November 25, 2018 No comments exist

The information you have been waiting for is finally here! In two months the Unleash Your Magic writing conference will begin. Many of you may be asking, “Why should I go to the conference?” If you have been waiting to buy your tickets until you know what presentations are going to be offered, here is a peak at what we currently have lined up for our third annual conference.

Presenters

Dan Wells is our keynote speaker. He is a New York Times bestselling author for his I Am Not a Serial Killer series. He is also well known for co-hosting the podcast Writing Excuses. Fifteen or so minutes of writing advice with a kick in the pants to go and write at the end. We are very excited to have him present at our conference. There will be a designated time for book signing.

The following presenters are in alphabetical order. A comprehensive schedule with presentation times will follow.

John Droogsma is presenting on Team Dynamics and how characters can work together in a combat situation. Weaponizing the Submissions Grinder for Your Short Fiction is brought to you by Julie Frost. This presentation will cover how to get your short story published. Jared Garrett will present on Six Weapons for Crushing Your Productivity Enemies, a helpful topic for anyone who finds themselves messing around on Facebook or going back for a third cup of coffee and a plate of cookies instead of writing.

Jayrod Garrett will present on Diversifying Characters in Fantasy and Science Fiction. In this presentation, Jayrod will help writers to learn about writing characters of many races and sexual orientations. Do you struggle with creating a meaningful theme? Tanya Hales will present on The Power of Theme: How to use a Controlling Idea to Create a Story That Writes Itself. She will cover how theme, used effectively, can help you structure your story and create resonance in your writing. She will use some brilliant films to illustrate the powerful use of theme. Daniel Martin offers us an in-depth look into his personal journey as a writer, expanding on an article he wrote for the League of Utah Writers.

Our list of fabulous presenters continues with Jared Quan. His presentation on Guerrilla Marketing will teach us how to unleash an underground marketing campaign with little or no resources. Jo Vanderhooft has an excellent presentation on How to Write Characters With Disabilities. She has extensive experience as an editor and writer. As all stories contain an element of mystery, Johnny Worthen brings you A Study in Mystery. Learn about the history, constructions, tropes, types and methods that make up modern crime fiction and the everlasting whodunit. Keep your readers guessing regardless of your genre.

Panels

If you aren’t excited yet, just you wait. We also have a fabulous list of panels. One of the main aspects of writing is research, so we got an Ask the Specialists panel to make that easier. Come to a panel of professionals talking about their jobs. Have you wondered what being a mortician entails? What is it like to be a police officer, a fighter pilot or a firefighter? How about an inside look into the world of the social worker? This panel of experts will help answer the many questions you have about these exciting worlds to develop your story.

Do you have trouble writing action scenes? We have an excellent Action Scenes panel for you featuring John Droogsma and Jared Garrett. Characters are the life and soul of our books. Come to the Character panel for more information on how to write unforgettable characters. We will have two different panels on publishing, one featuring Traditional Publishing and the other focusing on Independent Publishing. This is your chance for an in-depth view of the different avenues of publishing. We all know editing is important to creating a story worth reading. There are many pitfalls and difficulties that come with Crafting the Second Draft. Come and hear how different writers have approached this stage.

Workshops

In addition to panels and presentations, available for everyone, we are offering three workshops to help you build your skill in a small group setting of no more than 15 people. These workshops will be held Saturday morning, and will be filled on a first-come first-serve basis for those who have bought tickets.

Jared Quan is offering Caution Narrow Windy Road Aheada workshop in creating better plot twists and infusing more excitement into your writing. Like windy roads in real life, Plot twists and story turns force readers to stay alert as they read through your story, but what is not enough and what is too much, or are there any real restrictions on it? We are going to cover some great ones and some not so great ones. In the end, we are going to talk about ways to develop unique twists.

Forrest Wolverton and Alan Jensen are Neuro-Linguistic Programming experts, and use the power of words to teach you how to take control of your mind and destroy your writers block – forever. This workshop was billed as Jedi Mind Tricks during FanX, and was so popular we’re bringing it back for our conference, this time as a workshop. Bring your worst writers block and ask the pros how to hack your mind to get past it.

We’re still putting together our third workshop – we’d like to offer Critique Speed Dating, and we’ll let you know more details about that when we find a teacher.

These workshops have limited space so don’t let the opportunity for this learning experience pass you by. Send us an email at leadership.team@writersfellowship.com to sign up for one of these workshops!

Now you know how amazing the conference will be, with opportunities to meet great authors, gain new skills, and build your writing network. Get ready to Unleash Your Magic and come to our conference at Hopebox Theatre in Kaysville on January 25th and 26th.

Updates

November 29th: Made some minor modifications to the wording, and replaced one workshop with Jedi Mind Tricks. Included new information about the presenters hosting Jedi Mind Tricks.

November 13, 2018 No comments exist

We’re really excited to announce this preliminary schedule for our January Unleash Your Magic Conference! Everything on this schedule is subject to change. In fact, if YOU have something you’d like to change about it, let us know in the comments!

Friday, Jan 25th, 2019

2 PM Setup Begins
-volunteers arrive for debriefing and assignments
-presenters welcome to arrive for tech tests

3:30 PM Registration Opens
-Raffle tickets are available for sale & raffle items will be on display
-Raffle tickets will likely by $1 apiece, with bonus tickets given for larger lump purchases
-Concessions stand opens

4 PM-7 PM Presentations
-three hours of presentations in the main auditorium
-three hours of simultaneous presentations in the smaller side room

7 PM Kick-off Party Begins
-this event is open to the public, no ticket required
-featuring music, dancing, games, and a quiet room to converse in
-games include a custom giant Scrabble kit, Bring Your Own Book, and other writing-related games!
-light refreshment will be available- think popcorn, peanuts, water, lemonade
-more substantial food such as pizza will be for sale
-raffle tickets will be for sale

8 PM Raffle winners announced
-everyone who purchases a raffle ticket will win a prize
-larger purchases increase your chances of winning at the start, when better prizes are available

9:30-10 PM Party ends, cleanup, go home

Saturday, Jan 26th, 2019

8 AM Setup begins
-volunteers arrive for debriefing and assignments
-presenters welcome to arrive for tech test

8:30 AM Registration opens
-Silent auction items are on display and can be bid on
-Concessions stand opens

9 AM Workshops in the small room
-three hours of workshops in the smaller room
-15 people maximum per workshop
-sign up for workshops ahead of time
-want to run a workshop? Send us an email at leadership.team@writersfellowship.com!

12:00 PM Registration opens
-set up in main auditorium for Dan Wells keynote address

12:30 PM Dan Wells Keynote Address
-NYT bestselling author Dan Wells is our guest of honor
-no other presentations will be happening during this time slot
-possible Q&A – bring your questions!

1:30 PM-4:30 PM Presentations
-three hours of presentations in the main auditorium & side room

4:30 PM Dan Wells Signing
-Trivia game for those waiting, with a prize for the winner
-Take some time for self-care during this hour – have some dinner, sit down and take a break
-Chat with your fellow authors and get your own books signed
-Silent auction bids still available

5:30-8:30 Presentations
-two hours of presentations in the main room & side room

8:30 Final Announcements
-announce our upcoming events, thank our sponsors
-announce the winners of the silent auction and process purchases (must be present to win)

Items for Sale & for Free

Concessions Stand
-slices of pizza from a local pizza place
-water bottles (provided free to our presenters)
-other individually packaged items – let us know what we should provide in the comments!

Goodie Bags
-given to every attendee with their ticket purchase
-contains bookmarks, business cards, and coupons from our sponsors
-first 30 ticket purchases get a free magnet
-if you have a ticket and you’d like to be in the goodie bag, give us $5 and 150 business cards by Dec. 1st and we’ll make sure each attendee gets one!

$5 I Came Unprepared Goodie Bag (in development)
-contains note paper, a pen, and perhaps a water bottle & gum
-what kinds of things should we include in this? Let us know in the comments!

Local Authors
-display up to two titles for free with your ticket purchase
-please bring pricing information and inventory sheet
-every subsequent title can be displayed for $5/title
-attendees may purchase titles throughout the conference, aided by our volunteers
-funds will be kept and delivered to you when you pick up your remaining books

Raffle
-held on Friday, winners announced at 8 PM
-must be present to win
-tickets probably $1/ticket, with bonus tickets for larger purchases
-watch for a separate post announcing our raffle prizes!

Silent Auction
-held on Saturday, winners announced at 7:30 PM
-must be present to win & pay upon winning
-watch for a separate post announcing our silent auction items, including donated items from our sponsors!

Presenters & Special Guests

You may notice that aside from Dan Wells, I haven’t actually listed any presentations in their assigned slots. That’s because we’re going to have a poll to decide what goes where! We have a few time slots that we’re concerned will have lower attendance, so we’re going to put the most highly demanded presentations there to help balance it out. I’m going to go ahead and post this so everyone can see the schedule. Our very next blog post will list all the presenters currently signed up and a link to the poll so you can vote in it.

Updates

November 29th: Changed a mistake (there will be three hours of workshops Saturday morning, not four) and extended the time Saturday out to 8:30 PM to allow for some flexibility in our schedule.

August 29, 2018

Have you gone to conferences and sat in the padded seats, your notebook open, pen in hand? As you listened to the various speakers and madly wrote notes or made little doodles in the margins, have you thought about what you would want to present? We want to give you the chance to share with other writers the areas of writing you are passionate about. If you have something you want to present to other writers send us a message. We would love to have your unique understanding of writing and learn from you at our January conference.

Three of our presenters from last year - Jayna, Ashton, and Rachael - standing around a podium and smiling.
Three of our presenters from last year – Jayna, Ashton, and Rachael!

If you have expertise on any topic appealing to writers in general, or writers of science fiction and fantasy in particular, we would love to have you. We are also looking for panels on nonfiction writing, blog writing, freelancing, and any ideas of panels or presentations for youth writers. Lastly, we are always looking for people involved in publishing to share their expertise. If you have different ideas than the ones listed above, we want whatever you have. (more…)

August 2, 2018

We’re incredibly excited to announce our third annual writing conference! Please join us on January 25th and 26th, 2019, at the Hopebox Theater in Kaysville, Utah.

Dan Wells headshot with cowboy hatDan Wells, Hugo Award-winning author of the horror series, I Am Not a Serial Killer, will be our Guest of Honor! Many of our members know Dan from his involvement in the phenomenal podcast Writing Excuses. Attendees will have opportunities to chat with Dan, get books signed, and attend his keynote address. You can learn more about Dan Wells on his website, or support him on Patreon for exclusive annotated chapters and other unpublished fiction.

A collage of many of Dan's books

Additionally, we are assembling a team of unique authors and editors to provide more presentations than ever before. Writers of fiction and non-fiction will have opportunities to network with fellow writers, participate in discussions about the writing craft, attend lectures and presentations from top writers, and learn more about our organization. Would you like to be one of our presenters? Check out the volunteers page or just shoot us an email at inspiredwriter <at> clearthetrail.org!

A private kickoff party will take place on the evening of Friday the 25th. There will be music, contests, games, food and cocktails.

Our auction will include curated, one-of-a-kind items. We will also host another raffle; every entrant is guaranteed to win! If you have an item to donate for our raffle or auction, please let us know!

A portion of the proceeds from the conference will go to the Hopebox Theater, a non-profit organization that brings hope to families fighting cancer through the performing arts.

Our early-bird registration is now open! Early registration will be available until October 1, 2018, and will be $20. After that point, tickets will cost $25. In addition, the first 30 people to purchase tickets will get an exclusive magnet (pictured below) in their goodie bags!

Register now to reserve your spot!

If you’re interested in volunteering, sponsoring, or presenting at our conference, you can find more information here.

July 27, 2018

With the launch of our first ever issue of Inspired Writer, we also launched our annual summer contest. We had a variety of categories, and a hard limit of 2,000 words. The competition was tough, and we were delighted with the entries we received. It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of our competition. But first, a word about our judges.

These people graciously accepted our request to be judges. They took time out of their busy schedules to read all the entries, and deliberated carefully to find the best. We are extremely grateful to our judges for their care and consideration. In no particular order:

Kati Trottier

Kati Trottier headshotKati graduated from Weber State University in 2014 with a degree in technical writing. She briefly worked for Metaphor (Weber State’s undergraduate literary journal) as their PR specialist. She won $5 once for a short story she wrote called “Cherries & Musket Balls.” She likes rainy days, cups of tea, and Chris Evans.

James Thompson

James Thompson has been writing since he was old enough to drop a typewriter on his foot. He is President of the Millcreek Chapter of the League of Utah Writers and CEO of Big World Network. His book, Lineage, is available on Amazon. His websites are jchristopherthompson.wordpress.com and bigworldnetwork.com/site.

Claudia Baker

Claudia headshotClaudia Baker worked in the Hollywood film industry for many years. She is an avid reader and long-time friend of the Wasatch Writers Fellowship. Claudia is a fantastic mom and grandmom; her daughter is award-winning gothic fantasy and romance author Michelle Zink.

 

Are you interested in judging a future competition? Send us an email with your credentials and interests at inspiredwriter <at> clearthetrail.org !

And now for the short stories! (more…)

July 10, 2018

Last month we introduced a new partner to help you accomplish your writing goals, Pacemaker. Pacemaker isn’t a heart monitor, it’s an extremely flexible and robust website you can use to track your writing, editing, or even exercising (in case you want to avoid the heart monitor). You set up a project, tell it your word count goal or a daily goal, spend an inordinate amount of time playing with buttons on their fancy graph-maker, and then log your progress each day! You can set it up so you start off small and work your way up to a resounding finish, “bite the bullet” by putting the majority of the work up front, or have it randomly assign you daily goals for an eclectic-looking graph.

A series of three charts illustrating possible daily schedules.
Look at all these different graphs!

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June 26, 2018

Hey writers, Tiffany here. This weekend I went to Fyrecon, a Utah convention in its second year. Tickets were $40 if you bought them early, or $10 for students. I went to all three days with the Wasatch Writer’s Fellowship, and we had a booth in the vendor hall. I figured I’d write up my experience, notes and all, to give you an idea of what it was like for me and maybe encourage you to attend next year.

Fyrecon poster with a mounted warrior on a dragon flying toward a phoenix. Text reads Fyrecon: Burn Your Own Creative Path.

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June 26, 2018

This is part four of a four-part series covering Fyrecon. I was running late today, so I arrived just before 10, where I discovered that the first panels of the day started at 9. Whoops. So this convention started at 11 on the first day, 10 on the second day, and 9 on the third day? Very confusing. Oh well. We sent Adam to sweet-talk people at the booth and headed off to panels.

Power Outlining with Dan Willis

I was late to this one, so I missed the beginning, but I sat next to someone who let me read their notes. Dan Willis discussed the difference between character arcs, which contain events that allow the characters to grow, and story arcs, which contain events that happen in the world. Sometimes these are the same events!

Dan tracks all the different arcs of his story by writing each one out from start to finish, color-coding it, and then adding it into the main plot. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Dan and Bob Defendi are close friends, and they apparently share techniques. He recommended reading Twenty Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias, as Tobias breaks down a bunch of different archetypal plots and gives you all the steps you need to accomplish them. Want to add in a romance? Write it out, add it in.

A set of three columns detailing the key steps in a classic Fantasy, Mystery, and Heist tale

Lastly, he recommends creating a bunch of different “bibles” to help you keep track of things across your books. A Character Bible (for appearances & motivations), a World Bible (for locations, world religions, etc), and a Series Bible (for all those things you need for series but can’t put anywhere else). I’ve heard this advice before and it seems to be solid. If you don’t write it down, you’ll forget it! (more…)

June 26, 2018

This is part three of a four-part series covering Fyrecon. My son actually slept today, so we arrived… at 9:30, like usual. I picked up a good friend and Wasatch Writers Fellowship member on the way to the con, Adam, and he did a great job running the booth for most of the day. For some reason I still spent half my time in the vendor room. Oh well.

Adam standing behind our table.
This is Adam. Did you get a chance to meet him?

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June 26, 2018

This is part two of a four-part series covering Fyrecon. I showed up at 9:30 because that’s how I roll, but registration was open starting at 8. Like last year, they had a bunch of cool swag for attendees, including posters and buttons and stickers (oh my!), and all attendees got a free book. I picked up issue 1 of Spectacle – haven’t gotten a chance to dig into it yet, but it looks pretty cool.

A collection of posters, bookmarks, and a magazine.
Look at all this swag.

I dropped by my booth and helped set up and hovered anxiously in case anyone needed help. I say my booth, but really it belonged to Christina, our president. She ran it for most of the day today, leaving me free to go to my first panel at 11.

Christina, Kristin, and baby Logan in front of the Wasatch Writers Fellowship green table.
Here’s Christina, Kristin, and baby Logan in front of our table.

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