2013 Young Writers Conference

26 October 2013 09:30 AM till 02:00 PM

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Event Description

6-12th grade students are invited to attend this year’s ASD Young Writers Conference on October 26th at Clark Middle School. Students will have the opportunity to work with published authors and writing experts during three, 1-hour sessions. Presenters include published songwriters, television copywriters, artists, and authors of children’s literature, true-life stories, realistic fiction, historical fiction, how-to, nonfiction, romance and science fiction.


Due to generous donations from sponsors, including Cook Inlet Literacy Council, the Alaska Writers Guild, Office Depot, Peppercini's Deli and Catering, Fred Meyers and Wal Mart, there is no charge for this year’s conference. Lunch with keynote speaker, Alaskan Author, Deb Vanasse, will be provided. Menu: Pizza, water bottle, salad, fruit and cookie. 

Clicking on the Proceed button above will take you to the registration page. Please register early for best course selection. As classes fill, they will be taken off the menu of choices.

 Please note: Registration closes after the first 250 registrations are received.


Presenter information and course details, listed below: 


Deb Vanasse Lunchtime Keynote Address: The Brave Heart of a Writer: Arm Up Against the Enemies! It takes courage to write.

Bust those windows! Get your characters to reveal their deepest secrets - Characters that fail to engage are among the most common reasons that books are rejected or poorly received. What are your characters hiding from you? What are they hiding from themselves? The secrets revealed by Johari windows will help you develop compelling that captivate readers. Bio: Deb Vanasse began her writing career with the Junior Literary Guild selection A Distant Enemy. She has gone on to publish twelve titles and has recently launched a publishing venture and authors’ cooperative, Running Fox Books. Her most recent book is Black Wolf of the Glacier, published by the University of Alaska Press. Upcoming titles include No Returns, the first in the Battleband series featuring three friends who take on the devil, and Cold Spell, about a woman obsessed with a glacier.  


Jen Cudmore Reaching the Dream: 5 Tips for Success - Everyone who has achieved greatness had to earn it, but what does that look like for a writer? This session provides practical steps to becoming a published author. Bio:Jen Cudmore grew up on the Columbia River Gorge and currently resides in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and a fluffy black cat. She first started writing in 2007 and is now a historical romance author. The first book in the Lawmen of Clayton County was released this past summer.


Cynde Hill , Katie Hill Picture This – Using photographs to jumpstart your writing.  Bios: Mrs. Hill currently teaches 4th grade at Scenic Park Elementary. She is a teacher consultant for the Alaska State Writing Consortium (Alaska Writing Project) and has taught many writing classes for Alaskan teachers through the University of Alaska. Mrs. Hill loves writing, photography, traveling, outdoor adventures and using her imagination! Miss Hill teaches English at Chugiak High School.  She enjoys hiking and movies.  Miss Hill is a logophile.  She plays the kazoo and loves to travel. 


Krista Petersen Wrestling the Blank Page - So you need to write an essay on a topic of your choice. Ahhh! What do you do? Conquering the ever-painful task of beginning and powering through to the end. Come join this session for fun stories and activities to boost your writing skills. Bio: Krista Petersen is the author of Meet Mr. Napkin, a charming book about magic, manners, and friendship. Krista has experienced life in many different roles, making her writing unique as she weaves everyday life into story.


Jackie Ivie Vampire, Witches and Werewolves, Oh My! - Does it feel like everyone is writing a paranormal these days?  The shelves are filled?  Jackie Ivie, best-selling author of the Vampire Assassin League, has some tips to make yours stand out in a crowded field. Bio:Multi-published author, Jackie Ivie crafts creatures from the night, as well as exciting historical romances from her home in Alaska.  Author of ten Highland-set historical romance novels and a historical vampire anthology from Kensington Publishing, fourteen novellas in her internationally best-selling Vampire Assassin League series, and two full length historical romances in her Brocade Series, Jackie is currently at work on her third historical, Averill, as well as her fifteenth VAL installment. 


Boone Brux Developing Characters That Kick Butt - What makes one character great, while others are boring? Whether it's super heroes or just an ordinary boy or girl who must overcome extraordinary circumstances, learn how to create characters that leap off the page. Bio: Boone is an Amazon bestselling author, who writes everything from young adult to medieval fantasy. She's lived all over the world and finally settled in beautiful Alaska. Be warned, all experiences and people are fodder for her novels. 


Tam Linsey What If...? Turning your story idea into a full sized novel –(2 Sessions Long) - In this class we will talk about how to surround a kernel idea with enough pieces to fill the pages of a novel and how to order those pieces so they make sense to readers. Bio: Tam Linsey is a gardener, cook, urban homesteader, parent, and GMO labeling advocate. Born and raised in Alaska, she uses the long dark winters to nurture her love for reading and learning. She is the author of the science fiction Botanicaust series as well as a gluten free cookbook called You Can Eat This!  Registration note:  This course must be taken during the first and second session.  Please select "Part 2" for second session if "Part 1" is selected for the first session.


Julie Rahm Amazing Graphic Writing Transformations: Simply You to Superhero! - Ever dreamed about being a superhero? Now is your chance to discover who you are and reveal the superhero from within. Explore characteristics of a superhero and illustrate your very own, based on your unique characteristics, ideas and experiences. Bio: Julie Rahm is a preschool teacher with the Anchorage School District. She holds three degrees from the University of Alaska, including a Master's in Early Childhood Special Education. Her first book, Bessie the Amazing Cow, was written within a two-hour time span.  Her advice to young authors?  “Keeping a journal on hand at all times is critical. I never know when the next greatest story will be given to me, and it may not be the most convenient time.” 


Marc Cameron HE SAID, SHE SAID Writing dialogue that moves the story. Bio: Marc Cameron is a retired Chief Deputy US Marshal and 29-year law enforcement veteran. His short stories have appeared in BOYS’ LIFE Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post. He has published nine novels, six of them Westerns (several as a ghost writer and two under his pen name, Mark Henry).  His present Jericho Quinn series features an adventure motorcyclist, Air Force OSI agent and renaissance man who spends his days sorting out his life and fighting terrorists.  Marc lives in Alaska with his beautiful bride and BMW motorcycle. 


Halene Dahlstrom Shake It Up! - Is your story stuck? Sounding blah? Let’s shake some new life into it! Bring the first page and your enthusiasm. See you there! Bio: Halene Petersen Dahlstrom has published 6 books and was the Battle of the Books Author in 2004/05 with Raven Cove Mystery. She was the Read Alaska author of the year in 2009. Halene lives in Alaska and has been active in communities, schools, as a volunteer, motivational speaker, writer/director, program coordinator, special needs and adoption advocate. 


Robin Hopper Never Let The Facts Stand In The Way Of The Truth - and other helpful hints for writing successful song lyricsParticipants will explore how to fit their ideas into songwriting format. Bring pencil and paper - and your creativity! Bio: A music teacher for 35 years, Robin has been writing and recording original music for even longer than that!  She has recorded 5 CD projects, and in 2003 won the Alaska Public Radio Network's Song of the Year contest.  Currently, she is in the running for the first-ever Grammy Music Educator of the Year award.  She teaches songwriting at workshops and music festivals around Alaska, and in the Lower 48. 


Mary Schallert Song Writing - Bring your instrument if you play one but it is not necessary.  Learn to improve the songs you write or learn to write a song.  Walk through the process from beginning to a performance ready piece. Bio:Mary has been an active member of the Anchorage music community since 1977. She is the director of Alaska City Folk Arts Camp and an organizer of many music ensembles with a focus in the folk realm. She is the director for the Stellar school choir and teaches Orchestra at Anchorage Waldorf going into her 6th year. She has a very active private studio teaching multiple styles of music including fiddle and violin and has four CD recordings. 


Basil Sands Fists of Fury: Writing Action Scenes That Take Your Breath Away - How to write action scenes that are sharp, crisp and fast paced.

A Movie in My Head: The Growing Audiobook Craze - Introduction to how your favorite books are produced into audiobooks and how you can get into the action as a writer and/or an actor.  Bio: Basil Sands is a best selling thriller writer and award winning audiobook narrator. In addition to writing he holds a high level security clearance and has had many jobs including the US Marines, the NSA, wilderness rescue medic, government IT specialist. He lives in Anchorage and is a member of International Thriller Writers, the Alaska Writer's Guild, and Audio Publisher's Association. 


Lynn Lovegreen Journaling/Writing Notebook Workshop - The writing notebook is an idea/list book, writing exercise book, notebook, brainstorming book, and journal all in one—you can write anything that helps you or that you want to remember as a writer and whole person. We’ll explore different things to include in a writing notebook and have some time to write and let your muse inspire you. Bio: Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska. She’s always felt the power of words; she taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. Her young adult historical romance Fools Gold will be published this fall. 


LaVon Bridges Beware, Be  Aware! Here Comes a Poet! - Poetry will be defined and several forms presented and discussed. Participants will have a chance to write their own poem(s) and share with the group, if they choose to do so. The presenter will gladly give guidance as needed. Bio:LaVon Bridges, Ed. D., M.A.  English:   Major:  Creative Writing, Poetry   Minor:  British and American Literature Employed by the Anchorage School District as a Bilingual/Multicultural Specialist, LaVon lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She is an accomplished pianist and holds degrees in music and English. Her book, Alaska Animals, We Love You, reflects poems and chants she and co-author, Alice Wright used to teach children English. 


Marnie Schlaht “And, ACTION!” - Infusing action into your writing. Workshop several sentences and drafts to revise and revive your writing so that it comes alive! Bio: Marnie Schlaht is a teacher and fellow scholar at Clark Middle School. She has taught high school and middle school Writing, Language Arts, Literature, and Theatre courses for the past 8 years. She grew up on a farm in rural Washington, researched literature and history in London and Oxford, and served several years on national committees representing young teachers in Washington D.C. 


Kimberly Handy Using Your Imagination for Creative Writing - Students are give a few items to look at i.e. doorknob or pencil or floor mat, and instructed to write a story about each of the items using their imagination. Students are to look beyond just the obvious of what they see, but also, imagine what this doorknob represents i.e. freedom, adventure, and possibly the unknown. Bio: Dr. Kimberly Handy is an English teacher, mentor, and author with three Masters degrees, principal and superintendent certifications. She has written books, articles, and scholarly papers. Living vicariously through the words of various authors and poets, is her life-long mantra, and she is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm and adventure for reading and writing with future generations of Personal Legend seekers. 


Robert Manley Copywriting: It beats working for a living - Have you ever wondered who writes the ads that interrupt your TV shows, YouTube videos and online browsing? Here’s a chance to hear firsthand what goes on in the world of advertising. You might even get a chance to write a headline, a radio spot or a TV commercial, just like the yahoos do! Bio: Robert Manley is a copywriter at Solstice Advertising in Anchorage. A 20+-year ad veteran, he’s spent time as a copywriter and creative director at national and international agencies, on accounts such as Cadillac, Toyota, and DirecTV. He’s hoping this career continues so he never actually has to, you know, work for a living. 


Dan Griffin Writing Sci-Fi and Fiction - Share your wild imaginations with others through a novel. You don’t have to be a great writer, just a great storyteller. Bio: Dan Griffin is the author of Village of the Full Moon Curse.  He is currently at work on his second novel, Sky Streak of Terror. Mr. Griffin was born in Maine and moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1990 “looking for adventure.”  He has a wild and crazy imagination and is a big fan of fiction. 


Evan Swensen How to Get Published - Even if You're Only 14 Years Old - Everything you need to know about taking your ideas to published reality. The session will begin with an author's release party and work backward to the beginning of the publishing process.  Participants will receive two free books:  Bringing Your Book to Market and Becoming a Published Author. Bio: An Alaskan resident since 1957, Evan and his wife, Lois, own and operate Publication Consultants, publishing the works of authors worldwide.He has been the publisher and editor of alaska Outdoors magazine and producer of Alaska Outdoors television show and outdoor videos, the host of Alaska Outdoor Radio Magazine, has written five books and published more than 400 books written by other authors. 


Eleanor McMahon, Becky Crandall Artistic Journaling - Journaling is creative and smart. Express yourself through drawing, cutting, doodling and collage. Bio: Eleanor McMahon is an ASD Elementary Art teacher and award winning professional painter. Her oil paintings can be seen at Artique Gallery in Anchorage. She has climbed the slopes of Mt. Everest on a painting expedition and has been keeping track of ideas, images, and messing about in journals for 40 years. Becky Crandall teaches at King Career Center and has been drawing on every available surface forever. 


Hope Miller Show, Don't Tell - Writers often use their surroundings as inspiration for their writing.  Use the world around you to incorporate vivid imagery into your stories.
Tighten Your Writing -
Finding the perfect word to describe something takes practice.  Learn how to declutter your writing with concise word choice. Bio: Hope is originally from Texas and graduated from the University of Arizona in May with a journalism degree.  She works as a production assistant at the FOX and ABC affiliates in Anchorage and does freelance writing.  In her spare time, she likes to do yoga, read and explore the outdoors.


Cancellation Policy

Please notify Lisa Weight as soon as possible, Weight_Lisa@asdk12.org, if you will not be able to attend the conference

Occurs On

26 October 2013

9:30 AM

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Clark Middle School
150 Bragaw Street
United States