2017 Conference Recap

We can’t believe it’s already been four days since the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference! We had a wonderful time learning and hanging out with our fellow young writers in Chicago and hope you did too.

Friday night was our annual pizza party to kick off the conference weekend, hosted this year in the lobby of our hotel. (The weather was a bit too chilly/rainy to host the party outdoors.)

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Saturday morning, the conference itself began! We held Ch1Con this year at the SPACE by Doejo event center in downtown Chicago. LOOK AT OUR BEAUTIFUL CONFERENCE ROOM.

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(Also, a HUGE thanks to all of the wonderful authors who donated book swag to Ch1Con this year for our attendees!)

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We began the morning with “Young, Scrappy, & Hungry: A Panel of Young Publishing Professionals,” featuring Patrice Caldwell (Associate Editor, Disney-Hyperion) and Brent Taylor (Literary Agent, Triada US), with New York Times bestselling author Kody Keplinger (The DUFF) moderating.

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“Not achieving goals is not a failure unless you don’t learn from it and grow.” – Brent Taylor

Next up was Kody’s keynote address, called “Why Try?” In her inspiring talk and Q & A, she spoke about the importance of taking chances and opening yourself to opportunities.

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“Every second you spend writing is a second you spend improving.” – Kody Keplinger

After the keynote, we took a break for lunch and our annual group picture (minus Brent, who unfortunately had to catch a flight right after his panel). Keep an eye out for these smiling faces, because we have a feeling you’re going to see them announcing book deals soon.

 

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Throughout the day, attendees also had the opportunity to to answer a couple questions on white boards throughout the room. We started doing this in 2016 and it’s now one of the team’s favorite parts of the conference. We absolutely love seeing all the answers (especially when attendees do things like star and draw arrows in order to show that another person’s answer resonates with them).

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After lunch, we moved into the workshop portion of the day. This began with a stellar, hands-on opening lines workshop by author Annie Sullivan (represented by Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis), titled “How to Hook an Agent.” Before the conference, attendees had the chance to anonymously submit their opening lines for the workshop, and with Annie’s guidance everyone gave critique in order to help their fellow young writers make their opening lines stand out.

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Annie had attendees open each round of critique by raising their hands for whether or not they’d read on, based on that opening line.

Our second workshop was the fun and inspiring “Getting Frazzled: A Study in the Creative Process of Figuring Things Out” by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Booki Vivat (the Frazzled series). Booki taught attendees how to combine words with images in order to tell a complete story–and gave them a chance to try their own hand at it.

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“I see it as a spotlight, but like a spotlight of doom” – Booki Vivat on the “black bubble” her character Abbie stands on

Between sessions throughout the conference, our team of volunteers asked attendees literary-themed trivia questions in order to win prizes. Attendees got to choose between a variety of Advance Reader’s Copies, signed books, posters, tote bags, and (our personal and not-at-all-biased favorite) Ch1Con crew-neck sweatshirts. At the end of the day, all attendees went home with at least one prize (and we actually had collected so many prizes this year, everyone had the opportunity to choose a second!).

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The last session of the day was our annual Ask Anything lecture, which we live-streamed online! You can watch it here, or we’re conveniently embedding it below:

Following the panel, Kody and Booki signed copies of their books for attendees. (There was also an awesome ukulele-fueled jam session going on at the other end of the conference room, which we had nothing to do with, but ADORED.)

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Overall, Ch1Con 2017 was fantastic and we can’t wait for next year.

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Thanks for joining us for the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference. See you in 2018!

— The Ch1Con Team

P.S. It was really difficult choosing photos for this blog post, because there were so many excellent ones this year. To see all the photos from Ch1Con 2017, check out this Google Drive folder!

P.P.S. A humongous thanks to conference attendee (and amazing photographer) Christel for helping us take pictures this year!

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Panel Live-Stream 2017!

Hey there, fam! IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR CH1CON 2017.

As always, one of the sessions at the conference will be an Ask Anything panel featuring several of our speakers. This year the participating speakers will be authors Kody Keplinger (The Duff), Booki Vivat (Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom), and Annie Sullivan (represented by Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis). Also as always, we’re going to live-stream this on YouTube so all of you amazing young writers who can’t make it to Ch1Con 2017 still get to participate in something.

This year’s panel will take place from 3:00 to 4:00 PM central time (4:00 to 5:00 PM eastern time) during the conference on Saturday, August 5th.

This is totally free and you don’t need to sign up for anything; it’s simply our gift to you to thank you for all of your support throughout the year. You can find the live-stream on our YouTube channel at:

www.youtube.com/chapteroneconference

Or, we’re conveniently embedding the video in the post below:

We’ll be asking the panelists a mixture of questions from both the attendees at the conference and those of you watching from home. The questions can be about absolutely anything you want, serious or goofy, writing-related or not. (For example, in 2014 we asked our speakers about their OTPs. One replied that she shipped herself and Panera.)

If you’ll be watching the live-stream and would like to ask the speakers a question, there are two ways you can go about doing it:

1.) If you already know what you’d like to ask, you can email your question(s) to us at chapteroneconference@gmail.com any time until the day of the conference.

2.) If you come up with a question while you’re watching the live-stream, you can tweet it using #Ch1Con.

Either way, feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like. No promises we’ll make it through every single question during the hour-long panel, but we’ll do our best.

Thanks again for supporting us, guys! It means the world to everyone on the Ch1Con team.

See you at 3:00 PM central/4:00 PM eastern!

– The Ch1Con Team

2017 Keynote Speaker: Kody Keplinger!

The Ch1Con team is absolutely delighted to announce our keynote speaker for the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference: Kody Keplinger!

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Kody Keplinger is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. She wrote her debut novel, The DUFF, when she was seventeen, during her senior year of high school. The DUFF went on to become a YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and was adapted as a major motion picture in 2015. Kody is also the author of several other books, including the Middle Grade novel The Swift Boys & Me and the recent Young Adult novel Run.  Kody now lives in New York City with two black cats and a German Shepherd. She teaches at the Gotham Writers Workshops.

Kody will be giving the keynote address, moderating our young publishing professionals panel, and participating in our special “ask anything” panel at Ch1Con 2017. Plus: in honor of speaking at the conference, Kody is pleased to give away a SIGNED copy of her book Run!

Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Find Kody online:

Check out Kody’s books:

We’re SO excited about our wonderful speakers, and we’re looking forward to another great year. Check back on our website for more information about the 2017 conference soon!

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– The Ch1Con Team

2017 Panelist: Brent Taylor!

The Ch1Con team is thrilled to announce our next speaker of the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference: Brent Taylor!

brent-taylorBrent Taylor is an associate literary agent at Triada US, Inc. in Sewickley, PA. He represents upmarket fiction (novels that are well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience) across a broad range of categories: picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, women’s fiction, crime fiction, and literary fiction. Some of his recent and forthcoming client books include YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE by Whitney Gardner (Knopf), PERFECT TEN by L. Philips (Viking), ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD by Eric Bell (Katherine Tegen Books), and KIRANMALA AND THE KINGDOM OF SERPENTS (Scholastic). You can find him on Twitter @btaylorbooks.

Brent will be participating in a panel of young publishing professionals, talking all about the publishing process! Plus: in honor of speaking at the conference, Brent is pleased today to give away a query critique!

Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!

Enter the giveaway here!

And, if you guess our keynote speaker (enter the giveaway here) you can win a prize pack of signed books by Susan Dennard, Adam Silvera, and Corey Ann Haydu! Third and final hint of who our 2017 keynote speaker is: she wrote her first book at seventeen!

Find Brent online: Twitter

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the reveal of our keynote speaker!

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– The Ch1Con Team

2017 Workshop Leader: Annie Sullivan!

The Ch1Con team is thrilled to announce our next speaker of the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference: Annie Sullivan!

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Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana represented by Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis. Annie’s work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels, and her novel, Goldilocks, won the Luminis Book Award at the 2013 Midwest Writers Workshop. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter (@annsulliva) or on her blog: www.anniesulivanauthor.wordpress.com

Besides participating in our special “ask anything” panel, Annie will be leading a workshop at Ch1Con 2017 on how to hook an agent. Plus: in honor of speaking at the conference, Annie is pleased today to give away a first chapter critique!

Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!

Enter the giveaway here!

And, if you guess our keynote speaker (enter the giveaway here) you can win a prize pack of signed books by Susan Dennard, Adam Silvera, and Corey Ann Haydu! Second hint of who our 2017 keynote speaker is: one of her books has been adapted for film!

Find Annie online:

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for another speaker reveal!

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– The Ch1Con Team

2017 Panelist: Patrice Caldwell!

The Ch1Con team is thrilled to announce our first speaker of the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference: Patrice Caldwell!

patrice-caldwell-2Patrice is a twenty-four-year-old introvert gone wild. By day, she’s an editorial assistant at Scholastic, and by night (and early morning, depending on her mood) she’s a writer. She’s also a Marketing Consultant for Ch1Con. She hails from the great state of Texas, and graduated from Wellesley College in 2015 with majors in Political Science and English. In 2014, she won the SCBWI Student Writer Scholarship thanks to one of her manuscripts, Alex de Vega and Pandora’s Box

Besides being a Ch1Con team member, Patrice will be participating in a panel of young publishing professionals, talking all about the publishing process! Plus: in honor of speaking at the conference, Patrice is pleased today to give away a first five hundred words critique!

Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here!

And, if you guess our keynote speaker (enter the giveaway here) you can win a prize pack of signed books by Susan Dennard, Adam Silvera, and Corey Ann Haydu! First hint of who our 2017 keynote speaker is: she is a New York Times bestselling author! 

Find Patrice online:

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for another speaker reveal!

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– The Ch1Con Team

2017 Speaker Reveals

The Chapter One Young Writers Conference team is thrilled to announce that we’ll be revealing our 2017 speakers here on the conference blog (www.chapteroneconference.com) beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, March 1)!

The Chapter One Young Writers Conference is a writer’s conference both for and by young writers. Ch1Con 2017 will take place Saturday, August 5th at the SPACE by Doejo event center in downtown Chicago. It will include workshops, panels, trivia (with prizes!), lots of nerding out about writing and books, and more.

We’re SO EXCITED to share our 2017 speakers with you. However, we don’t want anyone to spontaneously combust from an overload of awesomeness (these authors and ~other~ speakers are so talented, it could happen)–so, we’ll be spreading out the speaker reveals throughout the rest of this week. Starting Wednesday, we’ll reveal one speaker a day, leading up to our incredible keynote speaker on Saturday. The speaker reveals will also include some pretty great giveaways!

So, make sure to keep an eye here on www.chapteroneconference.com to be part of the fun! And register to attend the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference today at www.chapteroneconference.com/register

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– The Ch1Con Team