The table talk format gives writers the opportunity to meet in small, informal groups focused on particular topics, while illustrators will have one intensive session. The format is flexible, with each presenter deciding the amount of group interaction. Sessions may be oriented toward discussion, teaching craft, or sharing insight and information. You will be at a round table with up to nine people. Please make one choice for session #1 and one choice for session #2. Sessions will close when filled to capacity.
Essentials of Writing a Novel in Verse with A.L. Sonnichsen
What is a novel in verse and what kind of stories are best suited to this genre? We’ll explore some beautiful books written in verse and talk about how and why they work. We’ll also try to answer the question: would your protagonist prefer to speak this way?
The Essence of the Awesome Middle-Grade Novel with Dan Gemeinhart
Middle grade literature is awesome. Spanning every genre and taking on almost any issue, middle grade novels are often a kid’s first introduction to meaty, complex stories. We’ll look at what makes a great middle grade novel, discuss how to craft a story that will keep 9-13 year olds reading, and cover common mistakes and traps to avoid.
Essentials of Writing the YA Novel with Kris Dinnison
The YA novel has many forms and uses many genres. We'll look at what they have in common and why that appeals to YA readers.
Discussion: Picture Books, 500 Words or Less with Rachel Hamby
Picture Book publishers are asking for manuscripts with low word counts. Together, we’ll explore a stack of recently published picture books and analyze how the authors and author/illustrators used story structure, illustration, and brevity to keep their word counts low.
More Than Just Clown Face: A Character Design Illustrators Intensive with Jennifer K. Mann
This 90 minute hands-on session will cover important elements of character design combined with some tricks and tips for enlivening your character design process! Bring some of your character work to share if you like, AND we will work on character design to look at together in the session.
Creating an Authentic YA Voice with Kris Dinnison
Voice is a must have for a successful YA novel, but how do writers who are no longer teens tap into an authentic teen voice? We'll explore some successful examples and talk about how to channel your inner adolescent.
Essentials of Writing Non-Fiction with Mary Cronk Farrell
Demand is growing for children’s/YA non-fiction, and the field is exploding with new and unique formats. Mary will cover the basics from idea to proposal, submission to publication, book launch and promotion. Bring your project ideas.
A Crash Course in Indie Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Book into the World with Michelle Hansen
Creating a professional-looking product can make or break your book’s success. Before you take the leap, take this crash course in doing-it-yourself. From editing and file types to cover design and marketing, Michelle will show you how to navigate the world of self-publishing from finished .doc file to books on the shelf.
Writing from Your Own Experience: When and How to Break from Reality with A.L. Sonnichsen
“Write what you know.” But when you’re writing fiction, this isn’t always practical. This session will be an open discussion that tries to shed light on the great marriage between authenticity and imagination.
Crafting an Opening Chapter that Hooks with Dan Gemeinhart
The first chapter of your middle grade or YA novel is the most important chapter in your book. It is your one chance to hook an agent, an editor, and a reader. In this session, we'll discuss how to write a killer first chapter that will grab your reader and keep them turning the pages.