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Woman Holding a Book
Want to write a book?

Tired of experiencing writer's block?

Looking to join a powerhouse community of teens that love what you love?

Let us connect you with famous authors who can help!

 

Nov 11, 2023

WEBER INNOVATIONS CENTER

Introducing our TABC Weber Keynote Speaker

Brandon Mull!

Registration includes:

  • A full schedule of author presenters with tips and tricks to help you write a novel of your own.

  • Conference t-shirt

  • Drawstring backpack

  • Lunch

  • Access to enter the first chapter contest

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Brick Wall

Registration for the general public:

September 10th

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$79

TABC- Weber Conference

A full day of writing workshops and entertainment with amazing authors. Includes lunch, TABC T-shirt, drawstring backpack, option to enter first chapter contest, and more!

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$99

Bundle and Save!

Get it all! Enjoy the in-person event AND gain access to our TABC Classroom vault loaded with 80+ classes taught by professional authors.

Register

Author Line-Up

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BraNDON MULL

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Fablehaven series, the Dragonwatch series, the Five Kingdoms series, the Beyonders series, and the Candy Shop War books. He was also the architect of the Spirit Animals series for Scholastic. Millions of copies of his books have been sold worldwide. His fiction is available in more than thirty languages.
Brandon enjoys tennis and popping bubble wrap. He likes meeting his readers and learning about their experiences with his books. He currently lives in Utah with his wife and eleven kids.

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Allison Anderson

Allison Anderson lives her best life as a wife, a mom, a dedicated member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and a fantasy writer. As a life-long fantasy nerd, she finds it natural to create stories of her own and you can often find her jotting down new story ideas or talking about dragons. She’s spent most of her life across the southwestern United States.

Magic, Magic Everywhere!

Does your character have magic hair that glows when she sings, or does he have to attend a private school to study every spell he uses? There are different kinds of magic and so many wonderful ways you can use it to add that extra sparkle to a story. In this class, we will talk about the rules of magic, different systems, and how to create worlds revolving around it.

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Bree Despain

Bree Despain is the award-winning author of the Dark Divine trilogy and the Into The Dark trilogy. Her novels have been published in over twenty countries. Bree has a master's in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. Bree enjoys stand-up paddle boarding, baking French macarons, and researching cults.

The Secret Ingredient to Great Fiction

Have you ever wondered why some stories stick with you long after you've turned the last page? Or why some characters immediately feel as if they're life-long friends? What's the secret that makes these works of fiction great when others just seem to fall flat? The answer is resonance! If this answer surprises you, or you're even thinking "what's that?"--come to this class to learn how mastering the art of resonance can be a powerful tool or “ingredient” (the special sauce) that will bring a whole new level of power and meaning to your stories.

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Bryan Young

Bryan Young is an award-winning, best-selling author who has worked in universes ranging from BattleTech and Shadowrun to Doctor Who and Star Wars.

Writing Great Dialogue

The art of writing dialogue is difficult to master. In this class, Bryan Young, will walk you through great dialogue as examples, and offer principles to improve your use of dialogue and how to better reveal characters and exposition through speech.

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Caryn Larrinaga

Caryn Larrinaga is an internationally best-selling mystery and horror author. She has won multiple awards for her work and was named 2021 Writer of the Year by the League of Utah Writers. Caryn lives near Salt Lake City with her husband and their clowder of cats, and she is an active member of SFWA, the Horror Writers Association, the Cat Writers Association, and the League of Utah Writers. Visit www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short fiction and true tales of haunted places.

Where the Scary Things Are

Fear is fun! In this introductory class, we’ll tackle the basics of writing horror. Learn how to get the monsters out of your head and onto the page, and how to frighten your readers without scaring them off.

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Curtis Haring

Curtis Haring is the Executive Director of Utah Transit Riders Union, a non-profit advocating reliable, accessible, and affordable transit statewide. With a decade in policy analysis and two decades in social and political campaigns, Curtis fosters transit-affirming culture. Based in West Jordan, he resides with his fiancé, daughter, and three cats.

It is Not About the Destination, but the Journey

This class will discuss how real-world planners figure out how to move people from one place to the other, why people make the transportation decisions they do, and how writers can place real facts into a fictional world and make their stories richer without having to resort to teleportation.

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Dax Levine

As a professional Dungeon Master, Dax Levine holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest game of Dungeons & Dragons with 1,227 players. Clients and companies around the globe hire Dax for his signature immersive character arcs and gripping moral dilemmas. Learn more at www.dungeonmasterdirect.com

Dungeon Masters Wanted

Dungeons & Dragons has never been more popular, and every great game starts with a great DM. Learn from a full-time professional Dungeon Master how to apply your writing skills to make a campaign that is fun and engaging for your players.

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Fire Chief Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan is the Chief of the Weber Fire District and has 44 years of combined fire and EMS experience. This experience includes 16 years with the Weber Fire District, 21 years with the Chandler, Arizona Fire Department where he retired at the rank of Battalion Chief, and 6 years with other agencies as an EMT, Paramedic, and firefighter. Chief Sullivan is an adjunct Utah Fire and Rescue Academy instructor, teaching Command, Operations and Tactics, Officer 1, and other topics. Chief Sullivan is also a regular contributor to the academy’s Straight Tip magazine, currently writing the BC Corner. He has an associate in fire science, a bachelor’s in public safety administration, and a master’s in public administration from Northern Arizona University.

Where There's Smoke There's Fire

Come understand smoke, fire and the aftermath. Learn how to better write scenes that include fire.

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Janet Sumner Johnson

Janet Sumner Johnson is a middle grade and picture book author. Her works include Help Wanted: Must Love Books, and the upcoming Winterton Deception mystery series. After living in all four continental US time zones, she now lives in Utah with her husband, three kids, and dog. Learn more at janetsumnerjohnson.com.

The Character of Setting

With so much to keep track of when writing—characters, plot, story—setting is often overlooked. However, a living, breathing setting can pull in readers and transform a good story into a great one. Setting has the power to increase tension, add depth to your story, and draw out emotions and moods. In this class we'll talk about ways to harness your setting without info dumping. Come prepared to write!

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Jared Quan

Jared is an award-winning bestselling author and Twitch affiliate. He wrote for SI.com and Yahoo. Published works include Changing Wax, Shattered Worlds, LIFTED and Networking. He has served roles with Storymakers, League of Utah Writers, TEDxSaltLakeCity, TABC, LTUE, Utah Poet Laureate Committee, and countless events/organizations. Has received awards from two Presidents of the United States, two Utah State Governors, and a Lt. Governor. Received the League of Utah Writers Volunteer and Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was one of the four that received the Utah State Governors Spirit of Service Award in 2023. He has worked with the Utah Governor to reestablish “Utah Authors Day”. Has been interviewed by several websites and podcasts, including the Writing Excuses Podcast. Was Director of the Dream Big Project.

Networking Ninja: The Playful Path to Building Meaningful Connections

Networking can be intimidating for introverts and can be tedious for extroverts. I have worked with over 1,000 people on developing networking and have written a book on it. Come to a class where I will not only teach you the best practices and how to deploy them, we will actively use them in class, practice, and refine them for you, so when you leave, you will be ready to take on the world.

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Jennifer Jenkins

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 is the Executive Director and co-founder of a federal non-profit dedicated to promoting literacy and authorship in children (dba Teen Author Boot Camp and TABC Book Drop). She 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!

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Jennifer Nielsen

#1 New York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Nielsen, was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her family. She is the author of The Ascendance series, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE; the TRAITOR’S GAME series, the historical novels, ICEBERG, A NIGHT DIVIDED, WORDS ON FIRE, LINES OF COURAGE and several other titles. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains.

Raising the Stakes: It Can Always Get Worse

A high stakes story becomes a page-turner as the reader realizes the characters they love really could lose everything. Make your story better by making everything get worse for your characters.

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Jess Smart Smiley

Jess Smart Smiley has helped thousands of people around the world create their first comics.

Jess has created work for Penguin Random House and Macmillan, and he is the creator of the What Happens Next series of interactive graphic novels, as well as the bestselling Let's Make Comics.

Making a Graphic Novel: From Idea to Publication

Geared toward beginning and intermediate writers and artists, Jess Smart Smiley offers a peek into the creative process that goes into creating a graphic novel, including: generating and filtering ideas, developing plot points and characters, making a rough draft, creating the final book art, and options for publishing your work.

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Jo Schaffer Layton

Jo Schaffer is a Taekwondo Blackbelt and a teacher of martial arts. She is the author of YA novels, Against Her Will, the Stanley & Hazel (trilogy), and Badlands. She has also done writing for marketing as well as TV and film. She's a founding member of Teen Author Boot Camp (NPO), one of the nation’s biggest conferences for teen writers. Jo is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. A native Californian, she now lives in Texas with three kids and a hunky tattooed husband.

How to Write a Fight Scene

A well crafted and exciting fight scene will hook your reader and support your plot. Let's talk about how pacing, a little combat knowledge, understanding character motivation and adding the right sensory details can raise the stakes and bring those action scenes to life. From hand to hand combat to the modern battlefield, come learn to write the fight!

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Johnny Worthen

JOHNNY WORTHEN is an award-winning, multiple-genre, hybrid, tie-dye-wearing author, voyager, and damn fine human being! Trained in literary criticism and cultural studies, he writes upmarket fiction, long and short, mentors others where he can, and teaches at the University of Utah.
He is Utah Writer of the Year and Past President of the League of Utah Writers.

The Muddled Middle (don’t call it writer’s block)

It’s the hardest part. You know the beginning, it flowed like water, you know the end, it’ll be breathtaking, now you just have to write the connecting bit, the eighty percent between the two. No problem, but your Muse is on vacation, another project beckons and there’s little enthusiasm for the next chapter. Could this be writer’s block? This is the muddled middle. Class will explore this terrible phenomenon and offer concrete tools to overcome it and return the writer to the rails.

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Kaela Rivera

Kaela Rivera is the multi-award-winning author of the Cece Rios series and the new LEGO DREAMZzz: Dream Chasers and the Riddle-Spokens novelization. She grew up reading the folktales of her Mexican-American and British parents in the forests of Tennessee, but now she writes about them from the soaring mountains of Utah. When not weaving together children’s stories, she works as a managing editor for a marketing company. She believes in the power of hope and aims to write adventures that heal. Sign up for her newsletter at kaelarivera.com.

Getting Readers to Invest in Your Characters

If you want characters to die for (or characters that readers cry for when they die), you have to develop them well enough for readers to get attached. In this class, we'll go over techniques for just that, including the principles of character dignity, character likeability, the importance of character flaws, and character motivations that help drive the plot forward.

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Sara Jones

Sara, who was adopted from South Korea at age three, grew up as one of few Asians in a predominantly white community, and in her professional life, has often been one of few women leaders in male-dominated industries. These experiences helped her develop a profound and personal understanding of the value of diverse perspectives. She has advocated throughout her career for the benefits of greater diversity in our companies, boardrooms and circles of power. Jones is a Founder of Women Tech Council (WTC), a national organization focused on the economic impact of women in driving high growth for the technology sector. She also serves on the Utah State Workforce Development Board, Board of Trustees for Intermountain Healthcare Salt Lake Valley Hospitals and the Executive Board of Silicon Slopes.
Jones was honored as a Distinguished Alumni from the University of Utah (2021), a Utah Business Magazine CEO of the Year (2019), received a Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Utah College of Engineering (2017) and was a Utah Innovation Awardee.

You are Worth the Risk

Taking risks can feel uncomfortable and unnatural. Often, there are a lot of unknowns. Sara Jones will lead a shared learning experience on taking smart risk and moving through fear. Opportunities often sit outside of our comfort zone. This workshop is for anyone who wants to learn how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.​

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Shelly Brown

Shelly Brown is an award-winning author who hates pretentious people who humble brag. She’s about yea tall, loud, and way too smiley. She tours the country talking to schools about her books Mustaches for Maddie, Squint, Willa & the Whale, Virtually Me, and The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry all of which she wrote with Chad Morris and her debut Ghostsitter. She’s taking donations of high-fives until Monday.

More Voice!

Agents and editors (and readers) are drawn to voice. It might even be the difference between a book they read and a book they put down. But what is voice? Come get tips and tricks for how to add voice to your own manuscript right away.

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Sunni Wilkinson

Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s recent work can be found in Missouri Review, Terrain, and Best of the Net 2023. Author of a full length poetry collection and a chapbook, her work has been awarded New Ohio Review’s NORward Poetry Prize, the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, and the Sherwin W. Howard Award.

Hands on Poetry Workshop

Bring paper and pencil to the hands on Poetry workshop. Sunni will walk you through trying out different poetry techniques.

AUTHORS

Schedule
*See class descriptions with author details listed above.

November 11, 2023

Opening Ceremonies

9:00-9:15 am

Break Out 1- 9:20-10:10 am

Presenter
Class Title
Classroom
Curtis Haring
It is not about the destination, but the journey
184
Fire Chief Paul Sullivan
Where there is smoke there is Fire
175
Sunni Wilkinson
Hands on Poetry Workshop
177
Kaela Rivera
Getting Readers to Invest in Your Characters
165
Shelly Brown
More Voice!
166
Johnny Worthen
The Muddled Middle (don’t call it writer’s block)
176

Break Out 2- 10:15-11:05 am

Presenter
Class Title
Classroom
Jared Quan
Networking Ninja: The Playful Path to Building Meaningful Connections
184
Bree Despain
The Secret Ingredient to Great Fiction
177
Dax Levine
Dungeon Masters Wanted
166
Jennifer Nielsen
Raising the Stakes: It Can Always Get Worse
176
Jess Smart Smiley
Let's Make Comics!: An Activity Book to Write, Draw, and Create Your Own Cartoons
165
Sara Jones
You are Worth the Risk
175

Break Out 3 - 11:10-12:00 PM

Presenter
Class Title
Classroom
Allison Anderson
Magic Systems
177
Caryn Larrinaga
Where the Scary Things Are
184
Bryan Young
Writing Great Dialogue
165
Jo Schaffer Layton
How to Write a Fight Scene
176
Janet Sumner Johnson
The Character of Setting
166
Fire Chief Paul Sullivan -
Where there is smoke there is Fire
175

Lunch - 12:00-12:30 PM

Keynote Address by Brandon Mull-12:30-1:10 PM

Break Out 4- 1:20-2:10 PM

Presenter
Class Title
Classroom
Curtis Haring
It is not about the destination, but the journey
175
Jared Quan
Networking Ninja: The Playful Path to Building Meaningful Connections
177
Jennifer Jenkins
The Heart of the Matter: Romantic Tension Workshop
184
Shelly Brown
More Voice!
176
Johnny Worthen
The Muddled Middle (don’t call it writer’s block)
166
Dax Levine
Dungeon Masters Wanted
165

Break Out 5- 2:15-3:05 PM

Presenter
Class Title
Classroom
Jo Schaffer Layton
How to write a fight scene
175
Kaela Rivera
Getting Readers to Invest in Your Characters
166
Caryn Larrinaga
Where the Scary Things Are
165
Jennifer Nielsen
Raising the Stakes: It Can Always Get Worse
176
Sunni Wilkinson
Hands on Poetry Workshop
184
Bree Despain
The Secret Ingredient to Great Fiction
177

Break Out 6- 3:10-4:00 PM

Presenter
Class Title
Classroom
Jennifer Jenkins
The Heart of the Matter: Romantic Tension Workshop
177
Jess Smart Smiley
Let's Make Comics!: An Activity Book to Write, Draw, and Create Your Own Cartoons
184
Allison Anderson
Magic Systems
176
Sara Jones
You are Worth the Risk
175
Bryan Young
Writing Great Dialogue
166
Janet Sumner Johnson
The Character of Setting
165

Closing Ceremonies and 1st Chapter Contest

4:10-4:30 PM

Public Signing

4:30-6:00 PM

Schedule

1st Chapter Contest

This First Chapter Contest is ONLY open to teens attending the TABC Weber in-person event. 

Submissions Open:

September 1-October 10

Winners will be announced at TABC Weber on November 11, 2023 and receive a commemorative plaque, a full first chapter critique, and a cash prize.

Contest
school group
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