March 26, 2022
Marissa Meyer is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Renegades Trilogy, The Lunar Chronicles series, the Wires and Nerve graphic novels, and The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book. Her first standalone novel, Heartless, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. Marissa created and hosts a podcast called The Happy Writer. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.
Kendare Blake is the #1 NYT Bestselling author of Anna Dressed in Blood and the Three Dark Crowns series. She likes to write about food, and believes deeply in doing food research. Her recent works include the speculative crime novel ALL THESE BODIES, and IN EVERY GENERATION, a new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the #1 NYT bestselling author of more than twenty YA novels, including The Inheritance Games trilogy. Jen is a Fulbright Scholar with degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her Ph.D. from Yale and is a professor of psychology and professional writing at the University of Oklahoma.
Alexander Delacroix earned Masters degrees from Brigham Young University and Western Governors University. As an undergraduate he majored in French, Russian, and German but ultimately became a Language Arts teacher. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing. Heart of the Impaler is his debut novel.
How to Build and Maintain Tension in Your Story
Craft focused workshop focusing on building and sustaining tension throughout a work of fiction.
Aminah Mae Safi
Aminah Mae Safi is a Muslim-American writer. Safi was the winner of the We Need Diverse Books short story contest, and that story appeared in the anthology Fresh Ink. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner and cat. Travelers Along the Way is her fourth YA novel, after Not the Girls You're Looking For, Tell Me How You Really Feel, and This Is All Your Fault.
The Art of the Re-Telling
Interactive workshop teaching how to adapt a classic work of fiction into your own novel.
delmetria millener is a Louisiana-bred, Texas-fed storyteller, teacher and business owner. An international freelance writer, delmetria currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand, where she teaches high school Literature and Creative Writing. She is also the founder of #TeenWritersProject, a nonprofit that provides a collaborative and engaging space for teens to write, be published and get hired.
Starving Artists Find Food
Jump-start Your Freelance Writing Career or Boost the One You Have! Join me as we engage in discussions on the craft and career of writing: how to write, become a writer and remain a writer! Learn and discover how you can turn your passion to profit!
Donna Milakovic has a BA in English from BYU, MBA from Utah Valley University. She works at UVU and oversees Writers Academy (formerly Book Academy). She is passionate about cultivating creative writers and spends her free time with members of her 5 writing groups, honing their craft together.
Gathering Your Writing Tribe
Friends encourage and challenge us and help us to be better people and writers. Together we will explore where to find writer friends, how you might work with them and how to be a good writing tribe member yourself. No matter what you like to write or where you are on your writing journey the right friends and readers will help you succeed. Having created and been a part of multiple tribes in the writing world, believe me when I say it can make all the difference no matter whether you are a hermit at heart or a social butterfly.
Dustin has been working in the games industry for more than 25 years, where his love for storytelling has been his best weapon. But his passion for reading and writing doesn't end there, Dustin is also an author with 10 published books he'd love to tell you about. Just ask him. You'll see.
The Evolution of Storytelling and Technology
What started as drawings on cave walls has found its way to every medium imaginable. Books, radio, comics, film have all left their impact on how we tell stories, but what's next? We'll take a look at how video games have moved storytelling forward, and discuss what it takes to be a writer in this constantly evolving world.
Emma Boone Nelson has taught writing classes at BYU where she received an MA in Literature. She is the founder of Owl Hollow Press and has edited many books, including the annual TABC anthologies. She’s also the Director of Webinar Wednesday, TABC’s monthly learning series.
Emma’s writing includes Dirty Drafting, a book about creating strong writing habits, and The Shadow Behind about morticians, witches, and traveling through time.
Level Up: How to Improve Your Writing with Concepts Learned from Video Games
Video games often get a bad rap, but many of them contain dynamic characters and scenes for some of the best storytelling of our generation. They contain stories that give us the chance to work through complex moral dilemmas, see character growth, and interact with different themes and cultures. With great stories created in different patterns and interactive experiences, many video games inherently model strong storytelling skills to writers, and we can learn a lot from the way they’re constructed. Join us as we talk about some of the best lessons you can learn from video games to level up as a writer—whether you enjoy playing them or not.
Erin Stewart is the author of several contemporary novels for teens. SCARS LIKE WINGS (2019) was an Amazon Book of the Month, winner of BookPal's Outstanding Work of Literature for Teens and a BookExpo Buzz Book. THE WORDS WE KEEP is out March 15, 2022!
Drive Your Plot with Strong Characters (and your characters with a strong plot!)
Are your stories character or plot driven? They should be both! In this class on narrative structure, we'll look at how well-planned characters fuel a strong plot and how well-planned plot points deepen your characters. You'll discover how to marry plot structure with character development to give your readers the emotional, page-turning punch they want, and your characters the journey they deserve.
Frank L. Cole was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted. Potion Masters The Seeking Serum is Frank’s 12th published book.
Jennifer Jenkins is the author of eight published novels including A Necessary Madness (2022), Teen Writer's Guide: Your Road Map to Writing (2020), The Lingering Sea novels (2020), and the Nameless trilogy (2018). She works as the Executive Director of TABC and TABC Book Drop and also teaches creative writing at Utah Valley University. In her spare time, she pretends to have spare time.
The Heart of the Matter: Romantic Tension Workshop
Romantic tension is one of the driving forces of literature. Whether writing a fantasy, thriller, or space opera, romance transcends genre and keeps readers turning pages… unless the love story lacks tension. In this workshop, we will examine the importance of building walls between our characters, dissect the key characteristics of every great romance, and then practice the process by creating a compelling love story together. Pucker up, buttercup. We’re about to get to the heart of the matter!
Jennifer Nielsen once tripped on a stage entrance and rolled down half a flight of stairs, then still had to get up and deliver her lines. Compared to that, writing books is easy.
Creating Villains We Love to Hate
A good villain might get in the hero's way, but a great villain will define the hero and shape the direction of the story. Find out how to create a villain that your readers will love to hate, and who they will jeer for until the very last page.
Jessica Day George
Jessica Day George is the award-winning, bestselling author of over a dozen fantasy books for young adult and middle grade readers. She has one husband, one dog, and three children. She likes books, knitting, dark chocolate, travel, and movies, in that order.
Ask An Author
Ask an author anything, from favorite books to what to do for writer's block to best desk chairs.
Jo Schaffer Layton
Jo Schaffer Layton is a speaker, a Taekwondo black belt, screenplay writer and a founding member of the nonprofit organization that created Teen Author Boot Camp. She is the author of the Stanley and Hazel series.
How to Liposuction Your Prose
Writing is more powerful when it is concise and tight. Learn some tricks to nip and tuck your flabby prose! Get your writing into shape and take it to the next level with this ineractive workshop.
June Hur was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, except for the time when she moved back to Korea and attended high school there. She studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. She began writing her debut novel after obsessing over books about Joseon Korea. When she's not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop. She is the author of The Silence of Bones, The Forest of Stolen Girls, and The Red Palace, and currently lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.
How to Write Thrilling Mysteries
Craft focused workshop on how to weave compelling mysteries in historical fiction.
Kaela Rivera writes about the folktales of her Mexican-American and British parents from the mountains of the Wild West. When she’s not crafting stories, she’s working as an editor for a marketing company. Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls is her first novel; the sequel comes out Fall 2022.
Great Writers Are Great Rewriters: What It Takes to Revise a Novel to Greatness
No matter how good your first draft seems, it’s going to need revisions. And knowing how to do revisions well is one of the things that separates the aspiring writer from the published one. In this class, we’ll go over the levels of editing, hierarchy of revisions, different methods for tackling your revisions, how to take critique, and how to gage when you’re ready to submit to editors and agents.
Kathryn Purdie is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series and the BONE CRIER’S MOON duology. Kathryn has taught writing classes at Storymakers, Futurescapes, previous TABCs, and was a keynote speaker for Young Authors Academy. She loves acting and writing songs for her characters.
More to Win and More to Lose: Raising the Stakes
No matter what kind of story you’re writing, high stakes are essential to keep the tension rising and your readers turning pages. Not achieving the main goal should feel like a literal or figurative death to your character. Join me as I help you explore different ways to help you create the most effective universal and personal stakes for your story, and then learn tactics to ensure your character tests those boundaries and risks “death” in order to succeed.
Leigh Statham writes books, poetry, short stories, and essays for all ages. She currently teaches English in North Carolina and her latest novel, Girls of War (Owl Hollow Press, 2021), will complete her second series for young adult readers. She loves to cook, play Minecraft, and eat wild berries. Don't worry, only some of them have made her sick.
You can follow and contact her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Wattpad. @LeighStatham
The Great Word Swap
We are only as strong as our best phrases. Every word counts in every type of writing, but especially in poetry. Come learn how to strengthen your verse (or novel) and make it shine. We will explore imagery, expression, tone, metaphor, and unlock the secrets of layering your meanings with sensory language.
Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail and has worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. She now resides in Seattle, Washington, where she spends her days writing and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her monstrous cats.
Worldbuilding: Not Just for Fantasy!
In this class, we will discuss the basic fundamentals of worldbuilding, then explore what that looks like in practice across a range of genres. We’ll cover everything from building a fantasy setting from the ground up, to worldbuilding questions that will make your contemporary setting more memorable. We’ll also dig into techniques for weaving immersive worlds without overwhelming your readers, and simplifying worldbuilding that may have gotten a bit out of control!
Nova McBee, a Seattle native, is a helpless nomad and culture nerd who has lived in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. She writes fast-paced mission-impossible-type YA with deep themes and hearty characters. She loves complex plots, coffee, people and languages. Her debut, Calculated, was recently optioned for film.
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 a compelling story-beginning, middle, and end! Story structure and plotting are essential to writing and improving your craft. Come learn a few basic structures that many authors use and lots of helpful plotting tools, tips, and hacks!
Sara B. Larson
Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE), the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology, and the SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT duology (TorTeen/Macmillan). 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.
Setting Your Story Up for Success...Nailing Your Descriptions
Your characters are fully fleshed out, your dialogue is dynamic and witty as can be, your plot is tighter than a belt after Thanksgiving dinner…but what about your descriptions? Are they too short—or too long? What’s the difference between lyrical prose and purple prose? Does your setting seem so real, so tangible, I feel like I could live there myself? In this class, we’ll take your writing to the next level, setting your story up for success (now do you see what I did there?) by learning how to nail your descriptions and setting.
Shelly Brown is the author of Mustaches for Maddie, Ghostsitter, Squint, and Willa and the Whale. She also writes romance under a pen name. She’s lucky enough to have won awards for her books and to be able to travel the country talking to thousands of students. She loves stories in all of their forms and loves to share that love with readers and fellow story-makers.
But I Want To Be Published NOW
You have been putting your nose to your screen and your fingers on your keyboard for long enough that you feel you deserve to see this story in print by now. Yup, we’ve all been there. Come and get some tips for how to self publish, how to improve your work so you can hopefully catch the eye of an agent, in hopes of traditionally publishing, and how to decide what it is exactly you want to do with those hundreds of pages you’ve slaved over. No matter what, walk away from this class full of hope that your time has not been wasted. You will publish.
Shelly X. Leonn
Dr. Michelle M. Haberberger is the author of The Broken Series under her pen name, Shelly X. Leonn. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Shelly worked at her hometown newspaper. During her time advising the youth staff, Shelly realized her true calling was to teaching. Her thirteen years in St. Louis City education have been spent in language arts classrooms as well as in mid-level administration. She is also an adjunct professor for a local university. Her works include the YA mystery thriller trilogy The Broken Series, with Books II and III released in 2021-22; the YA psychological horror Cabin Redemption, with release in 2022; editor for the Teen Author Boot Camp anthology; and other editing credits, anthologies, and articles.
When Characters Collide: Building Explosive Dynamics in Your Character Interactions
Building your characters is one of the basic tasks of every writer. We spend hours and hours developing our characters, including their appearance, hobbies, quirks, and other details. But what happens when one of those perfectly crafted characters interacts with another? Yes, obviously, the “good guy” is going to have a problem with the “bad guy.” But what about everyone in between? How does one gray character play off the traits—positive, negative, and everything else—of another gray character? In this workshop, you’ll learn how conflicts among characters can go so much deeper (and possibly more hurtful) than a punch. You’ll walk away with strategies to add heat, fire, and imbedded meaning in every character interaction.
Tiffany Rosenhan is the debut author of young adult spy thriller, GIRL FROM NOWHERE. She is a mother to four young daughters, and has a degree in Political Science. She loves to travel the world with her children and husband, a critical care physician. She resides in Millcreek, Utah.
How to Lose a Reader in 10 Lines
The era of exposition and introductions is over. Readers are impatient, particularly young readers. Therefore, the first ten lines of your novel are more important than ever – use them wisely! The difference between post-social media fiction and pre-social media fiction, is that readers will no longer wait for an author to get to the point. Utilizing techniques observed in twentieth century espionage thrillers, this class will discuss how to avoid the most egregious mistakes writers make – and what to do instead!
Tom is an award-winning media producer with a background in TV, film, and radio. He vacations in Middle Earth, has an office on Tatooine, and drives a Galaxy-class Enterprise.
Writing for Radio, TV, and Film
Books are awesome... but there are other mediums that need your creative powers. Your stories might best find their audiences on the screen or in a fully-soundscaped podcast. Opportunites are exploding! In many ways, it's easier to get "published" in media than it is in print. Learn from an Emmy-winning producer/director how to write for audiovisual, as well as the key elements of the biz.
Tricia Levenseller is the author of six YA fantasy books, including The Shadows Between Us and Daughter of the Pirate King. She lives in Utah with her bossy dog, where she writes full time. When she’s not writing, Tricia enjoys playing on her Xbox and finding tasty restaurants to frequent.
Make it More Inciting
The inciting incident is a crucial turning point in your novel. It’s often the part where readers choose to give up on a book or to keep reading. We’ll talk about how to write a punchy inciting incident that will draw readers in, the best place to put the inciting incident in your novel, and the promises you’re making to the reader with your inciting incident and how to fulfill them.
Tyler Whitesides is the author of JANITORS, THE WISHMAKERS, MAGIC'S MOST WANTED, and the KINGDOM OF GRIT trilogy. When he isn't writing, he loves being on stage, woodworking, and playing D&D with other real grown-ups.
Master of Shenanigans
What's that loud noise? Probably Tyler. Who is that guy crouching on top of a table in the corner? Probably Tyler. Why is the building on fire? Probably Tyler. You never know what he'll do next....
Yamile Saied Mendez
Yamile Saied Méndez is the author of many books for young readers, including Furia, a Reese's YA Book Club selection and the 2021 Inaugural Pura Belpré Young Adult Gold Medalist. She was born and raised in Rosario, Argentina, but has lived most of her life in a lovely valley surrounded by mountains with her family.
Somewhere Only You Know
Narnia. Hogwarts. Lumatere. Of course we love the Pevensie siblings, Harry Potter, and Finnikin, Isaboe, and Froi, but without their settings, these beloved books wouldn't be as memorable or meaningful. The location where your story takes place can and should be developed just as you would a character, with elements that will make your readers want to pack their bags and visit each and every place you describe even if it's a fantasy or make-believe setting. In fact, we'll talk about how studying the setting of fantasy and science fiction novels and movies can assist you in writing about contemporary and real places in an irresistible way. In this class we'll explore and experiment with tools like google maps/google Earth and other websites to create your perfect settings.