Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Upcoming Events, Conferences, and other cool things

I'm really excited for my schedule the first half of this year, because it's packed full of so many fantastic conferences! If you're in the area, I'd love to see you at any of these. Have any questions about any of them? Just leave them in the comments.

First up, Salt Lake Comic Con FanX! Not everyone knows this, but Comic Con is like it's own writer's conference. There are so many writing panels! Plus: people in costume. If there's any part of you that's even a little Geek, your people are here. And you should be with your people. I will be there THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY:

●11:00 How to Get Past Writer's Block in Ballroom C
●1:00 How to Write Middle Grade / Young Adult to Specific Audiences in 150G
3:00-4:00 pm Book Signing (Shadow Mountain Booth) 

●12:00 - 1:00 pm Book Signing (Shadow Mountain Booth) 
●6:30 Plotting: The Bare Bones of Fiction Writing in 151G

Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE) will always hold a special place in my heart. It's a HUGE event. (Seriously-- something like 1300 people come every year.) There are about a million authors there, on about a million panels. There is so much writing info to soak up, and so many writers to chat with. And it's so inexpensive! Three days, filled to the brim, and it's only $55. And for students, it's F-R-E-E. Can't get much better than that.

The symposium is February 12-14 at the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Provo, Utah. More info at LTUE's website here.

I will be there on Friday and Saturday, and I'm on the following panels:

● Friday at 3:00pm Queries: When and How
● Saturday at 9:00am Common Grammatical Errors
● Saturday at 3:00pm Your Writer’s Group

Sidenote: In order to keep it free for students, LTUE would love donations! If you're in a position to help, Here's LTUE's Donation Page. And I think you're awesome.

I am so honored that Sky Jumpers is on the Beehive List this year. The incredible folks at the Children's Literature Association of Utah are the ones responsible for the Beehive List. They have teamed up with the Orem Public Library for a special Sky Jumpers family event. I will be speaking for a few minutes, then there will be tons of games and activities that are all Sky Jumpers -themed. It's going to be so much fun!

It all happens on Monday, February 23rd at 7:00pm at the Orem Library in Orem, Utah. Get more info at the Orem Library's Website.

Writing for Charity is an amazing one day event, where nationally published authors teach and critique. Some very amazing agents are coming, too! It's a great place to learn more about writing craft and have your work critiqued by experts.

I will be on a couple of panels (TBA), and I will be doing critiques.

It all happens at the historic Provo City Library in Provo, Utah on Saturday, March 21. You can find out more at the Writing for Charity website.

If you are a teen writer, Teen Author Boot Camp (TABC) is the place to be! Not only do you get to hang out with 500 teens who are passionate about the same things you're passionate about, but amazing authors come. Brandon Sanderson and Jessica Day George are the keynote speakers this year, and there are an impressive lineup of author Drill Sergeants.

Saturday, April 11th at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. I will be on two panels:

10:20 am Writing Habits
2:35 pm Out of this World

Get more information at the Teen Author Boot Camp website.

I am so thrilled / honored / crazy excited to be at the Texas Library Association's annual conference in Austin, TX on April 14-17! It's a massive conference filled with some of my favorite people-- librarians! Sky Jumpers is on the Bluebonnet list, so I'll be taking part in the event "Speed Dating the Texas Bluebonnet Books" from 4:00-6:00 on April 14th. I'll be signing books at the event, as well as participating in a lot of really fun activities / social events / bookish things. If you ever get a chance to go to an event like this, take it!

Cavalcade of Authors West is in it's debut year, and they are set to make a splash! They are a young writer's workshop in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. I, along with 14 other authors from around the country, will be teaching workshops and panels, doing signings, and visiting schools.

The conference is on Saturday, May 2.

If you're in the Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) area in Tacoma, Washington, check it out! It's an astoundingly inexpensive $15 for registration. Find out more at the Cavalcade of Authors West website.

Storymakers is probably my very favorite conference to attend, because the level of instruction there is unbeatable. The conference is Friday and Saturday, May 15-16 at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah. There's also a Thursday Boot Camp or Publication Primer, both of which provide fantastic feedback. My schedule:

●  Thursday,  I'll be a Boot Camp instructor
●  Friday at 10:00 am Panel: What to Expect From Publication Pros
●  Friday at 4:40 pm Class: When Your Mojo Is Lost and You Can’t Seem to Find It
●  Saturday at 9:30 am Panel: The Perfect Publishing Path
●  Saturday at 10:30 am Class: Unraveling the Query Process
●  Saturday at 4:15 Book Signing

Get more info at the LDStorymakers website.

I don't have any details yet, but I will be teaching an afternoon class at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference. This is a very immersive week-long conference (June 15-19) that I got so much out of as an attendee when I first started writing. I'm excited to be going back!

Are any of these conferences on your To Go To list? If not, do you have other conferences you like to go to? I want to hear about them!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Middle Shelf Magazine Love

Are you a fan of middle grade books? If you're not already receiving the digital Middle Shelf Magazine, go subscribe for free! It is so chock-full of middle grade goodness!

I've been enjoying the magazine for months. I was thrilled when I got word that one of their kid reviewers had chosen The Forbidden Flats as the book he'd review. Reviews from kids are the best! I love them all to pieces. Check it out:

Or, to see the whole issue, you can go right to Middle Shelf Magazine.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My year in books

Want to know one thing I loved to pieces about 2014? THE BOOKS. Don't you wish you could have a read-a-thon like you did in elementary school, and hang out in pajamas and bring snacks and read all day long? For like a month straight? THERE ARE JUST SO MANY GOOD BOOKS OUT THERE AND SO LITTLE TIME!

There's nothing quite the same as changing a book's status from Want-To-Read to Read, is there? I kind of loved switching those statuses for all of these.

Picture Books

I don't read picture books to my kids any more, so there aren't so many on my Read list. A picture book has to REALLY grab my attention for me to search it out. And I loved these!


Middle Grade Books

Ahh. MG books. Where my heart lies.


YA Books

As you can tell, I'm a huge fan of YA.


Non-Fiction Books

There's something about the beginning of summer that makes me crave non-fiction. Not for long amounts of time, but that craving always hits.


How was your reading year? Did we read any of the same books? Did any books that you read really stick with you? I'm always looking for awesome books to read! What's on your To-Read list that you're dying to get to?