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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July Ch1Con Events

O-oh say can you see… the fun Ch1Con online events we have coming your way this month!

Saturday, July 8th from 7:00 to 10:00 PM Eastern: Virtual Write-In

Join us to write (and procrastinate) at any point that you’re available during the evening. Link to the chat room: http://us20.chatzy.com/12264013236271

Thursday, July 27th at 8:00 PM Eastern: Twitter Chat

The topic of our Twitter chat this month is killing characters. Join us using #Ch1Con to answer our questions and talk with other young writers!

 

– The Ch1Con Team

P.S. Don’t forget to register for the 2017 conference! You have ONE MONTH LEFT to register before the late rate period begins. Don’t miss out!

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 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 Yule Ball Giveaways!!

Today’s the day! Welcome to the second annual Ch1Con Yule Ball: a live video panel featuring young authors answering YOUR questions about writing and publishing!

The panel is taking place today from 8:00 to 9:30 PM EST. You can watch it at: www.youtube.com/chapteroneconference.

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

The Yule Ball panelists are Hannah Moskowitz (Not Otherwise Specified) (and like a thousand other fantastic books), Christine L. Herman (represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Lit), Briana Morgan (Blood and Water), and Joan He (represented by John Cusick of Folio Literary Management). You can find information about all of them in the Ch1Con Yule Ball announcement post here.

Want to ask the panelists a question, or comment on what’s going on in the Yule Ball in general? Tweet using #Ch1ConYuleBall!

ALSO we’re giving away some pretty amazing prizes throughout the event, so check those out at the Rafflecopter linked below!

Prizes include:

  • A SIGNED copy of Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • A SIGNED copy of Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • A copy of Pawn by Aimee Carter
  • A copy of The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
  • A copy of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Enter to win signed books!

Put on your dancing shoes, because it’s time for the Ch1Con Yule Ball!

– The Ch1Con Team

P.S. Curious how the giveaway will work? We’ll draw five winners and you’ll be able to choose which book you’d prefer based on the order we draw the names.

October Ch1Con Events

Boo! It’s October. Here’s the schedule of Ch1Con online events coming your way this month.

Thursday, October 20th at 8:00 PM Eastern: Twitter Chat

The topic of our Twitter chat this month is platform building. Join us using #Ch1Con to answer our questions and talk with other young writers!

Saturday, October 29th from 7:00 to 10:00 PM Eastern: Virtual Write-In

Join us to write (and procrastinate) at any point that you’re available during the evening. Link to the chat room: http://us20.chatzy.com/18298760521341

Talk to you soon!

– The Ch1Con Team

Ch1Con Mentorship Program

The Ch1Con team is thrilled to announce the first annual
Ch1Con Mentorship Anthology!

This fall, the Ch1Con team will be mentoring ten young writers (ages 11 to 23) to teach them about writing, editing, and the publishing process!

Each Ch1Con team member will select one to two young writers to individually mentor. (Think of it like a class!) (You know, except way more fun.) Through one short story by each young writer, the team members will step their mentees through everything they need to know about becoming authors: how to use editorial letters to strengthen their writing, how to utilize copy edits, how to read contracts and non-disclosure agreements, and more.

In the end, the Ch1Con team will publish all of the short stories in an anthology—available for sale online and at future Ch1Con events!

Interested in participating? You can learn more about the mentorship program and how to become a mentee at:
www.chapteroneconference.com/anthology-2016

(Deadline to enter is September 15! We can’t wait to read your short story!)