WIFYR 2014

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Thanks for using the WIFYR Conference web-app. This app has been tuned specifically for the iPhone/iPod-Touch, but you may find it works with other smart phones.

The Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference (WIFYR) is the only Utah conference to feature five day small-group workshops with hands-on instruction and critique. WIFYR is dedicated to helping beginners to professionals hone their craft. In addition to the five day morning workshops, WIFYR also offers la carte mini workshops. Included with morning registration or as an additional option are the many afternoon lectures presented by a variety of professional faculty, agents and editors.

This webapp has been provided by Lake Mountain Media, with coding by Darvell Hunt, who just LOVES coding webapps for smartphones (as his photo shows!). All conference content is property of the WIFYR Conference and is used with permission.

To install this app on your iPhone, click the + symbol below, or on the box with the arrow going to the right, and then select "Add to Home Screen." You will still need the Internet to run after Installation. You may also run this app from your browser without installing. Note that if you do install the app, the blue links on the comment board may not work correctly, as they require the browser naviation buttons to navigate back to the comment board.

If you have specific feedback, including suggestions for next year's app, please send them to:

info@lakemtn.com

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Conference Venue: The Waterford School

The Waterford School
Performing Arts Building
1700 East 9550 Souht #800
Sandy, UT 84093

DIRECTIONS AND PARKING

9400 South is accessible from 1300 East, if coming from the north or south; 2000 East/Highland Drive if coming from the north; and 9000 South (which curves into 9400 South) if coming from 1-15 from the west.

To reach Waterford's Performing Arts Building, #800:

1. Travel along 9400 South (heading either west or east) toward 1700 East.

2. Turn south onto 1700 East.

3. Take the second right (west) at 9545 South; you will see a sign that says Speed Limit 10 and another that says Concert Hall | Administration | Maintenance.

4. Pull into the Event Parking (a gravel parking area) on your right.

5. The Performing Arts Building, #800 is the south-most building on the campus; enter through the east doors.

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2014 - 15th Annual Conference:
Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers

June 16-20, 2014

The Waterford School
Performing Arts Building
1700 East 9550 Souht #800
Sandy, UT 84093

CHECK-IN INSTRUCTIONS

Check-in for full-day conference attendees is between 7:30-8:30 am on Mondayjune 16 at the east entrance of the Performing Arts building (#800). Photo ID is required. You will receive a name badge, notebook, and pen at the door. The name tag is required for admittance to all morning and afternoon sessions. As part of the conference's continuing initiative to go green, please note that this welcome packet will not be available at the door for attendees. You are instead encouraged to download this packet to a mobile device. Following registration on Monday, all attendees will participate in orientation before heading to their workshop.

For half-day (afternoon only) conference registrants, check-in is between 1:00-2:00 pm Mondayjune 16 at the same location listed above. Please bring a photo ID. Your registration packet will include a name badge, which will be required to attend all afternoon sessions.

Participants attending the mini workshops should check-in on the day of their first mini workshop. Those registered for the mini workshop on Monday morning will check-in between 7:30-8:30 am. If your first mini workshop is on any other day, please arrive that day for check-in between 8:00-8:20 am. Check-in will occur in the same location as is listed above. Photo ID is required. The mini workshops begin prompty at 8:30 am, so please arrive on time to check-in. If you are attending more than one mini workshop, check-in is only required on the day of your first workshop. On all other days, just go straight to your class at 8:30.

Morning Workshops:

Ken Baker: Picture Book Class

Shawn Stout: Chapter Book, Middle Grade

Cheri Pray Earl: The Lab (Middle of the Novel)

Carol Lynch Williams: Novel Class

A E Cannon: Novel Class

Cynthia Leitich Smith: Advanced Class

Greg Leitich Smith: Advanced Class

J. Scott Savage: Writer's Boot Camp

Lisa Mangum: Full Novel


Mini Workshops:

Monday -- Emily Wing Smith: CHARACTERIZATION: Creating Characters Who Are Easier to Love

Tuesday -- Sherry Meidell: ILLUSTRATION: Stepping into Your Pictures

Wednesday -- Brodi Ashton: WORLDBUILDING: Ten Questions to Ask Yourself, and Ten Mistakes Amateurs Make

Thursday -- Jennifer Neilsen: PLOTTING: The Tangled Webs We Weave

Friday -- Ann Dee Ellis: VOICE: How to NOT "Sound Like an Adult Trying Very Hard to Imitate a Teenager" (Direct Quote from Rejection Letter)


Special Guests:

James Dashner: Keynote Speaker

Kristin Ostby: Editor, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

John Cusick: Agent, Greenhouse Literary

Michelle Witte: Agent, Mansion Street Literary Management

Amy Jameson: Agent, A+B Works

Mornings

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Mornings

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Special Guests

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Ken Baker

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Picture Book Workshop

In an addition to workshopping and critiquing your existing picture book stories, we'll take a deep dive into writing techniques and key story elements that can make your picture books rise from the ordinary to outstanding stories that will grab editors' interest.

BIO: In addition to being happily married and the father of five, Ken Baker is the author of the picture books OLD MACDONALD HAD A DRAGON, COW CAN'T SLEEP, and BRAVE LITTLE MONSTER. He also writes YA, middle grade, and chapter books. Ken loves playing sports and going on adventures. His favorite food groups are chocolate and ice cream. He grew up in the California Bay Area, which fueled his love for sandy beaches and the ocean. Living in Utah has introduced him to the joys of camping and hiking.

Best children's or YA book you read last year: Not sure I can pick one. I loved STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson, RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke and RUNAWAY KING by Jennifer Nielsen.

Best writing hint: If you can't feel your characters' emotions as you write, your readers won't feel them either. Know what really drives your characters from the inside, get inside their emotions and thoughts, and then share them through sensory detail and showing.

Shawn Stout

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Chapter Book, Middle Grade

Focusing on developing your middle grade/chapter book and receiving in-depth feedback on your writing, this class will help you sharpen your craft and work toward completion of publishable work. The class will include writing exercises and brief lectures with a focus on character and voice. Come ready to revise and think critically, and to have fun!

BIO: Shawn K. Stout is the author of the middle grade series PENELOPE CRUMB (Penguin/Philomel), chronicling the adventures of a quirky fourth grader with a big nose who tries to fill the hole left by her father's death. PENELOPE CRUMB NEVER FORGETS and PENELOPE CRUMB FINDS HER LUCK are the second and third book in the series. The fourth book, PENELOPE CRUMB IS MAD AT THE MOON, is scheduled to release in September 2014. Stout is also the author of the NOT-SO-ORDINARY GIRL series (Simon & Schuster, Aladdin), also known as the Fiona Finkelstein books.

Stout has an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and more dirty dishes than you would ever believe.

Best children's or YA book that you read last year: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

Best writing advice: Keep going.

Web site: www.shawnkstout.com

Cheri Pray Earl

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The Lab (Middle of the Novel)

From Scraps to (manu)Scripts: Conquering the Murky Middles. Rescue those stalled-out novel manuscripts from your computer boneyard and bring them to this innovative, paddling-through-the-murky-middles workshop. This is a workshop for those who have polished two or three beginning chapters in a WIFYR (or other) workshop in the past, but who need help getting the rest of their novel on paper and submission-worthy.

Workshop Goal: "Finish, Polish, and Submit" is the mantra of this workshop. For five days, you will work harder than you have ever worked before (and so will Cheri), you will work smarter than you have ever worked before, and you will experience writing success like you have never experienced before.


BIO: I've written five novels and several essays for publication, but none of my novels have been published because I am so slow at revising and because, well, I'm a teacher. (Editor's note: She actually has 3 books published with her name on them: JUST IN TIME series!) I also have a bone yard of stories and essays I've begun but then abandoned. The good news is that two of my novels are revised and with my agent now and two others--co-written with Carol--are with a new Utah-based publisher. Such good news is rare for me. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is my favorite book and has been a huge influence in shaping my writing voice and on the way I tell stories. Isn't TKM everyone's favorite book? Harper Lee is also my favorite kind of writer: reclusive.

I am married and have five children and five grandchildren--the best and greatest story of my life.

C L Williams

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Novel - Carol Lynch Williams

Did you know when people write they make the same mistakes over and over? In this novel class (you may bring young adult or middle grade work) we will look for those repeated mistakes, look at the structure of the novel and work on writing well. We'll check to see if you've started your book in the right place, talk about strong language, and make sure good dialogue, sense of place, and the forward movement of plot are all working together. We won't ONLY be hard at work making our novels the best they can be. As Jack Torrence says in THE SHINING, "All work and no play . . ." (you know the rest). We'll laugh our butts off, prepare for any contest the conference throws our way, and just plain have a lot of fun together.

BIO: Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 25 books for kids and teen readers. She runs Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers--which features a publication prize from Familius (www.wifyr.com), has an MFA in Writing for Children and Adolescents from Vermont College and writes on an active blog with fellow writers Ann Dee Ellis and Kyra Leigh Williams (www.throwingupwords.wordpress.com). She teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. Her books include THE CHOSEN ONE, GLIMPSE, MILES FROM ORDINARY, WAITING, and two books forthcoming: SIGNED, SKYE HARPER and THE HAVEN. She is proudest of her five daughters who are Carol's most perfect creative effort, ever.

Best writing tip: Write like writing is your job. Instead of waiting until after every other chore is done--rewarding yourself with time to write, write as though you are collecting a paycheck for the time you put in. Then you will collect a pay check.

A E Cannon

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Novel

Do you love to read and discuss young adult novels? Have you ever wanted to write one yourself? Then join me for an information-packed, fun-filled, week-long workshop at WIFYR this year.

In our class we will read and critique twenty pages of class members' manuscripts. Most of the class instruction will grow out of these sessions. We will also analyze a number of young adult novels currently on the market, asking ourselves what makes these books uniquely young adult. Along the way, we'll discuss the basic elements of fiction--character, setting, plot--and offer ideas about handling them in your own work.

What else? We'll share practical information on issues that confront all writers--how to handle things like writers' block, discouragement, and all the other things that plague even the most seasoned of professionals.

Also, there will be cupcakes.


BIO: Ann (A. E.) Cannon was born in Salt Lake City but grew up in Provo, Utah where she attended public schools and graduated from Brigham Young University. When Ann was six, she was hospitalized for kidney disease and missed a year of school, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She became an avid reader and gained a life-long interest in books written for young readers. While in graduate school, Ann took an adolescent literature class that changed her life. She began writing novels for young adults and eventually won the Delacorte Press Prize for CAL CAMERON BY DAY, SPIDER-MAN BY NIGHT.Since then she has published thirteen more books, including CHARLOTTE'S ROSE and (mostly recently) SOPHIE'S FISH. Ann has also published feature articles in local and national magazines and currently writes a weekly column for The Salt Lake Tribune (www.sltrib.com). She and her husband, Ken, are the parents of five sons and have welcomed three daughters-in-law and two granddaughters into the family. Ann and Ken live in Salt Lake City with two dogs, two cats, two parakeets, and one parrot. Visit her on facebook or on her blog at http://anncannon.blogspot.com/.

Best children's novel recently read: Right now I'm reading a charming middle-grade novel called ROOFTOPPERS by Katherine Rundell. It's about a young girl who discovers a whole secret world on the rooftops of Paris.

Favorite writing hint: It's always a good idea to stop before you write yourself out. If you stop in the middle of something--a scene or even a sentence--you'll have an easier time starting up the next day.

C L Smith

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Advanced Class - Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith will lead students in critique, writing exercises, and discussions of elements of craft, both in general and tailored to participants' individual works in progress, with an eye on issues of concern to all. Some prior preparatory work and homework during the conference may be required. Cynthia's style is upbeat, warm, and occasionally humorous, but no one will be allowed to sit back and let others carry the conversation.

PREREQUISITES: The Advanced Classes are typically reserved for those who have attended WIFYR three times. Equivalent education can be substituted. Please email staff@wifyr.com with your qualitifications and if you haven't attended three classes at wifyr, a 5 page sample of your writing.


BIO: Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling young-adult author of the TANTALIZE series, the FERAL series, and RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME. Her novels have received numerous awards and honors and are often noted for their diverse protagonists, humor, lyricism, fantastical elements, and compelling action. Cynthia has also published young-adult short stories, narrative nonfiction, graphic novels, and books for younger children. Cynthia was named a Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers in recognition of RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME and has been twice featured at the National Book Festival. Most recently, she was named the first Spirit of Texas Young Adult author by the Young Adult Round Table of the Texas Library Association and the first young adult author to be honored with the Illumine Award by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. Her website at www.cynthialeitichsmith.com was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer's Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ was listed as among the top two read by the children's/YA publishing community in the SCBWI "To Market" column. She is a member of the Austin chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and is a lifetime member of the Writers' League of Texas. Cynthia makes her home in Central Austin with her husband, award-winning children's young-adult author Greg Leitich Smith.

Best children's or YA book you read last year: DARK TRIUMPH (His Fair Assassin, Book 2) by Robin LaFevers

Best writing hint: The key to fixing your draft is already hinted at in the existing text. But you might want to delete the whole thing and start over anyway.

G L Smith

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Advanced Class - Greg Leitich Smith

The advanced workshop will consist of writing exercises, readings, and homework associated with the works in progress, as well as in-class critiques. Participants will be asked to submit 30 pages of their WiPs and be prepared to discuss those of other students.

PREREQUISITES: The Advanced Classes are typically reserved for those who have attended WIFYR three times. Equivalent education can be substituted. Please email staff@wifyr.com with your qualitifications and if you haven't attended three classes at wifyr, a 5 page sample of your writing.


BIO: A native of Chicago, award-winning author Greg Leitich Smith now lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, author Cynthia Leitich Smith, and their cats. His middle grade/tween novels include the Parents' Choice Gold Award-winning and Junior Library Guild Selection, NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO (Little Brown/IntoPrint); its companion TOFU AND T.REX (Little Brown/IntoPrint); the Junior Library Guild Selection CHRONAL ENGINE (Clarion); and the forthcoming LITTLE GREEN MEN AT THE MERCURY INN (Roaring Brook). He is also published in the picture book and YA short story. He holds degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and the University of Texas, and a degree in law from the University of Michigan. His web page is http://www.gregleitichsmith.com and he blogs at http://greglsblog.blogspot.com. An accomplished workshop leader and teacher, Greg believes in writing exercises and read-alouds that directly serve the manuscript being workshopped.

Best children's or YA book you read last year: THE PROBLEM WITH BEING SLIGHTLY HEROIC by Uma Krishnaswami and THE TRUE BLUE SCOUTS OF SUGAR MAN SWAMP by Kathi Appelt. Aest writing hint: READ.

J. Scott Savage

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Writer's Boot Camp

No offense to the other classes at WIFYR, but this is the Special Forces of writing instruction. You'll come in a hungry writer and leave a lean, mean, novel machine. Think you have what it takes? Submit fifty pages and why you think you're ready to become a green beret of writing. (As a side benefit, you'll have the experience of doing a "Savage Edit.")

During the conference, attendees of this class will have the opportunity to pitch a book, one-on-one, to an editor or agent.

PREREQUISITES: The Writer's Boot Camp is typically reserved for those who have attended an Advanced Class at WIFYR. This (typically) adds up to attending WIFYR three times and then attending a fourth for the Advanced Class. Equivalent education can be substituted. Please email staff@wifyr.com with your qualitifications and if you haven't attended an advanced class at wifyr, a 5 page sample of your writing.


BIO: J. Scott Savage has been reading and writing for as long as he can remember. (He regularly cut school to go to the library.) But it wasn't until he published his first book just over ten years ago that he realized it was something he wanted to do full time. He has since published eleven novels including the FARWORLD FANTASY series by Shadow Mountain, the CASE FILE 13 middle grade series by Harper Collins, and DARK MEMORIES, the first horror novel published by a mainstream LDS publisher. Scott has presented at more than 500 schools, taught numerous writing classes, and presented at many writing conferences.

Writing Tip: Always give yourself permission to make mistakes. If you aren't afraid of failure in your WIP, you aren't trying hard enough.

Lisa Mangum

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Full Novel Class

"I Finished Writing My Book--Now What?" For this class, we will spend all week together editing and polishing each person's full novel. We will discuss structure, examine character arcs and motivation, strengthen plot and sub-plot threads, and identify areas for improvement. This class will contain a high volume of reading material, and students must be prepared to provide helpful feedback notes regarding each novel.

During the conference, attendees of this class will have the opportunity to pitch a book, one-on-one, to an editor or agent.


BIO: 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 four award-winning books: THE HOURGLASS DOOR trilogy and AFTER HELLO.

Best MG/YA book I read last year: ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell

Best writing hint: Give yourself permission to write something stupid. I'm sometimes paralyzed by the pressure of perfection, when in reality all I need to do to get past that block is to write something stupid, knowing I can throw it away tomorrow. It's liberating to know that my words don't have to be perfect the first time around.

Carol Williams

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Writer's Boot Camp - Carol Lynch Williams

For writers who want a bit more private instruction on their writing (10 attendees). It includes:

* Smaller class size (10 attendees)
* Synopses and/or cover letters discussed
* More individualized attention
* Special guest visits
* Marketing instruction
* 10-minute pitch session with an editor or agent

Bio: Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 25 books for kids and teen readers. She runs Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (in it's 14th year), has an MFA in Writing for Children and Adolescents from Vermont College and writes on an active blog with fellow writers Ann Dee Ellis and Kyra Leigh Williams (www.throwingupwords.wordpress.com). Her most recent books include THE CHOSEN ONE, GLIMPSE, MILES FROM ORDINARY, WAITING. THE HAVEN is forthcoming. She teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University and has garnered several writing related awards. She is proudest of her five daughters who are Carol's best creative effort, ever.

Workshops

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Emily W Smith

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CHARACTERIZATION: Creating Characters Who Are Easier to Love

Character- ization is one of the pillars of successful writing and it's not only essential to good writing, it's also something that can be learned. Characterization can be as short as a single sentence or as long as your whole book. Come learn how it works.

BIO: Emily Wing Smith's novel, THE WAY HE LIVED (Flux/Llewellyn) debuted in 2008 and won the the Utah Book Award in young adult fiction. BACK WHEN YOU WERE EASIER TO LOVE (Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin) released in 2011 and was named one of LA Public Library's Best Young Adult Books that year. Emily lives with her husband in South Jordan, Utah.

Sherry Meidell

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ILLUSTRATION: Stepping into Your Pictures

Jessie Wilcox Smith said about her teacher, Howard Pyle: "There was your story, and you knew your characters, and you imagined what they were doing, and in consequence you were bound to get the right composition because you lived these things....It was simply that he was always mentally projected into his subject." --"Howard Pyle American Master Rediscovered"

How do you put down on paper what you are feeling about the character and the story? How do you create motion and life in your illustrations? What does the setting say about the story and the character? Will use of color and design help to create a mood for your story?

Bring two sketch books, pencils, a black pen, kneaded eraser, your choice of medium such as watercolors (and watercolor paper), acrylics, brushes, colored pencils and watercolor paper. Come prepared to work and explore.


BIO: Sherry Meidell has spent years researching childhood. First having spent many years as a child, followed up by intensive research on the characteristics of boys--five boys to be specific. Her experiences include iguanas in the uppermost reaches of her closet and Rosey Red Feeder Fish in the family bath tub. She had the heart of an artist as soon as she could wrap her stubby fingers around a fat crayon. Now she specializes in brushes and watercolor with pencil for detail. She takes great joy in the world of children's book illustration. Sherry has illustrated many books. The last three are EMMA JO'S SONG, FULL STEAM AHEAD, and THE DAY THE PICTURE MAN CAME written by Faye Gibbons and published by Boyds Mills Press. She is a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the Utah Watercolor Society.

One of my favorite books is LOST & FOUND by Shaun Tan. I just saw the academy award winning short of Lost & Found. It was interesting to compare the book with the animation short. Leonardo DaVinci said the artist's job is to draw everything in this Universe, visible and invisible. Shaun Tan does this with his art and his writing.

Best writing Tip: My writing tip is taken from Twyla Tharp THE CREATIVE HABIT: LEARN IT AND USE IT FOR LIFE. She talks about muscle memory and how some authors have studied writing by typing other author's works. It trains your brain and your muscles. It's kind of like studying a book by laying down and putting the open book over your face and taking a nap. I'm sure some of the information from the book can be taken into the brain that way. That's the way I would like to study math.

Brodi Ashton

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WORLDBUILDING: Ten Questions to Ask Yourself, and Ten Mistakes Amateurs Make

If your novel takes place in a different world than our own, or in a different version of our world, then this is the class for you! We'll be discussing why what you DON'T show is as important as what you DO show. Here you'll learn how to use your created world to serve your story, and prevent your story from serving your world.

BIO: Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, I grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, "So, which mythological character do you most resemble?" Despite these social shortcomings, I found a great husband who's always my first reader. We live in Utah with our two young boys, who still have no idea why I'm at the computer all the time. I received a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master's degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. I live for chocolate covered cinnamon bears. I love me some Diet Coke. My debut book EVERNEATH (the first in a trilogy) came out January 24, 2012 with Balzer and Bray (HarperCollins). The sequel EVERBOUND came out January 22, 2013.

J Neilsen

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PLOTTING: The Tangled Webs We Weave - Jennifer Neilson

Great stories rarely unfold in a straight line. Instead, they weave in a gradually expanding circle, drawing the reader in to a new world, with interesting characters and exciting challenges. Find out how to take your plot to the next level, and how to enrich your stories with even deeper possibilities. Also, there might be chocolate.

BIO: New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer Nielsen was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her husband, three children, and a dog that won't play fetch. She is the author of The Ascendance trilogy, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE; Book 6 of the Infinity Ring series, BEHIND ENEMY LINES; The Underworld Chronicles, beginning with ELLIOT AND THE GOBLIN WAR; and the forthcoming PRAETOR WAR series. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains.

Hint: Go back to your favorite book from the genre in which you're writing, and this time, go through it like it's a textbook. Study it to learn why the book worked so well. What did the author do with character, dialogue, word choices, etc, that you liked? The more you can see those techniques in someone else's writing, the better you can bring it into your own writing.

Favorite book from last year: Only one? If so, it'd have to be THE DARKEST PATH by Jeff Hirsch. But I also loved ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers.

Ann Dee Ellis

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VOICE: How to NOT "Sound Like an Adult Trying Very Hard to Imitate a Teenager" (Direct Quote from Rejection Letter)

When agents and editors are asked what they are looking for, often they say "a fresh voice." What is a fresh voice? What does that mean? This elusive term is the make or break for a novel. It's what keeps readers engaged. It's what drives all other elements of the book. It comes through learning to let go and be honest, or in other words, let go and play--something many of us have forgotten how to do. Come play!

BIO: Ann Dee Ellis's first book, THIS IS WHAT I DID, received three starred reviews and was listed on Voice of Youth Advocates -- 2007 Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers List, American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults for 2007, and was a 2008 International Reading Association honor book. Her second book, EVERYTHING IS FINE, was released March 2009. Kirkus described the book as "Impressionistic, elliptical and full of feeling" and VOYA (starred review) called it "a story so painful you want to read it with your eyes closed. It is a stunning novel." Besides writing, Ann Dee teaches part-time at Brigham Young University and builds forts out of couch cushions for her husband and four little boys.

James Dashner

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Keynote Speaker

James was born and raised in Georgia but now lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. He has four kids, which some might think is too many but he thinks is just right. Once upon a time, James studied accounting and worked in the field of finance, but has been writing full time for several years. (He doesn't miss numbers. At all.) In his free time, James loves to read, watch movies and (good) TV shows, snow ski, and read. (Reading was mentioned twice on purpose.) Most of all, he's thankful that he gets to make a living writing stories and considers himself pretty much the luckiest guy on the planet. He has written the MAZE RUNNER series, the 13TH REALITY series, the JIMMY FINCHER series, the first book of the INFINITY RING series, and EYE OF MINDS.

Writing hint: Make daily word count goals and track your progress!

Best book: DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale

Kristin Ostby

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Editor with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Kristin Ostby is primarily interested in middle-grade fiction, as well as middle-grade nonfiction and picture books. Since Kristin joined Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in 2012, she has acquired titles by New York Times best-selling author Alex Morgan, Edgar Award--nominated Stuart Gibbs, Jessica Lawson, Mark Walden, Daniel Miyares, Barry Denenberg, Mark Pett, and Anica Rissi. Prior to joining BFYR, Kristin was an editor with Penguin Young Readers Group (Grosset & Dunlap/Price Stern Sloan) and Albert Whitman & Company. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

John Cusick

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Agent with Greenhouse Literary

John M. Cusick is an agent with Greenhouse Literary, representing picture books, middle-grade, and young adult. He is the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (Candlewick Press). He is a regular speaker at writers conferences, and keeps a blog at www.JohnMCusick.com. You can also find him on twitter: @johnmcusick. He lives in Brooklyn.

Best children's or YA book you read last year: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth E. Wein

Best writing hint: Consistency. Write much, write often, and write every day if you can.

Books

GIRL PARTS, Candlewick Press 2010

CHERRY MONEY BABY, Candlewick Press 2013

Michelle Witte

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Agent with Mansion Street Literary Management

As a children's literary agent with Mansion Street Literary Management, Michelle Witte brings with her a wealth of experience within the publishing industry, from the idea and writing stages to editing, design and production, and to bookselling and publicity. Previously, she worked as an editor with nonfiction publisher Gibbs Smith and as a copy editor and reporter with the Deseret Morning News. She is the author of THE CRAPTASTIC GUIDE TO PSEUDO-SWEARING (Running Press, 2012) and THE FAKER'S GUIDE TO THE CLASSICS (Lyons Press, 2013). She lives in Utah. You can learn more about her at michellewittebooks.com.

Best children's book I read last year: A TALE DARK & GRIMM by Adam Gidwitz

Best writing advice: Know everything you can about the world in which your characters reside (whether fantasy or historical or realistic), even if you only end up using 10% of it in the actual manuscript.

Amy Jameson

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Agent with A+B Works

Amy Jameson is a literary agent and partner with her husband in their creative services agency, A+B Works. She got her start in the publishing world at Janklow & Nesbit Associates in New York, where she had the privilege of working with authors such as Michael Crichton, Tom Wolfe, President Jimmy Carter, Gore Vidal and many others. A life-long love of children's literature led to her current role representing writers of young adult and middle grade books, including Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern series and and Newbery Honor winning PRINCESS ACADEMY, and NYT bestselling author Jessica Day George. Amy enjoys playing with her kids, gardening, singing and reading really great books. Please visit www.aplusbworks.com for more information.

Writing hint: Every great writer needs good readers. Find generous readers who you can trust, who get what you're trying to do and who can help you see your manuscript with new eyes. And then revise, revise, revise.

Books I read and loved this year: WONDER by R.J. Palacio, CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth E. Wein, WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE by Tess Hilmo

June 16 (Mon)

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June 17 (Tue)

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June 18 (Wed)

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June 19 (Thu)

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June 20 (Fri)

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Mon 7:15am

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Registration
7:30am - 8:30am

Register for morning classes and pick up your conference ID badge.

Mon 8:30am

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Opening Orientation
8:30am - 9am

Please meet in the Auditorium for opening remarks and conference orientation.

Mon 9am

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Morning Workshops
9am - 12:30am

Hands-on workshops held in individual classrooms.

Mon 1pm

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Registration for Afternoons
1pm - 2pm

Register for afternoon classes and pick up your conference ID badge.

Mon 2pm

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Monday Feature Session
2pm - 3:20pm

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Kristin Ostby, Simon & Schuster - Auditorium

"First Pages: Making a Good First Impression"
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Mon 3:30pm

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Monday 3:30pm Session
3:30pm - 4:20pm

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Lisa Mangum - Room 801

Pitch Perfect: You Have 30 Seconds to Sell Your Book. Go! What Do You Say?
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Ken Baker - Room 802

Dissecting the Picture Book - An Overview of Key Aspects
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Shawn Stout - Room 806

The Great and Terrible 1st Draft (Or, the First Pancakes Never Turn Out Right)
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Editor/Author Panel - Room 808

Kristin Ostby Greg, Leitich Smith, Cynthia Leitich Smith
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Mon 4:30pm

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Monday 4:30pm Session
4:30pm - 5:20pm

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J. Scotl Savage - Room 801

Improve Your Writing Through the Power of Subtlety
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Carol Lynch Williams - Room 802

Bringing it Home. Making It Real Using Sense of Place to Bnng Your Story to Life
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A. E. Cannon - Room 806

Reading Like a Writer. Learn to Hone Your Skills While Reading Works by Othe* Authors
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Jen White, Ilima Todd, Courtney Alameda - Room 808

PanelL Journey to Publication
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Mon 8:30am

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Morning Workshops
8:30am - 12:30am

Hands-on workshops held in individual classrooms.

Mon 2pm

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Tuesday Feature Session
2pm - 3:20pm

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Amy Jameson Agent, A+D Works Literary Agency - Auditorium

Literary Agents: Why You Need One. How you get one.
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Tue 3:30pm

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Tuesday 3:30pm Session
3:30pm - 4:20pm

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Cynthia Leitich Smith - Room 801

Slogging on the Brain
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Jan Pinbuiough - Room 802

Just the Facts, Ma'am: Researching the Nonfiction Picture Book
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J. Scott Savage - Room 806

Separating the Business from the Art
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Amy Jameson, A E Cannon Cheri, Pray Earl - Room 808

Agent/Author Panel
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Tue 4:30pm

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Tuesday 4:30pm Session
4:30pm - 5:20pm

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Lisa Mangum - Room 801

Killer Openings: Approach that First Page with Confidence
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Wendy Toliver - Room 802

Cardboard Cut-Outs Need Not Audition
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Mnnelle Olliphant - Room 806

Easy Ways to Build Your Own Website
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Shawn Stout - Room 808

The Writing Circus: Juggling Work, Family, Deadlines, and Four Running Chainsaws
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Mon 8:30am

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Morning Workshops
8:30am - 12:30am

Hands-on workshops held in individual classrooms.

Wed 2pm

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Wednesday Feature Session
2pm - 3:20pm

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John Cusick, Agent, Greenhouse Literary Agency - Auditorium

Pacing: What to Cut, What to Keep, & What Order to Put it in.
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Wed 3:30pm

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Wednesday 3:30pm Session
3:30pm - 4:20pm

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Greg Leitich Smith - Room 801

It's All About Voice: Creating Characters Who Resonate
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Natalie Whippler - Room 802

Five Things Every Beginning Needs
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Ken Baker - Room 806

Relationships Really Matter-How They Pull Readers in and Raise the Interest Level of Fiction
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John Cusick, Carol Lynch Williams, Lisa Mangum - Room 808

Author/Agent Panel
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Wed 4:30pm

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Wednesday 4:30pm Session
4:30pm - 6pm

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Auditorium

Writing & Illustrating Time for Participant and Book Sales in Book Store and Party to Relax in Room 806. (Bnng a hook to donate to a needy schoolj We'll have music and snacks
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Mon 8:30am

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Morning Workshops
8:30am - 12:30am

Hands-on workshops held in individual classrooms.

Thu 2pm

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Thursday Feature Session
2pm - 3:20pm

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Cheri Pray Earl, et. al. - Auditorium

Cold, Hard Readings, and Critiques
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Thu 3:30pm

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Thursday 3:30pm Session
3:30pm - 4:30pm

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Outstanding Mentors & Fellowship Awards (10 minutes) - Auditorium

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KEYNOTE: James Dashner - Auditorium

Writing Commercial Fiction
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Thu 4:40pm

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Thursday 4:40pm Session
4:40pm - 6:00pm

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Book Signing
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Mon 8:30am

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Morning Workshops
8:30am - 12:30am

Hands-on workshops held in individual classrooms.

Fri 2pm

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Friday Feature Session
2pm - 2:50pm

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Michelle Witte - Agent, Mansion Street Literary Mnmt - Auditorium

It's in the Details: How to use Brief, Specific Details to Elevate Your Writing--Without Going Overboard
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Fri 3:30pm

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Friday 3:30pm Session
3:30pm - 4:20pm

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A. E. Cannon - Room 801

Creating Your Life as a Working Writer
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Cheri Pray Earl - Room 802

Yeah. Only Guess What? What Makes Junie B Jones Books the Bestest Stories in the Whole Word
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Greg & Cynthia Leilich Smith - Room 806

Writing Across Identity Markers
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Michelle Witte, J. Scott Savage, Shawn Stout, Ken Baker - Room 808

Agent/Author Panel
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Fri 4:30pm

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Friday 4:30pm Session
4:30pm - 5:20pm

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Closing Ceremony, Prizes, & Give-aways - Auditorium

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