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Young Eager Writers Conference

We are excited to announce the 4th annual Young Eager Writers Conference will take place VIRTUALLY on April 8th, 9th, and 10th.

Scroll down to see details...

Conference Scholarships

Due to the generous guest speakers and staff who donate their time to YEWCon, we provide scholarships to young writers eager to pave a path toward their writing future. Whether you have published several books or are only now starting to write, YEW has a scholarship for you.

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GUEST SPEAKERS

We're welcoming back some of our amazing guest speakers from previous years, as well as some new speakers. If you happen to miss a speaker, that's okay! All presentations will be recorded and offered to view 7 days after YEWCon.

 

Read below to learn about our speakers and their presentations or click the button below to view the full schedule.

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Jacqui Castle

Jacqui Castle is a professional freelance writer and novelist living in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Castle is one of the hosts of the Indie Writer Podcast. The Seclusion, her first novel, is a Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award Winner in Science Fiction, and the winner of the North Carolina Author Project. The sequel to The Seclusion, The Chasm, will hit shelves on March 29, 2022.

Generative Workshop

In her workshop, come ready to talk about a variety of generative writing exercises, including erasure, picture and word prompts, mixed media exercises, stream of consciousness writing, collage, and more. Bring a notebook or laptop, as you will have an opportunity to put one or more of these generative exercises into practice!

@jacquicastlewrites

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Brendan Reichs

Brendan Reichs is an author born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. After leaving his career in law, Reichs co-wrote the Virals series and wrote the New York Times bestselling YA series Project Nemesis. He later co-wrote the middle grade series The Darkdeep with best friend Ally Condie. Currently, Reichs is the Executive Board of both the YALLFEST and YALLWEST young adult literary festivals, and he continues to live in Charlotte with his family.

Keynote

 

Details soon to come.

@brendan.reichs

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Micaela Green

Micaela Green is a writer and artist curious about the intersections of language, nature, and Black womanhood. She has had artwork previously exhibited at The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. When not working on an MFA in Fiction at Vermont College of Fine Arts, she is working as a Mental Health Advocate in Richmond, Virginia. 

Keynote: "The Space Between Us: Freeing Expression Through Hybrid Form"

 

Join writer and MFA candidate Micaela Green for this inclusive, affirmative writing workshop exploring the use of hybrid forms to free creative expression and empower young writers. 

@micaelagreens

Follow her on Instagram

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Alan Gratz

Alan Gratz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels for young readers, including Ground Zero, Refugee, Allies, Grenade, Prisoner B-3087, Projekt 1065, and Ban This Book. A Knoxville, Tennessee native, Alan is now a full-time writer living in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and daughter.

Keynote: "What's Your Origin Story?"

 

Join New York Times bestselling author Alan Gratz as he challenges you to think about the origin stories for your characters and create your own origin story as a writer.

Craft talk: "The Hero's Journey"

 

From the Ramayana to Star Wars to Harry Potter, "The Hero's Journey" is a universal story structure that can be found in many of the world's most lasting stories. Join author Alan Gratz to learn more about how you can use the Hero's Journey in your own work!

@alan.gratz

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Scott Reintgen

Scott Reintgen is an author of science fiction and fantasy books. He wrote the Nyxia trilogy, the Ashlords duology, and the Talespinners series. His next middle grade series will kick off in May 2022 with The Problem with Prophecies. He began his career as an English and Creative Writing teacher in North Carolina. He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife Katie and his two boys, Henry and Thomas.

Keynote: "Don't Write Alone"

 

Author Scott Reintgen will talk through an old idea about writing being a solo sport. We think writing is done in the loneliest room of the house and if we're lucky, someone might read our writing long after we're dead. Writing isn't a solo sport, though. It's actually incredibly collaborative. We're writing with the other authors who've come before us, with our audience, and more. Scott's talk will walk through the importance of thinking about creativity and writing as something we do with the rest of the world, and how that thinking can lead to writing even better stories.

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Michael Evans

Michael Evans is the author of over a dozen sci-fi thriller novels, including the Control Freakz series and the Conspiracy Chronicles, as well as a serial founder of media and creator economy tech companies, and a student at Harvard University. When not writing, Michael can be found running, hiking, playing basketball, and embarking on real-life thrilling adventures.

Keynote: "A Writer's Guide to Mental Health"

 

From burnout to career goals, to identity crises, and everything in between, Michael Evans will guide you through the emotional struggles and turmoil of embracing and pursuing your passion as a writer. He will highlight his own story, sharing the highs, lows, and funny moments in between, hoping to shed light on how to manage one's mental health as a writer.

@mevansinked

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Meg Eden

Meg Eden is a 2020 Pitch Wars mentee, and her work is published or forthcoming in magazines including Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, and CV2. She teaches creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She is the author of five poetry chapbooks, the novel Post-High School Reality Quest (2017), and the forthcoming poetry collection Drowning in the Floating World (2020). She runs the Magfest MAGES Library blog, which posts accessible academic articles about video games.

Keynote: "Neurodivergent Rep in YA and MG: Writing as Neurodivergent"

 

What does it mean to be a neurodivergent writer? While publishers say they’re looking for work from lived neurodivergent experiences, do they really mean it? While I personally have received so much positive support already for my forthcoming novel in verse SELAH’S GUIDE TO NORMAL, and have found such joy in writing about my lived experience, I’ve also had some reactions to my neurodivergent protagonists along the way that have surprised me. Come for an honest conversation about the current state of neurodivergent representation in kidlit, as well as the experiences of a neurodivergent writer in the publishing landscape. Bring questions and topics you’d like to talk about!

@meden_author

PANELS, COLLABORATIVE TALKS, AND SOCIALS

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Popcorn Social! Virtual YEWCon Hangout

We believe, with this many young writers, we should have an exciting, social time together (and play some games!) Meet young writers around the world and join our virtual Popcorn Social Friday evening to discuss your favorite books, authors, character ships, playlists to write to, and more.

 

Hosted by YEW member Alyson Jordan, this social is for young writers of all kinds--introverts and extroverts, poets and fiction writers, the night owls and the early sleepers. Pop some popcorn, put on your comfy t-shirt, and haul the stack of your favorite books to your laptops. We can't wait!

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Workshop: "Giving & Receiving Feedback"

Sharing your work is a vulnerable process that all writers must face. We wish to protect our stories (and by extension, ourselves) from the harsh criticism inevitably waiting for us ahead. But what valuable information are we missing out on when we shield ourselves? What growth are we neglecting?

Join Desiree Brown and Damien Holland from Young Eager Writers for this informative, eye-opening workshop on giving and receiving feedback. Young writers will learn the difference between constructive and destructive feedback, the power of open language, and the importance of "taking a breather."

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Panel: "I founded, I directed, I conquered!"

For the first time ever, Desiree Brown of Young Eager Writers, Alee Anderson of Hey! Young Writers, delmetria l. millener of #TeenWritersProject, and Emma Jean of I'm An Author Academy will come together in this inspirational, informative, entertaining panel for young writers. They will discuss what inspired them to build their organizations and businesses, what kept them going, their experiences and struggles through the pandemic, and how young writers can get involved and become a part of the communities they built. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We can't wait!

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Panel: "The Next Generation of Writers"

The world is changing rapidly, and so is the writing industry! As young writers, we have the power to shape this field into a more freeing, inclusive, and encouraging space. It's time to meet the young writers who are eager to contribute to this change.

Join Millie Florence, Dana Broadus, Risha Chaurasia, and Hannah Ward in this educational panel about how they brought their stories to life, achieved their career and academic goals, and built communities around their love of writing. As they set forth to accomplish more ambitious goals, they pave the way for other young writers to follow.

@millieflorenceauthor @danabroaduswrites

@_hannah.grace960_ @rishachaurasia_

Due to not enough panelists being available, the Writers of Color panel will instead take place at next year's conference. We apologize, for I was greatly excited for this panel. We will continue to offer online workshops with Black authors and other writers of color, so stay tuned for those. If you have speakers you wish to see at YEWCon, let us know at youngeagerwriters@gmail.com

Thank you.

- Desiree Brown