We'll go over the very basics to writing decent dialogue, including using "said" as much as possible, starting conversations in the middle, and finding the balance between making characters sound like real people but not overusing slang, accents, or affectations.
Crystal Liechty is the mastermind behind the Educating Mom webtoon, which details the always funny and often inappropriate hijinx involved in homeschooling three mischievous children. Her day job is being a scriptwriter for Crazy Maple Studios, a gaming app company. If you’ve been to college lately, you might have seen one of her essays in the Elements of Arguments or Structure of Arguments textbooks (Macmillan Press). When not homeschooling or torturing college students with argumentative essays, Crystal can be found watching Korean dramas, teaching herself Kpop dances or in general working as an unofficial ambassador for South Korean culture. (NOTE: She liked BTS before they were cool.)
I wrote something, so now what? How to improve your chances of acceptance when you submit short stories, and what to do when you get accepted.
* An intro on why to write short stories.
* A review of how and where I got accepted for my 27-ish published short stories.
* Enhanced section on what to look for in short-story contracts.
* What to do after submitting your stories, whether accepted or not.
John M. Olsen edits and writes speculative fiction across multiple genres, and he loves stories about ordinary people stepping up to do extraordinary things. He hopes to entertain and inspire others with his award-winning stories as he passes his passion on to the next generation of avid readers.
As a leader of the League of Utah Writers, he encourages others at every opportunity and hopes to see many great new authors.
He loves to create and fix things, whether editing or writing novels or short stories, or working in his secret lair equipped with dangerous power tools. In all cases, he applies engineering principles and processes to the task at hand, often in unpredictable ways. He usually prefers "Renaissance Man" to "Mad Scientist" as a goal and aesthetic.
He lives in Utah with his lovely wife and a variable number of mostly grown children and a constantly changing subset of extended family.
Describing what a character sees with their eyes might be easy, but what about the other four senses? This class teaches the ins and outs of using all five senses to make your writing beautiful and engaging.
Tifani Clark, author of ten books (ranging from suspense to historical to cozy romance), grew up on a potato farm in southeastern Idaho. She had a lot of space to imagine and daydream, and often pretended to be a character in a book. More than once she fashioned a hula hoop and fabric into a hoop skirt so she could be Scarlett O’Hara. Tifani is married to the love of her life and is the mother to four fabulous children. When not writing, she enjoys playing the violin and piano, teaching orchestra, and traveling to new places on her quest to see the world. You can find all her books at http://www.tifaniclark.com.
There are many methods of storytelling—movies, television, plays, musicals, poetry—each with different strengths and weaknesses. Every medium has its own form and function, and its own unique box of tools. Some of these tools are interchangeable, and if you have room in your novel-writing toolbox, you might want to borrow a few things from other media. This class will quickly discuss the format and structure of screenplays, plays, and poetry, the unique needs and strengths of each style, and apply these things to novel-writing.
Jamie Hixon received a BFA in theater from UCSB. She has worked professionally as a performer, director, and teacher. Jamie studied playwriting and screenwriting with industry professionals, and has written numerous performance pieces. Her stage version of Pride and Prejudice was produced in Santa Barbara, California. Now living in Arizona with her husband and three children, Jamie has shifted to writing novels and short stories.
Movies and television are rarely accurate when depicting crime investigations. As authors, we owe it to our readers to get the facts straight. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to keep things accurate, but still allow for some literary creativity. Topics covered include: guns and other weapons, crime scene vs. scene of the crime, police department organization, medical examiner vs. coroner, forensics, SWAT, and more.
Craig Kingsman writes about murders because committing them would be a real bummer for the victim. He discovered his joy of murder mysteries at a teen and always thought it would be fun to write them. Craig is President of The Usual Suspects chapter of the League of Utah Writers, on the board of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and a member of Sisters in Crime. Craig lives in the beautiful Wasatch mountains of Utah.
We know our characters, but do we understand how their voice can be solidified through reading out loud as that character? Our voice affects theirs, and once you truly understand their voice through your own, you truly know your character.
Steven spent his childhood recording stories into his sister's tape deck until she took it away in a huff. Even so, he wouldn't be stopped. After 15 years working as a writer and director in the television industry, he left it all behind to become a full-time novelist...with a wife and six kids. Seriously. It may sound crazy, but that's who you're dealing with here. He's since written and published five full-length contemporary science fiction books and five short stories, including Nightingale, featured in Immortal Work's Of Fae and Fate.
Suffering from flat characters syndrome? You're probably being to nice to them. Ditch the water wings and let your characters soak up some depth! Come learn the ABC's of character development and write better stories.
Jo Schneider grew up in the wild west. Her goals include: travel to all seven continents, become a Jedi Knight, and receive a death threat from a fan. Jo writes YA science fiction and fantasy with amazing characters. That she tortures. Because that’s what makes a good story. Also, humor.
Self-editing an entire novel can be so overwhelming that it feels like eating an entire elephant in one sitting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In this breakout session, we’ll talk about ways to break down your manuscript into manageable bites so you can edit like a pro. Bring ten pages of your manuscript (and your bravery) to this hands-on session where we’ll work together to bring your words to the next level.
Megan Clements is a born and bred Idaho girl with a love for creating timeless fantasy adventures for kids. She and her husband spend most of their time chasing around their six children (let’s just say they don’t get a lot of sleep these days). When she’s not writing (and kid wrestling) she loves hiking, traveling, baking, and pretending she can quilt. Her MG Fantasy, THE KEEPER OF KEY, was chosen to participate in Pitch Wars where she learned the art of revision…and more revision. She’s represented by agent Jana Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary.
"So what's your book about?" It's the dreaded question. How do you squash an entire novel into a couple paragraphs or less? Learn tips and tricks to summarize your book to entice readers.
L.C. Ireland is a YA Fantasy author, teacher, and artist. She lives in a mortuary with her husband, her sister, and her cat named Misty.
Got a movie idea? Learn how to turn it into a screenplay. Structure, format, and dialogue. You'll also learn how to use the basics of the screenwriting software Final Draft. Q&A session after.
Dustin Ward "Spanky" was born in Ogden, Utah, USA. He is a producer, director, and writer known for "Hello I Love You," "Riot" (Dolph Lundgren) "Ruling of the Heart" and "Christmas Break-In" (Danny Glover, Denise Richards.) He's written, produced and directed one feature film, and over 70 short films and commercials. He's currently writing a variety of projects for a number of producers, while putting together his next feature film to direct. He's also turning his screenplays into novels and just self-published his first children's picture book.
Satisfying character arcs are crucial in creating engaging stories. But what does a satisfying character arc include? In this class, we’ll discuss how each of your main and even secondary characters should have a WANT, a NEED, a LIE, and a GHOST in order to feel fully developed, believable and sympathetic. Come to this workshop with a plotline and a cast of characters you want to focus on, and we’ll create satisfying character arcs together!
Shauna has been telling stories long before she could ride a bike, and some of them are even true! She writes for kids and teens and thinks it’s kinda the best job ever. She's the author of the Kazu Jones Mystery Series, and her most recent book Kazu Jones and the Comic Book Criminal was released by Disney-Hyperion in April, 2020! She lives in Idaho Falls, ID with her husband, five of their seven children, and two naughty dogs.
In the digital age, authors are expected to do most—if not all—of their own marketing, regardless of how they’re published, but where do you start? This class teaches you not only how to create a marketing plan using tried-and-true techniques from the business world, but how to apply those techniques to every area of your life so you can reach your fullest potential. We’ll SWOT through the process of publishing by analyzing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Melissa Meibos is a creator of worlds, editor of books, and a walking Pinterest board who doesn't know how to sit still. She can accomplish more in one day than others can in a week or she can spend all day reading and eating cookies. Melissa does freelance editing as well as in-house editing for Immortal Works. She's currently working toward her real dream of being a full-time writer.
Discovery writing is some of the most fun writing there is, but what happens when your plot starts to meander off track and your characters run amuck? What if your middle is a muddle and your ending pay-off takes too long to wrap up? Don’t think you have to give up your Pantsing ways to pace your novel. Come learn a few tricks from a (slightly) reformed Pantser on how to pace your novel so everything works while still enjoying the thrill of discovery writing.
During her early years of reading, Raneé S. Clark devoured fantasy books, which continued into her adulthood—since she often believes that a well-written romance novel is a delightful fantasy. Though raising three boys can sometimes hamper both romance with her own Mr. Charming and her writing, she tries to get a little of both in every day. And most of the time she succeeds.
We're familiar with heroes and villains, but what about antiheroes? Antiheroes are fascinating and often misunderstood character types, but they can prove to be a powerful addition to any story. This class will discuss what a true antihero is, (as well as what they are not), how they relate to heroes and villains, and explore a twist on the traditional Hero's Journey by examining it through the perspective of an antihero--specifically, the Mad Max film trilogy.
Dennis Gaunt became a writer the day a wizard told him to pull a magic pen from a stone. At least, that's what he tells everyone. The truth is that he works for Shadow Mountain as a slushpile reader, and has done so since 2000. In that time, he's read it all, and then some. After so many years of reading other people's books, he decided to write his own. He is the author of Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon, and Bad Guys of the Bible, as well as several articles in the Ensign, New Era, and LDS Living magazines. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Natalie, and enjoys playing the guitar and Godzilla movies. He also hates onions.
Is creativity just a magical thing that happens randomly in some people and not at all in others? Or is it, like a muscle, something you can practice and develop into a consistent thing? Yes, it’s more like a muscle and yes, there are exercises you can do to develop it. In this class you’ll learn creativity tips from the author of The Hunger Games, Pixar Studios, Stephen King, Andrew Carnegie, and one of the most famous fighter pilots in history that you’ve never heard of before (no, it’s not Tom Cruise—I said you’ve never heard of him before). And me, of course, a bestselling author who writes 3-4 books a year. Come learn the secrets of where creativity comes from.
Jeff Wheeler is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Grave Kingdom series; the Harbinger and Kingfountain series; and the Muirwood, Mirrowen, and Landmoor novels. He left his career at Intel in 2014 to write full-time. Jeff is a husband, father of five, and devout member of his church. He lives in the Rocky Mountains and is the founder of Deep Magic: The E-Zine of Clean Fantasy and Science Fiction. Find out more about Deep Magic at www.deepmagic.co, and visit Jeff’s many worlds at www.jeff-wheeler.com.
With an editor’s trunk of special tools and skills, your plot holes will be exorcised in no time. Learn what to expect when working with an editor, what to ask, and how they help bring your manuscript from meh to marvelous. Your writing will thank you, and you can thank your editor. (Don’t forget the pie)
Wendy is the author of A Monster Like Me & The Wish & The Peacock. She farms in the summers, writes in the winters, and is represented by agent Stacey Glick, Vice President of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret. She’s a member of SCBWI and loves sushi, but not spicy food.
Lisa Mangum has worked in the publishing industry since 1997. She is currently the Managing Editor for Shadow Mountain Publishing and has worked with several New York Times best-selling authors, including Ally Condie, Brandon Mull, and Jason F. Wright. While fiction is her first love, she also has experience working with nonfiction projects (memoir, educational, cookbooks, etc.) and some children’s picture books.
Lisa is also the author of four national best-selling YA novels (The Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello) as well as several short stories and novellas. She has edited multiple anthologies and has written a nonfiction book about the craft of writing using the TV show Supernatural. She graduated with honors from the University of Utah, and currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy.
Writing your first book is pure bliss. Book TWO, on the other hand… It’s kind of like being caught in a Sharknado, right? You’ve got a contract, a deadline, and NO IDEA what to do next. This class will focus specifically on how to write a sequel in a series. We’ll talk about how to weave plot threads from the first book and prepare them for the last book, how to build new character arcs and deepen motivation and goals, and how to ensure the structure of the whole series is sound. (Disclaimer: No sharks were harmed in the creation of this presentation.)