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!

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 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 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

2017 Conference Registration Is Open!

We’re thrilled to announce that registration for the 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference is officially open!

The conference will take place Saturday, August 5th, 2017 at the SPACE by Doejo event center in downtown Chicago, IL. It will include workshops, two panels, trivia (with prizes!), and all kinds of other good stuff.

(There will also be a pizza party the night before the conference at the official conference hotel, the Hampton Inn & Suites in Rosemont, a suburb of Chicago! Check our travel page for more info.)

Register early (now through the end of May) to get our special Early Bird Admission rate of $49.99! Registration is available at:

www.chapteroneconference.com/register

Interested in who this year’s speakers are?

Keep an eye on the blog, because we’ll be announcing the first few speakers very soon!

Spots are limited to attend the conference, so make sure to register before they’re gone!

We’re so excited for the 2017 conference (and hope you are too)!

See you in August!

— The Ch1Con Team

2016 Conference Recap

This weekend was the 2016 Chapter One Young Writers Conference! We had an absolutely incredible time at the conference this year and hope you did as well.

The weekend started with a pizza party Friday night in the hotel courtyard!

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The official conference began Saturday morning, with a fun query-writing workshop led by Ch1Con team members Christina Li (YA writer represented by Jessica Regel of Foundry Media) and Patrice Caldwell (editorial assistant at Scholastic).

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“A query letter is a very fancy first impression.” – Christina Li

After the workshop, our first speaker took the stage: Jordan Villegas (YA writer represented by Emily Keyes of Fuse Literary)! He gave a great lecture titled “How to Write a Book: A Guide to Getting Your First Rejection.”

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“You can’t write if you haven’t lived.” – Jordan Villegas

Between sessions throughout the day, Ch1Con team members asked attendees trivia questions. Winners got to select books from the huge stacks of ARCs and signed editions on a table at the back of the conference room.

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Attendees also had an opportunity to color a picture and answer questions on the white boards throughout the room.

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After Jordan spoke, it was time for the keynote address by the one and only Susan Dennard (New York Times bestselling author of Truthwitch)! She gave an inspiring talk titled “How I Became a Writer.”

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“There are no expiration dates on dreams.” – Susan Dennard

Next up was lunch and our group picture!

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Future of the New York Times bestsellers list, right here.

After lunch, Jennifer Yu (author of upcoming novel Four Weeks, Five People) took the stage to talk about how to balance writing with school in a super helpful workshop titled “College 101.”

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“You go to college and everyone suddenly wants to know what you’re going to do with your life.” – Jennifer Yu

Following Jen, Francesca Zappia (acclaimed novel Made You Up) led a wonderful session titled “Character Building Across Genres.”

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“Motivation is the character’s car, and it’s going to take them to their destination [their goal].” – Francesca Zappia
The last session of the day was our annual Ask Anything lecture, which we live-streamed online! (You can watch it here.)

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Aaand following the panel, Francesca and Susan signed books for attendees!

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Overall, Ch1Con 2016 was awesome.

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The Ch1Con team was all smiles after the conference.

See you next year!

– The Ch1Con Team

2016 Live-Streamed Panel

Hey there, awesome people! IT’S TIME FOR CH1CON 2016.

As always, one of the sessions at the conference will be a panel featuring our speakers. (You can check out who all is speaking this year here.) Also as always, we’re going to live stream this on YouTube so all of you amazing young writers who couldn’t make it to Ch1Con 2016 still get to participate in something.

This year’s panel will take place from 3:00 to 4:00 PM central time during the conference on Saturday, August 6th.

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

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@aol.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!

– Julia