Author Line-Up

March 13, 2021

Teen Author Boot Camp NEW LOGO 2020 - wh
Julie Berry
Morning Keynote

Julie Berry wrote the Walden and Golden Kite Award winner Lovely War, the Printz Honor and LA Times Book Prize shortlisted The Passion of Dolssa, the Carnegie and Edgar shortlisted All the Truth That’s in Me, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, and others. She holds degrees from Rensselaer and Vermont College. Julie lives in California.

Leigh Bardugo
Virtual Afternoon Keynote
with Rena Barron

Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times-bestselling author of Ninth House and the creator of the Grishaverse (coming soon to Netflix) which spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, the King of Scars duology, The Language of Thorns, and The Lives of Saints— with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Leigh grew up in Southern California and graduated from Yale University. These days she lives and writes in Los Angeles. Rule of Wolves will be available on March 30, 2021. 

Rena Barron
Virtual Afternoon Keynote
with Leigh Bardugo

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French. Rena is the author of the young adult fantasy novel Kingdom of Souls, the first in a trilogy and a 2019 Junior Library Guild Selection. Recently, film rights sold to Warner Bros. with Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther”) producing and Misan Sagay (“Belle”) writing the screenplay. Maya and the Rising Dark is the first book in Rena’s middle grade contemporary fantasy trilogy set in Chicago.

Christopher Paolini
Evening Keynote

Christopher Paolini is the author of the international bestsellers Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance, as well as The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm. His debut science fiction novel, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, is now available. He resides in Paradise Valley, Montana, USA.

Authors At Play

See individual author bios.

Authors at Play

Join author Tyler Whitesides as he leads authors Christopher Paolini, Jennifer Nielsen, and Frank Cole in a roleplaying game where teens will have a chance to determine the fate of the players. You will help determine each author's weapon, spell, and potion, and witness impromptu storytelling at its finest.

Daniel Swenson

Daniel Swenson’s debut novel, "The Shadow Above The Flames," was released in 2017 and the sequel “A Dragon’s Fate” was released in 2019. You can find additional short stories his written in both the Valcoria Awakenings Anthology Choose Your Own Apocalypse Anthology.

World Building Workshop

In this World Building Workshop when all is said and done at thee end of this course, you and the others in the class will have created a believable and compelling world that readers will want to get lost in again and again.

Dustin Hansen

Dustin draws pictures, writes words, and makes a video game. Basically, he hasn't changed much since he was 12. Well, except for the beard. That wasn't there in middle school, no matter how hard he tried.

Writing for Graphic Novels

We'll take a look at what it takes to write a graphic novel. We'll look at everything from how to format your script, how to work with an artist, and what to write-vs-what to draw.

Emma Nelson

Emma Nelson has taught writing classes at BYU where she received an MA in Literature, is the founder of Owl Hollow Press, and has edited many books, including the annual TABC anthologies. Her fiction is published under the name Emma Boone, with the most recent being The Shadow Behind, a series about morticians, witches, and traveling through time.

Messy Mapping

For some of us, we like the challenge of outlining elaborate worlds and characters and stories (plotters); for others, we like winging it and writing without any structure at all (pantsers). It doesn’t necessarily matter how you plot—there are as many different methods as there are authors—but when you start with a basic concept, or a messy map, of where you’re going, it’ll save you time and energy in the long run and make your story come to life in ways you never imagined possible. Come learn simple tips for messy mapping that will work for even the staunchest pantsers, and leave class with new ideas and a good portion of your story plotted and ready to go!

Erin Stewart

BIO: Erin Stewart is the author of SCARS LIKE WINGS, her debut young adult novel that was a Junior Library Guild Selection, Amazon Book of the Month, a 2019 Outstanding Works of Literature winner and Whitney Award winner. Erin is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and a BYU undergraduate. She lives in Utah with her husband and three children.

The Psychology of What Your Characters Want

Learn how to use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to figure out what your characters want, what they need and what motivates them. We'll dig deep into how human needs are met (from physical basics to love and self-actualization) and how you can use use this view of psychology to create believable plot points and fully formed characters that jump off the page.

Frank Cole

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.

Hacking Your Way Through Your Novel

Tips, Tricks, and Hacks to make writing your novel a teensy bit easier.

Hafsah Faizal

Hafsah Faizal is the New York Times bestselling author of We Hunt the Flame, and the founder of IceyDesigns, where she creates websites for authors and beauteous goodies for everyone else. When she’s not writing, she can be found designing, deciding between Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim, or traversing the world. Born in Florida and raised in California, she now resides in Texas with her family and a library of books waiting to be devoured. Visit her on her website!

Ask Me Anything

The time is yours! Ask Hafsah Faizal all of your writing and publishing questions.

J. Scott Savage

J Scott Savage is the author of the nineteen published novels including: the Lost Wonderland Diaries, Mysteries of Cove series, the Case File 13 series, the Farworld series, and others. His books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, been named a Junior Library Guild selection, an Amazon book of the month, and a Barnes and Noble select book, and won several awards.

Creating Conflict With Your Heroes and Villains D&D Style

One of the best ways to write an engaging story is to create powerful conflicts. And what better way to create conflict than pitting your MC against a formidable villain? But what makes a great villain? It depends on what kind of hero you have. Is it the Pure Hero? The Anti-hero? The Everyman? The Unlikely Hero? Based on that, what type of villain would create the type of conflict you are looking for. J. Scott Savage examines classic hero and villain types using pop culture characters and Dungeon and Dragon style character sheets and explains how to match them to create the greatest conflict.

Jade Davis and Cheyenne Ingalls

Jade Davis, age 19, has been writing creatively for the past six years. In addition to avidly reading and writing, Jade loves to sing, dance, and study languages (her favorite being Latin). She works at multiple libraries and loves the opportunity to share her passion for stories with others. Cheyenne Ingalls lives in Utah. Her stories, Mary Celeste’s Secret, and Helping Muninn were published in TABC’s previous Anthologies, Band of Misfits: Adventures on the High Seas and Join Our Clan. Writing continues to be her passion, causing her to keep a notebook and laptop permanently glued to her side.

Joint Custody: How to write a novel together without killing each other

This workshop will help you learn different strategies to write with a co-author. You will learn how we avoid some common mistakes when co-writing a book/series, and how we work together to create a joint novel. We will discuss personal experiences--both good and bad--with co-writing and how to create the best possible experience. We will also be using our personal method to give you a positive and easy option to write jointly.

Jennifer Jenkins

Jennifer Jenkins is the author of eight published novels, including her nonfiction, Teen Writer's Guide: Your Road Map to Writing (2020). She is a co-founder of TABC and divides her free time between teaching creative writing classes at UVU, reading, taking spontaneous trips, researching random events from the past, and fostering her adrenaline junkie addictions.

Dialogue that Speaks!

Good dialogue is a writer's greatest weapon. In this class we will discuss ways to make your reader hang on your characters' every word.

Jennifer Nielsen

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.

Developing the Writing Voice

When you sorta know what it is, sometimes see it in others’ writing, and have no idea how to develop it for yourself.

Jessica Day George

Jessica Day George is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen middle grade and young adult fantasy books. She lives in Utah with her family and likes knitting, dark chocolate, and small dogs.

Tale As Old As Time

Fairy tales, myths, and legends: why are they so popular, and how does one go about writing books based on them?

Jo Schaffer-Layton

Jo Schaffer is the YA Author of the Stanley & Hazel trilogy, co-founder of TABC, writer at BYU-TV and Taekwondo Blackbelt. She loves classic film, yummy food, traveling,
hiking and teaching self-defense at the dojo. She's a native Californian living in Texas with her hunky hubby and cute kiddos.

Writing Prompt Battle

Join TABC founders for an interactive, creative battle.

Julie Berry

Julie Berry wrote the Walden and Golden Kite Award winner Lovely War, the Printz Honor and LA Times Book Prize shortlisted The Passion of Dolssa, the Carnegie and Edgar shortlisted All the Truth That’s in Me, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, and others. She holds degrees from Rensselaer and Vermont College. Julie lives in California.

Character Development, Growth, and Change

We’ve all done exercises designed to help us “get to know” our characters – asked them questions, wrote out their schedules, described the contents of their backpack or car trunk, or their favorite meal. (To be fair, most of us could benefit from doing more exercises like these.) But let’s not forget the static nature of most of those exercises – they only show us a character in a snapshot, a moment in time. A character is far more than the sum of their preferences and quirks. They are unpredictable agents, choosers, and doers operating in real time in an unpredictable world. The whole premise of fiction, and of character development, is that characters develop. They change. They grow, whether in positive or negative directions. They grow and change not just along one smooth prescribed arc, but in all sorts of messy, simultaneous ways, especially if they are young. In this breakout, we’ll explore ways to understand and work with character development, embracing the internally conflicted and contradictory nature of the most memorable characters, giving our characters room to be quixotic yet consistent, flawed yet sympathetic, frustrating and yet compelling.

Julie Wright

Julie Wright has written 24 novels, is a two-time Whitney Award winner, and is a Crown Heart recipient. The American Library Association listed “Glass Slippers, Ever After, and Me” in their top ten 2020 best romances.
She loves traveling, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

Swipe Right. The Laws of Attraction for Romance Writers

Attraction is so much more than a second glance and a swipe right on a match-making app. Attraction is a pull that brings people together and binds them together for those happily-ever-afters and novels that end with a smile and a sigh. This class will take you through the levels of attractions from the physical to the emotional and all the in-betweens so you can write a believable spiral down into that fall we like to call love.

Kaela Rivera

Kaela Rivera believes in the folktales of her Mexican-American and British parents and writes about them from the adventure-filled mountains of the Wild West. When she’s not crafting stories, she’s using her English degree from BYU-I as an editor for a marketing company. Her debut novel, Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, comes out April 13, 2021

How and When to Use Imagery to Strengthen Your Writing

We all have favorite lines that leapt off the page and cocooned us in an image that’s stayed with us since. In this workshop, we’ll focus on strengthening imagery in your writing while avoiding purple prose, and we’ll use prompts, examples, and practice to do it. But we won’t stop there—perhaps most importantly, we’ll go over when to implement imagery so it emphasizes important moments in your story, becomes an integral part of your book’s tone, and doesn’t bog down the reader.

Kathryn Purdie

Kathryn Purdie is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series and the BONE CRIER’S MOON duology (HarperCollins). Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama. She loves composing guitar songs for her characters and devouring Peanut Butter M&Ms.

Oh My Goth: Elements of a Gothic Novel

Jane Eyre and Dracula are classic gothic tales that have stood the test of time, but this spooky and romantic genre didn’t end with them. It continues to thrive with books like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Harry Potter, Coraline, Beautiful Creatures, and Stalking Jack the Ripper. In this class, you’ll learn the structure and elements needed to create a timeless gothic story.

KayLynn Flanders

KayLynn Flanders has a degree in English Language and a minor in editing, and has been a freelance editor and book designer for twelve years. Her debut novel, Shielded, was published by Delacorte Press, with a sequel forthcoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time playing volleyball, reading, and traveling. KayLynn lives in Utah with her family, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip. Learn more at

Finding Your Path to Publication

Self publishing? Big five publisher? Something in the middle? Come learn about the different paths to publishing and their pros and cons so you can figure out which path will help you find your success.

Leigh Statham

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 Earnest Poet - Write Tight and Get Published

Join with award winning poet, Leigh Statham, to learn how to tighten, deepen, and publish your own poems. From love sonnets to light limericks, we will cover the basics and talk about what editors are looking for so that you can be a published poet too.

Margie Jordan

Margie Jordan is one of the original founders of Teen Author Boot Camp. She has worked in education for twenty-one years and has taught children and teens from kindergarten to college. That's probably how she ended up as Education and Registration Director as well as head of the TABC First Chapter Contest. When not working, she enjoys hiking, writing (obviously), and generally being as lazy as is humanly possible. She currently resides in Utah with her husband, children, and absolutely zero pets.

Writing Prompt Battle

Join TABC founders for an interactive, creative battle.


Montrez is a fantasy and science fiction author who lives in the moody Midwest with her husband and two sons.
She created Novel Creature Publications to house her fictional works - fantasy and science fiction tales spun to entertain and inspire. With an M.H. in English, she also works as an editor and writing consultant

Why Every Story is a Roadtrip

Writing is a journey full of adventure, challenges, and surprises. This course will help you prepare for that journey by teaching you to hone your creative instincts, boost your confidence in your skills, and provide useful tools to help you approach and conquer roadblocks and difficulties in the writing process.

Nicole Conway

Nicole Conway is the international bestselling author of THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, THE DRAGONRIDER LEGACY, and MAD MAGIC.

PAGE FRIGHT: Conquering Your First Chapter

You’ve got everything prepared. The world is built. The characters are carefully designed. The outline is perfect. But ... where do you begin? What should the first sentence be? Where do you start this epic tale?! In this class, we will learn how to begin your book with a bang. Those daunting first chapters, crucial opening lines, and pesky blank page phobia don’t stand a chance!

Nova McBee

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.

How to Create Suspense, Tension, and Mystery in Your Novel

A great novel doesn’t need to be fast paced, but it does need to be laced with mystery, tension, suspense and unanswered questions to drive the plot forward. Learn specific techniques on how to craft these elements into your story. Bonus: This session includes 4 tips on creating a killer first chapter! 1. Commonly used techniques in creating tension in fiction 2. Where and How to deposit the Give and Take of information or unanswered questions 3. The right pace for your novel & the how these elements create a killer first chapter (both beginnings + endings)

Randi Pink

Randi Pink is the author of young adult novels including Angel of Greenwood (2021) and Girls Like Us (2019). She grew up in the deep South and currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her children and rescue dogs.

The Living Breathing Character

In this interactive course, participants build living characters together from scratch. The facilitator begins with a brief presentation (5 minutes) about what makes a character live. From those essential characteristics, the facilitator guides an organic dialogue with the group. Together, they conceptualize and debate the characters they're building -- their name, age, socioeconomic status, goals, relationships, etc. This workshop always takes on a creative life of its own and every participant walks away understanding the endless possibility of the character driven story.

Rosalyn Eves

Rosalyn Eves is an English professor and writer living in Southern Utah. Her historical fantasy trilogy (BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, LOST CROW CONSPIRACY, WINTER WAR AWAKENING) is out now with Knopf/Random House, and her historical coming-of-age novel, BEYOND THE MAPPED STARS, releases summer 2021.

Writing Emotion

Emotion is often what draws us into stories and makes us root for the heroes and hate the villains. But how can writers help readers experience this emotion in their stories? In this class, we will discuss a description technique to bring emotion into your writing that goes beyond "show, don't tell" to help readers experience what your characters are experiencing.

Roseanne A. Brown

Roseanne “Rosie” A. Brown was born in Kumasi, Ghana and grew up in the wild jungles of central Maryland as a child. Her debut novel, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, was an instant New York Times bestseller. She currently lives outside Washington D.C., where she can usually be found wandering the woods, making memes, or thinking about Star Wars. She is represented by Quressa Robinson of Nelson Literary Agency.

The Magic's In The Details: Crafting Compelling Worlds and Magic Systems in YA Fantasy

What separates an okay fantasy book from an AMAZING fantasy book? The magic of course! In this class, we’ll go through the importance of magic systems, and how to weave them into your worldbuilding to truly help a story sing. We’ll also go through exampls of some of the best magic systems in fantasy, and share tried and true tricks to building a fantastical world from the ground up.

Tahsha Wilson

Tahsha Wilson is a founder of Teen Author Boot Camp and the Director of Purchasing and Volunteers. She loves to put her crazy brain to work to organize the huge amount of teens who come through the doors. She is a member of Writers Cubed and has several novels in the works. She lives at the base of the beautiful Utah mountains with her husband and three kids.

Writing Prompt Battle

Join TABC founders for an interactive, creative battle.

Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller is the author of five YA fantasy books with Macmillan Publishers. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia plays Xbox.

Generating Story Ideas

Sometimes we don’t have dreams about the perfect story ideas. Sometimes the lightbulb moments don’t come on their own. That’s okay! You can still be a writer! Come learn FUN techniques to help you create unique ideas for your stories!

Tyler Whitesides

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....