The Chapter One Events team is absolutely thrilled to announce our first speaker for the 2019 Chapter One Young Writers Conference and Chapter Twenty-One Conference: YA sci-fi/fantasy author Joan He!
Joan He was born and raised in Philadelphia but still will, on occasion, lose her way. At a young age, she received classical instruction in oil painting before discovering that stories were her favorite kind of art. She studied psychology and Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania and currently writes from a desk overlooking the city waterfront. Descendant of the Crane is her young adult debut.
Joan will be leading workshops at both Ch1Con and Ch21Con. She will also be speaking on the conferences’ combined ask anything panel and signing books at the end of the day.
Plus, in honor of speaking, we’re giving away one hardcover copy of her incredible debut novel Descendant of the Crane! (If you somehow haven’t heard of it yet, it’s basically a YA Chinese-inspired Game of Thrones. You’re welcome.) Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!
We’ve got lots of other amazing speakers to announce as well in the lead-up to the 2019 conferences, so keep an eye on our websites and social media for more speaker announcements coming your way soon!!
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
We’re thrilled to announce
the Third Annual
Chapter One Events Mentorship Program!
This fall, the Ch1Events team will be mentoring writers ages 11 to 29 on all parts of the publishing process!
The entire Ch1Events team (as well as some guest industry professionals) will take part in the mentorship program, so you’ll learn about each step of how to get published from an expert in it.
Through one short story by each writer, the team members will step their mentees through everything they need to know about becoming authors: how to write a query letter, utilize editorial letters to strengthen their writing, read contracts, and more.
At the end of the program, the Ch1Events team will publish all the short stories in an anthology—available for sale online on Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com, and more!
Now through September 15: apply to participate by submitting a short story!
October 1: mentees selected
Throughout October: mentors and mentees work together to perfect the selected short stories and learn all about publishing
Early November: anthology gets sent to the printers!
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 extraordinarily excited to announce our sixth speaker for the 2018 Chapter One Young Writers Conference and inaugural Chapter Twenty-One Conference: Amanda Foody!
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.
She is the author of Daughter of the Burning City and The Shadow Game series. The first installment, Ace of Shades, released in April 2018. (Just this week, actually!)
Amanda will be co-leading writing workshops with Christine Lynn Herman at both Ch1Con and Ch21Con, as well as speaking on the conferences’ combined ask anything panel. Plus, in honor of speaking at the conferences, Amanda is thrilled to give away a signed copy of Daughter of the Burning City!
Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!
Thanks for joining us for 2018 conference speaker reveals all week! Reminder that we don’t have all of our speakers for the 2018 conferences solidified yet, so keep an eye on our websites for the announcements of our final speakers in the coming weeks!
The Chapter One Events team is extraordinarily excited to announce our fifth speaker for the 2018 Chapter One Young Writers Conference and inaugural Chapter Twenty-One Conference: Christine Lynn Herman!
Christine Lynn Herman wrote her first book at age six, about a squirrel who hibernated, woke up, and decided to go back to sleep. She has since learned that squirrels do not hibernate. Born in New York City but raised in Japan and Hong Kong, she subscribes to the firm philosophy that home is where her books are. She returned to the United States for college, where she traded out a subtropical climate for harsh, snowy winters and an Honors English degree at the University of Rochester. She now resides in Brooklyn, where she works in publishing by day and writes novels by night.
Her debut YA novel, The Devouring Gray, will release from Disney-Hyperion in Spring 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Christine will be co-leading writing workshops at both Ch1Con and Ch21Con, as well as speaking on Ch21Con’s young publishing panel and the conferences’ combined ask anything panel. In honor of Christine speaking at the conferences, we are thrilled to give away a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!
Just click the link below to enter the raffle. We’ll leave it open for one week!
Check out Christine’s book, The Devouring Gray (spring 2019), on GoodReads.
We don’t have all of our speakers for the 2018 conferences solidified yet, but we’re announcing those we can throughout this week. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the reveal of another 2018 speaker!
We’re thrilled to announce that registration for the inaugural Chapter Twenty-One 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, two panels, a lunchtime pizza party, trivia (with prizes!), and all kinds of other good stuff. Attendance is open to any writers who will be between the ages of 21 and 29 as of August 4th, 2018. (If you’ll be between the ages of 11 and 20, check out our sister conference, the Chapter One Young Writers 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:
Is it just us or did January last a decade? We can’t believe it’s finally Febrrruary!
We’ll be spending the month bundled up indoors and writing, and hope you will join us. We’re hosting two free, online events for you this month. All writers are welcome at these events, regardless of age. We can’t wait to see you at them!
Thursday, February 8th at 8:00 PM Eastern: Twitter Chat
The topic of our Twitter chat this month is genre vs. realistic fiction. Join us using #Ch21Con to answer our questions and talk with other writers!
Saturday, February 17th from 7:00 to 10:00 PM Eastern: Virtual Write-In
Hello, and welcome back to the 2017 Chapter One Events Mentorship Program Blog Tour! (Not sure what’s going on? You can read the post that kicked off the blog tour here.)
Today we have the honor of sharing an excerpt from one of the short stories published in this year’s mentorship program anthology, This Is the End. The anthology features a mixture of short stories written by both the young writers we mentored and the Ch1Events mentors ourselves. This particular story comes from Ch1Con team member Brett Jonas and is titled “Deal Breaker.”
Besides being the Chief Creative Consultant for the Chapter One Young Writers Conference, Brett Jonas is a professional fangirl who has been writing YA novels since she was fifteen. After being homeschooled her whole life, she’s now taking classes at the local community college and working in her family’s business, Goat Milk Stuff, with her seven younger siblings. When she’s not writing, reading, working, or doing homework, you can find her wasting time on Twitter, where she loves making friends and using too many exclamation points.
Although This Is the End might look all doom and gloom, we had fun experimenting with the theme of “endings,” and Brett’s story is one of the lighter ones. We hope you love it as much as we do.
And now, without further ado: an excerpt from “Deal Breaker”!
His hand tightens around mine and he says, “Rachel, I think this might be the end.”
I don’t answer for a minute, taking a deep breath, my heart racing. The squeaky booth seat complains as I shift before asking, “What do you mean?”
Keegan doesn’t respond right away, so I bring my coffee to my lips and breathe in the smell of pumpkin spice. He always made fun of me for the pumpkin spice… Was that what pushed him over the edge? Was I too boring, too normal, too stereotypical-white-girl for him?
“Well, let’s be real. You’re pretty amazing.”
“If you say so.”
He grins. “I do.”
I untangle my hand from his and grip my mug with both hands. If I’m so amazing, why is he breaking up with me? I can feel tears forming behind my eyes and take a deep breath to stop them. I breathe in the smell of my coffee, and let out as much of the tension as I can.
“And let’s be real, I’m kind of a jerk like, ninety-nine percent of the time.”
I try to laugh in a way that doesn’t sound completely fake. “Especially when you’re tickling me, or holding me hostage, or refusing to kiss me because I didn’t notice your eighth of an inch haircut.” Or, you know, breaking up with me.
He gasps in mock horror. “I was really offended.”
My mouth turns up into a grin, but it’s halfhearted. Can he tell, or is he oblivious? “Oh, I’m sure you were.”
“See, you have such unrealistic expectations.” He rolls his eyes. “I’m supposed to notice if you do anything slightly different with your hair, but you can’t be expected to notice anything when I do.” He sticks his tongue out for a brief moment, and the corner of his mouth turns up in a grin.
I need to keep him joking. If we’re having fun, maybe he’ll forget about breaking up with me? “I mean, most of my haircuts are more like two inches, not an eighth of an inch.”
Keegan reaches across the table and takes a lock of my hair, twirling it around his finger. He always did like playing with my hair. “I distinctly remember a trim recently that I was supposed to notice.”
Want to know how “Deal Breaker” ends? You can read the rest of it–and all of the anthology stories–in This Is the End, available now!
Thursday, November 23: We’ll be taking the day off of blog posting from Thanksgiving, but keep an eye on the @Ch1Con Twitter account for special, thankful surprise brought to you by the anthology authors!