writer.
Use Your Voice!
And I Darken (HS),
Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales (MS)
Kiera Cass is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Selection Series and The Siren. She's super into boy bands, office supplies, and watching nail art videos while never actually doing her nails.
ALL THE QUESTIONS! Come and ask all the random questions you've ever had about publishing from writing the first paragraph to what to do once your book is on a bookstore shelf... And if you don't care about that, we can talk about episodes of New Girl instead.
Ally Condie used to work at a shave-ice shack as a teenager. She ate so many tigers' blood shaved-ices that it now runs through her veins. She likes to hike and isn't afraid of falling, which is good because she's not the most coordinated person on the planet. When she was in her twenties, Ally went to a Britney Spears concert wearing a matching t-shirt with her mom and it's still one of her favorite memories. She's really good at seeing famous people at the New York City airport. So far, her best ones are Rihanna and Benedict Cumberbatch. One time she went to the Hearst Castle with Brendan Reichs and Soman Chainani and they saw a ghost. It was so spooky they still don't like to talk about it. Ally lives outside of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children.
My workshop is about the elements of story and how to put them together using the things you love anyway--like sports, music, art, etc. Write what you know AND what you love!
Sophie Jordan grew up on a pecan farm in the Texas hill country, where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former English teacher, she's the New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of over thirty novels. Her young adult FIRELIGHT trilogy is optioned for a TV series. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plot lines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows.
Making Smooches: YA Romance Is More Than A Kiss...
Reign of Shadows (MS/HS);
Rise of Fire (MS/HS);
Marissa has lived in Tacoma her whole life and currently resides with her husband and twin daughters. She wrote a whole lot of Sailor Moon fanfiction as a teenager, has cosplayed as Princess Leia, Princess Zelda, Princess Serenity, and a Klingon, and she currently drives an orange VW bug dubbed the Rampion.
Writing a Graphic Novel:
Have you ever thought about writing comics or graphic novels? We'll discuss how the process differs from writing a prose novel (and also what the two formats have in common), how to communicate your vision to an illustrator, and some of the nitty-gritty mechanics of organizing your story into script format.
Wires and Nerve Vols. 1 & 2 (MS/HS),
Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time. When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure. She is the author of Side Effects May Vary, Ramona Blue, and Dumplin’, which is soon to be a major motion picture. Puddin', the companion to Dumplin', will publish on May 8th, 2018. You can visit Julie at www.juliemurphywrites.com.
Some of the best stories come from personal experience. Come hear about how Julie Murphy has cultivated her life experiences into fiction and discuss how you might be able to do the same whether you're interested in high fantasy, contemporary, or something in between.
RAMONA BLUE (HS),
I have an almost debilitating fear that salespeople will try to help me shop. This has led me to developing a fake yawning problem, which doubles as a tell for when I'm lying. I own every Taylor Swift album ever recorded, including the Ryan Adams one covering 1989. I want to work on the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 Netflix reboot so badly that I often fall asleep scheming ways to get me into an elevator with Joel Hodgson so I can ambush him. I like sandwiches. A lot. Ally Condie and I once hiked a beach trail in San Simeon that Soman Chainani was too afraid to attempt. People die in my books a lot. I love dogs and cats but not birds. I can open bottles with my wedding ring. I am Spartacus.
What Not To Do
A very practical workshop on the "Don'ts" to avoid when writing a first novel.