Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2015 Midwest LDS Storymakers

Good evening all! Sorry for the "radio silence" lately. Life has been extremely busy this holiday season. But not too long ago I attended the Midwest "chapter" of LDS Storymakers. It was a two day conference spent entirely on writing literature...something I am struggling to do. In this post, I'll highlight the sessions I attended and the authors I met.

Kirsten Joy HobbsFirst up, I wouldn't have attended this incredibly inspiring conference if it wasn't for my amazing writing friend, baking buddy, and kindred-spirit sister, Kirsten Hobbs. This past year, she recently self-published her YA/New Adult novel, The Passion and Perils of the Insatiably Hungry (great title, huh?).

Anyway, Kirsten and I attended the entire conference together. It was setup at the Johnson County Library on Antioch. And a first this year, the conference was free because of the library's participation.

The conference started with a Writer's Boot Camp. I nervously signed up for this, unsure of what other people would think of my work-in-progress YA novel. But it was a good experience. And, thankfully, I gave out some resourceful feedback to my fellow writers. That is, if you are writing a sci-fi YA book, DEVOUR sci-fi YA books! Get whatever books you can grab in your genre and READ, READ, READ! Because you'll discover your niche as you read. So, I gave suggestions to all the writers of published books that mimicked their style.

Each group was monitored by a published author. Our "YA Mystery" group was overseen by Rebecca Belliston. She gave insightful and helpful advice to improve our writing samples. I will be reviewing her YA series Citizens of Logan Pond. Thanks for an awesome review, Rebecca!

After this, we attended classes on different aspects of writing, each taught by a published author. The seminars I went to focused on world building, description, character motivation, writing fantasy, developing a deep love for writing, and fairytale re-fresh.

The conference had a keynote speaker, which was Jessica Day George. I attended her classes on writing fantasy fiction and how to find refreshing ways to re-write fairytales. It was great to see her again since our last meet up at ILA.

The conference was not all about YA literature. Most of the presenting authors write adult literature. But the few who wrote YA were Lisa Mangum (love her Hourglass Door trilogy!), Janette Rallison, Rebecca Belliston, and Jessica Day George.

It was a fun experience, especially sharing it with my dear friend Kirsten. Now I just have to FINISH my book!

Have a great week! Thanks for checking out my blog and happy holidays!  

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