Storymakers Conference Faculty2019 Faculty Coming in November 2018
Instructors are listed in alphabetical order with Intensive faculty listed first, returning faculty second, and debut faculty below.
For the CLASS SCHEDULE, please go HERE. (Link coming soon)
THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AS WE FINALIZE THE 2019 CLASS SCHEDULE.
MICRO and MACRO: The Economics of Revision
Info Coming Soon
PLOTTING DYNAMIC NOVELS
Info Coming Soon
WORLD BUILDING 505
Info Coming Soon
PICK UP THE PEN: Beginning the Writing Journey - an intensive for new writers
Info Coming Soon
Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas as well as the skills needed to survive her children’s teenage years. She has written more than twenty bestselling novels and is a three-time Whitney Award winner. When she’s not writing, Traci enjoys spending time with her husband and five children, preferably on a nice quiet beach somewhere. You can learn more about Traci on her website HERE.
Class: Series, sequels and spin-offs: What to do when the end is really just the beginning
Lindzee Armstrong is the USA Today bestselling author of the No Match for Love series and Sunset Plains Romance series. Her superpower is the ability to create order out of chaos, and she’s used that ability to successfully launch her writing career—and keep it there. She loves teaching other authors how to increase their productivity through organizing! You can learn more about Lindzee on her website, HERE.
Class: Getting Organized
Jeff has worked as a professional copywriter since 2010 at two separate companies with a national presence. His work has involved numerous writing projects, including online curriculum, informational eBooks, sales scripts, product descriptions, blog posts, and more. Aside from his work as a copywriter, he has also assisted in the hiring of other writers through interviews as well as reviewing résumés and writing samples. Part of this included devising a highly specific editing test to evaluate candidate knowledge of grammar, style guides, and the employer’s industry.
Class: How to Land a Writing Job in the Corporate World
Cindy Baldwin is a fiction writer, essayist, and poet. She grew up in North Carolina and still misses the sweet watermelons and warm accents on a daily basis. As a middle schooler, she kept a book under her bathroom sink to read over and over while fixing her hair or brushing her teeth, and she dreams of writing the kind of books readers can’t bear to be without. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter, surrounded by tall trees and wild blackberries. Her debut middle grade novel, WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2018.
Class: Descriptive Writing 101: It’s More Than Just Adjectives, Baby!
Stephanie Black is the author of ten novels, most recently Mind Games (Covenant Communications, September 2017). She is a four-time Whitney Award winner for Best Mystery/Suspense and a finalist for Best Speculative Novel. She thinks the Storymakers Conference is one of the best events on the planet and loves to hang out with a bunch of people who understand hand-wringing over characterization, fretting over plot twists, and the challenges of semicolon usage. You can learn more about Stephanie on her website HERE.
Classes: Dialogue: How to Get Your Characters to Sound Like Themselves & Clarity: How to Avoid the Need for a Vulcan Mind-Meld
Sarah M. Eden
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today Bestselling author of witty and charming historical romances. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in research and has traveled far and wide in search of just the right details to give her writing authenticity and depth. You can learn more about Sarah on her website.
Class: Career Saving Advice and Insights
Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the reading and telling of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. She has a PhD in English, emphasis on rhetoric and composition, from Penn State, and she teaches writing at Southern Utah University. Her debut novel, a historical YA fantasy, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, comes out March 2017 from Knopf/Random House. You can Find Rosalyn Eves on her website HERE.
Class: Cultivating Culture
Donna Hatch, author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, the force that drove her to write and publish twenty historical romance titles, to date. She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and she juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six children. Also a music lover, she sings and plays the harp, and she loves to ballroom dance. Donna and her family recently transplanted from her native Arizona to the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.
Classes: Dressing Your Regency Lady
USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances, the anthology Love for All Seasons, and World War One romances, which include Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all laughing with her husband and kids.
Class: ROMANCING THE PAST: How to Write A Compelling Historical Romance
Charlie N. Holmberg
Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg is the author of several (often romantic) fantasy novels, including the bestselling The Paper Magician series. A RITA Award finalist, she majored in English and minored in editing at Brigham Young University. Raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names, Charlie plays the piano and ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day adopt a dog. For more on the author and her work, click here.
Classes: The Anatomy of the Short Story & Magic Systems
Margot Hovley has given presentations on Scrivener several times, both to groups and to assist individuals, after using the program extensively for years. Sometimes she feels like a Scrivener missionary! She’s published two books with Covenant Communications, and has published stories in several anthologies. She’s received many awards for her writing, including a 1st place in a national short story contest. She is currently a department editor for Ensign magazine.
Classes: Scrivener For Dummies & Scrivener 201
Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She lives in Southern California with her husband and children and a series of doomed houseplants, and holds a masters degree in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Melanie has several romantic comedies published by Covenant and her work in the national market is represented by Alyssa Henkin of Trident Media Group.
Class: The Ultimate Emotional Payoff
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer Jenkins had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington, the Napoleonic Wars, and Ancient Sparta … until the writing began. She is the author of the NAMELESS Trilogy (YA Fantasy, Month9Books) and co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, a federal non-profit organization dedicated to promoting teen literacy and authorship. She divides her free time between reading, writing music, taking spontaneous trips, researching random events from the past, and fostering her adrenaline junkie addictions.
Classes: Becoming Your Reader’s Worst Nightmare & Sovereignty and Idealogies
Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and has written twenty-five novels, one cookbook, and been part of multiple collaborations since then. She is a four-time Whitney Award winner and Best of State winner in Fiction. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband and children. Look for her upcoming national women’s fiction novel, As Wide as the Sky, published through Kensington Press under the name Jessica Pack, sometime in 2018.
Classes: Leveling up Point of View & The Yin and Yang of Dark Moments and Emotional Payoffs
Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of several middle grade and young adult novels, including The Clockwork Three, Icefall, The Lost Kingdom, the Dark Gravity Sequence, A Taste for Monsters, and the Assassin’s Creed series, Last Descendants. He has won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, the PEN Center USA award for Children’s Literature, the Judy Lopez Memorial Award, and has been named to the New York Public Library’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing, and the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults lists. He is also a school psychologist, and currently lives in Utah with his wife and three step-kids.
Class: The Forest for the Trees
Brittany Larsen has written, four contemporary novels based Jane Austen classics. The first was self-published, while Pride & Politics and Sense & Second Chances were both released by Covenant Communications. Her fourth, and last, Jane Austen retelling (unless she can’t resist doing another) will be released by Covenant in July 2018. She hopes someday to be the first author ever to come up with a totally original idea. Until then, she’ll be culling the classics for her next story.
Class: Old is the New New: Making a Classic Contemporary
Sara B. Larson
Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY trilogy: DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE. Her latest release is DARK BREAKS THE DAWN, a fantasy reimagining of Swan Lake, coming May 30th, 2017. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their children, and their Maltese, Loki. When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction. To learn more about Sara B. Larson, visit her website HERE.
Class: The Murkiest Middle of All
Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, a YA fantasy series. Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives in Utah with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read another textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing Overwatch, and watching her favorite TV shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.
Class: Follow the Action: Using the Proactive Character to Determine Point of View
Annette Lyon is a USA Today bestselling author of romance, women’s fiction, and books that definitely straddle the line. She’s won a Whitney Award for women’s fiction (Band of Sisters) and has been a Whitney Award finalist with both historical romance (Spires of Stone) and contemporary women’s fiction (The Newport Ladies Book Club: Paige). Her women’s fiction has been recognized by the League of Utah Writers (Band of Sisters: Coming Home and Paige.) For her work in both genres, she’s been awarded five of Utah’s Best of State medals. Annette is represented by Heather Karpas at ICM Partners. You can find her on her website, HERE.
Class: Am I Writing Romance or Women’s Fiction? Defining the Genres & Learning When and How to Straddle the Line
Lisa Mangum has worked with books her entire life, beginning with her volunteer work in the elementary school library all the way through her graduation from the University of Utah. She has worked in the publishing industry since 1997. In 2014, she was named Managing Editor of Shadow Mountain. She is also the author of four award-winning YA novels, several short stories and novellas, and the editor of four fantasy anthologies.
Classes: Everything I Needed to Know about Writing I Learned from Cuthbert Clark Hemingnot & How to Write an Ending That Doesn’t Suck
Originally from the Midwest, Caitlyn McFarland currently lives in Utah with her husband and three young daughters. She has a Bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she’s not writing about dragons or running around after her daughters, she can be found hunched over a sewing machine making elaborate princess costumes. A freelance editor, Caitlyn is the author of the Dragonsworn trilogy and was a 2016 Whitney finalist.
Class: Get a “Degree” in Creative Writing from the Internet
Heather B. Moore
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author. Heather has earned various awards for her fiction, including Best of State (5x), Whitney Award (3x), Golden Quill (2x), and the RONE Award (3x). She writes historicals and thrillers under H.B. Moore; women’s fiction, romance, and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore; and YA speculative under Jane Redd. You can just call her Heather. Her kids call her Mom! Her husband calls her Knuckles (long story). She’s been a member of Storymakers for years and years. Heather runs Precision Editing Group as well as Mirror Press—indie publisher of the Timeless Romance brand. Find out more here.
Class: Making the most out of your writing career: Author Collaboration
Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that is anything but romantic. She suffers from an unhealthy addiction to 18th and 19th century military history and literature. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was on board a frigate during the Age of Sail. You can learn more about Jennifer on her website, HERE.
Class: HEROES AND HEROINES: You Complete Me
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Jennifer Nielsen is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of several books for young readers, some which have also been Whitney award nominees or winners. She lives in northern Utah with her husband, three kids, and a dog that won’t play fetch. She loves dark chocolate and may or may not be addicted to a certain diet drink that shall not be named here. To learn more about Jennifer Neilsen, visit her website.
Classes: Deconstructing the Breakout Book & Antagonist Archetypes, Not Villain Stereotypes
Shaela Odd is an independent author who takes great pride in her work. She has designed all her own book covers and several for other authors as well. With over ten years design experience in the paper and digital crafting industry, her artwork has been published in numerous books, magazines, and websites. Having shifted her focus from crafting to writing, she’s taken her artistic knowledge and skills and applied them to book cover design. She is proof that you don’t need to have a special degree or formal training to create amazing artwork!
Class: It’s OK To Judge: Book Cover Design for the Indie Author
Luke Peterson uses fiction to build real world cities, and real-world expertise to build great fiction. A graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Luke has trained hundreds of government executives, survived nasty run-ins with the mob on both sides of the Atlantic, consulted Congress on renewal of the Voting Rights Act, and helped actor Richard Dreyfuss launch a national nonprofit organization. In partnership with the Cities of Boston and Philadelphia, his innovation office uses empathy-based research and, under the Futurescapes Project, the forward-facing vision of science fiction to solve complex civic problems.
Class: Empathy: The Engine of Great Fiction & Integrated Systems Theory
Jenny Proctor lives in Summerville, SC with her husband and six children. She loves spending time outside with her family and is happy her home keeps her close to the beach, and to the mountains. She loves great food and great friends, especially when she can enjoy them together. Jenny has four published novels, including contemporary romances Wrong For You (2017) and the 2016 Whitney Award winner in the Romance Category, Love at First Note.
Class: Conflict in Romance: Keeping Characters Apart in Just the Right Way
Kathryn Purdie is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins). She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and three children. Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama and has taught writing classes at WIFYR, Sundance Workshops, LDStorymakers Conferences, and has been the keynote speaker for Writing for Charity and the BYU Idaho College of Language and Letters. You can find her website HERE.
Class: How to Trap Your Character in a Crucible
USA Today, bestselling author, Janette Rallison/ CJ Hill writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms. Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 26 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 print copies and have been on many reading and state lists. Her books are fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic comedy because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric. You can find Janette Rallison & CJ Hill here.
Classes: Creating Memorable Characters & Seriously Funny
Rebecca Rode is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her published fiction includes the Numbers Game trilogy, the Ember in Space series, and numerous novellas. She is also a freelance journalist. Her articles have appeared in Deseret News, KSL.com, Family Share, and Provo Daily Herald, although her true love is writing for teenagers. Rebecca has four children, two cats, one husband, and a ridiculous number of books. You can find more information on her website, HERE.
Classes: Amazon Ads: Taking Your Marketing to the Next Level
Caitlin Sangster has been writing since middle school. She always thought of it as a silly, compulsive habit sort of habit until she realized that people like reading stories and she liked writing them and there wasn’t much silly about that. The first book in her post-apocalyptic trilogy set in China, LAST STAR BURNING, is available now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse. Caitlin also co-hosts the podcast Literary Work in Progress, where established authors read and critique querying authors’ first chapters to help them get agents’ and editors’ attention.
Class: Two Feet On the Ground: World Building Bibles
J. Scott Savage
J Scott Savage is the author of 18 published novels ranging from children’s fantasy to adult mystery. His books have received starred Kirkus and PW reviews, Jr. Library Guild Selection, a Whitney award and other recognition. He has published with Harper, Shadow Mountain, Deseret Book, Covenant, and self-published. He is represented by Michael Bourret of Dystel Goderich & Bourret. You can find his website here.
Class: Stories That Stand Out
Colleen M. Story has worked in the creative writing industry for over twenty years. Her latest release, Overwhelmed Writer Rescue, helps writers and other creative artists escape the tyranny of the to-do list and nurture the genius within. Her novels include Loreena’s Gift, a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner. She has authored thousands of articles for publications like Healthline and Women’s Health, and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer. She is the founder of Writing and Wellness, and regularly works as a motivational speaker and workshop leader.
Class: The Monster in Every Writer’s Closet: Free Your Writing from Self-Doubt Sabotage
Kimberly Vanderhorst is a speculative fiction author with a flair for writing evocative sentences. Her books aren’t half bad either. Represented by the incomparable Lorin Oberweger of Adams Literary, Kimberly co-chairs the annual Storymakers First Chapter Contest, and will be a 2018 Pitch Wars mentor. Despite being Canadian, she is sporadically impolite and cusses more than a Relief Society president probably should.
Class: Emotional Resonance: How to Craft Sentences and Stories That Will Wreck Your Readers
Screenwriter/Filmmaker, Dustin “Spanky” Ward, was born in Ogden, Utah. He began his writing career as a disk jockey at Weber State’s radio station – first creating radio spots, then turning to television commercials and film. In his last year of school, he began writing, directing and producing his own short films and commercials. He recently completed his first feature film titled, “Hello, I Love You.” He has also authored and sold 10 screenplays, two of which have been produced, while others are in various stages of development. Dustin resides in Holladay, Utah.
Class: Beginner Screenwriting and Final Draft basics
Robison Wells is the author of eight novels, including the Variant series, which was named a Publisher’s Weekly book of the year and was the winner of many state and national awards. He is married with three kids, living on a hill in the Rocky Mountains. He cowrote a book with James Patterson, Disasterland, which will be released on May 18th.
Class: When The Pie Was Opened: What I Learned From Co-Writing with James Patterson
Author Julie Wright is a Best in Romance Whitney Awards winner. She has written over twenty novels and is agented by Sara Crowe. Her latest novel, Lies Jane Austen Told Me, is part of the Proper Romance line with Shadow Mountain. She loves reading and writing, playing on the beach or hiking with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner. You can learn more about Julie on her website, HERE.
Class: Swipe Right: The Laws of Attraction for Romance Writers