Who’s ready for some March Madness?! (And by “madness” we mean “WRITING ALL OF THE WORDS!”) As always, this month we’ll be hosting our usual Twitter chat and virtual write-in. All writers are welcome at these events, regardless of age or experience level. We can’t wait to see you at them!
Thursday, March 7th from 8:00 to 9:00 PM ET (7:00 to 8:00 PM CT): Twitter Chat
The topic of our Twitter chat this month is saggy middles. Join us using #Ch21Con to answer our questions and talk with other writers!
Saturday, March 16th from 7:00 to 10:00 PM ET (6:00 to 9:00 PM CT): Virtual Write-In
Happy holidays! This month, we’ll be hosting our usual Twitter chat, as well as our annual virtual write-a-thon! All writers are welcome at these events, regardless of age or experience level. We can’t wait to see you at them!
Thursday, December 13th from 8:00 to 9:00 PM EST: Twitter Chat
The topic of our Twitter chat this month is plot structure. Join us using #Ch21Con to answer our questions and talk with other writers!
Saturday, December 16th from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM EST: Virtual Write-a-Thon
Join us for Chapter One Events’ annual twelve-hour, through-the-day Virtual Write-a-Thon!
A virtual write-a-thon is an event where a bunch of people get together to write a bunch of words, talk about writing, and procrastinate–online. You don’t have to attend for the whole event (only as much as you want to) and you can write whatever you want.
It’s November 1st, which means IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH! Who’s embarking on this harrowing (erm, FUN) journey with us?
In honor of NaNoWriMo (and, you know, to keep ourselves accountable), we’re hosting a bevy of NaNoWriMo-related online events throughout November. Writers of all ages and experience levels are welcome. We can’t wait to spend this month writing (and definitely not crying over writer’s block and plot holes) with you!
Saturday, November 3rd from 7:00 to 10:00 PM Eastern: Virtual Write-In
I can’t believe it’s already been over a week since the inaugural Chapter Twenty-One Conference! We had so much fun putting on the conference and hope our speakers and attendees enjoyed it as well.
We kicked off the weekend with a cocktail hour at the low-key hotel bar. For some inexplicable reason, the conversation kept turning to cannibalism (something I’ve noticed happens frequently when you put writers together). However, no worries: no humans were actually harmed in the making of our bloody-looking drinks.
Saturday morning, the conference started bright and early with our first workshop: “Stories, In Short…” by Ch21Con’s very own Allison Mulder, who is an acclaimed short fiction author, as well as a conference team member. She taught the attendees all the ins and outs of getting short fiction published, and her session was chock-full with all the dark humor (and puns) we’ve come to love and expect from Allison.
Next up was our first panel of the day: “Young, Scrappy, and Hungry: A Panel of Young Publishing Professionals.” We decided to keep this panel small this year, so it was just me (conference director Julia Byers) and Christine Lynn Herman. I work days as an assistant for a children’s literary agency, while Christine just finished a day job as an assistant for a sci-fi/fantasy literary agent, so we talked about what authors need to know about agencies, how to break into publishing, and more.
Unfortunately, due to a storm ravaging the East Coast, Christine and another of our speakers (Amanda Foody) were unable to fly to Chicago for the conference. However, we aren’t easy to defeat, so we did live-streams to bring them into the conference room whenever they had a workshop or panel.
(Due to the weirdness of having one speaker doing the panel in person and another up on the projector, though, we got no decent photos from the young publishing panel. Sorry!) (We will all just have to remember it in our hearts.)
After the young publishing panel, we shifted gears over to our keynote address: “Finding Your Voice.” Incredible young adult author Gloria Chao (American Panda) was our keynote speaker this year. She spoke about her journey to publication and the importance of including yourself in the stories you tell. She told attendees about how she was initially nervous to weave her culture and personal experiences into her writing, but she’s so glad she did, because these are the things that have come to mean so much to her young readers.
(Not gonna lie: I teared up during her speech. And I know I wasn’t the only one.)
After the keynote address, we took a break for lunch. This year, we hosted a pizza party, featuring Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. The group I sat with spent lunch discussing criticism of Star Wars, Hogwarts houses, and (yes) cannibalism. (Seriously, what is with writers and their fascination with eating people?) (New theory: writers are zombies.)
After lunch, we returned to doing live-streams so Amanda Foody (Ace of Shades) and Christine Lynn Herman (The Devouring Gray, spring 2018) could run their joint writing workshop. Their topic was “Exploring Multi-POV Narratives,” and they discussed all the different factors that go into writing a single story from multiple perspectives. Everyone was in love with Amanda’s spreadsheets for outlining (and the photos of Ron Weasley included on every Prezi slide) by the end of their session.
We closed out our workshops for the day with one titled “‘If I were Invisible’: The Advantages of the Unknown,” led by beloved middle grade author Karuna Riazi (The Gauntlet). Karuna previously spoke at Ch1Con back in 2015 and we’ve been trying to bring her back to speak again for a couple years, so we were particularly excited for her session. And she did not disappoint. Karuna discussed the expectations versus realities of publishing, and how to hold onto your dreams and your love of writing in the face of outside pressures. (Once again: tears.)
We ended the conference with the annual “Ask Anything Panel,” which we shared with our organization’s younger conference, the Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con). Despite a bevy of technical difficulties, we eventually managed to live-stream it to our organization’s YouTube channel. So, if you’d like to watch all of our 2018 speakers discuss everything from Serious and Helpful Publishing Advice to, like, their favorite writing tropes, you can do so below!
After the conference, we of course took a group photo.
Then we hosted an informal book signing for the attendees.
And finally, after a long, eventful, and very fun day, the exhausted (but very, very happy) team cleaned up our conference room, then headed upstairs to sprawl in our pajamas, watch 10 Things I Hate About You, and eat leftover pizza. There was also maybe some champagne.
(Okay, okay, it was sparkling grape juice. After all, we shared our post-conference hangout with the Ch1Con team, who we love more than alcohol.)
(But we did have champagne-flavored gummy bears.)
Thank you to everyone who attended, spoke at, or supported the inaugural Chapter Twenty-One Conference this year. We absolutely loved putting it on and can’t wait for next year. See you in 2019!
— Julia and the Ch21Con Team
P.S. Want even more conference photos? You can view them here!
The Chapter One Events team is thrilled to announce our first speaker for the 2018 Chapter One Young Writers Conference and inaugural Chapter Twenty-One Conference: Ch21Con team member Allison Mulder!
Allison Mulder grew up in various small Midwestern towns and a sizable swath of the internet. She writes fantasy, science fiction, and–often by accident–horror. Her short stories have appeared in a number of pro-level speculative fiction markets, including Fireside Fiction, Escape Pod, and InterGalactic Medicine Show. She also helps sift through short fiction submissions at Strange Horizons as a first reader, and has volunteered with Ch1Con and Ch21Con for several years. With patience, sensitive equipment, and ample provisions, you can sometimes glimpse Allison at allisonmulder.wordpress.com. Or, track her far more easily on Twitter at @AMulderWrites, where she broadcasts any significant life happenings, gushes over her current fictional obsessions, and uses far too many X-Files gifs.
Allison will be leading workshops at Ch1Con and Ch21Con on writing short fiction. She will also be speaking on the conferences’ combined ask anything panel. Plus, in honor of speaking, Allison is thrilled to give away one short story critique!
Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!
To read Allison’s published short fiction, visit her website.
We don’t have all of our speakers for the 2018 conferences solidified yet, but we’ll be announcing those we can throughout this week. So, check back tomorrow for the reveal of another 2018 speaker! (Or possibly two???)