We’re thrilled to announce that registration for the 2018 Chapter One Young Writers Conference is officially open!
The conference will take place Saturday, August 4th, 2018 at the Hilton Garden Inn – Chicago O’Hare in Des Plaines, Illinois. It will include workshops, a panel, a lunchtime pizza party, trivia (with prizes!), and all kinds of other good stuff. Attendance is open to any young writers who will be between the ages of 11 and 20 as of August 4th, 2018. (If you’ll be between the ages of 21 and 29, check out our sister conference, the Chapter Twenty-One Conference!)
Register early (now through the end of May) to get our special Early Bird Admission rate of $74.99 (lunch included)! Registration is available at:
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.)
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.
(Also, a HUGE thanks to all of the wonderful authors who donated book swag to Ch1Con this year for our attendees!)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!).
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.)
Overall, Ch1Con 2017 was fantastic and we can’t wait for next year.
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!
The Ch1Con team is absolutely delighted to announce our keynote speaker for the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference: Kody Keplinger!
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!
The Ch1Con team is thrilled to announce our next speaker of the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference: Annie Sullivan!
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!
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!
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!
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