2020 Conference Schedule

Class Grid Schedule, Class Guide, Intensive Classes, and General Conference Schedule Leave class feedback HERELeave general conference feedback HERE

2020 Class Guide and Conference Schedule is COMING SOON


Click here to view the PDF version of the 2019 Class Guide. The Guide contains full class descriptions and is sorted by breakout session.

Click here for a Grid Style Overview of the 2019 Class Schedule. The Schedule is a two-page grid with the time, class title, and teacher.

Click here for a collection of the available Syllabi.

Click here for information on the Whitney Awards Gala

Click here for more information on Thursday Night Social Activities.



Optional Pre-Conference Workshops

11:00 AM: Registration opens

12:00 PM: Session 1 Workshops Begin

2:45 PM: Snack break

3:15 PM: Session 2 Workshops Begin

6:00 PM: Classes end for the day

6:00-10:00 PM: Social Events (details TBA)


8:00 AM: Registration opens

8:15 – 8:45 AM: New Attendee Orientation

9:00 AM: Opening Remarks

9:30 AM: Friday Morning Keynote

10:10 AM – 12:00 PM: Breakouts 1-2

12:00 – 1:30 PM: Lunch

1:30 – 3:20 PM: Breakouts 3-4

3:20 – 3:40 PM: Snack

3:40 – 5:30 PM: Breakouts 5-6

7:30 PM: Whitney Gala (Separate Tickets Required)


7:00 AM: Registration opens

7:30 AM: New Attendee Orientation

8:00 – 9:00 AM: General Session and Breakfast

9:10 AM – 12:00 PM: Breakouts 7-9

12:00 PM: Lunch and First Chapter Contest Awards

1:40 – 4:30 PM: Breakouts 10-12

4:30 PM: Snack and Closing Session

4:40 PM: Keynote Speech

6:00 – 7:00 PM: Mass Book Signing & Publisher/Vendor Mix and Mingle 

Intensive Classes

Intensive classes are two-hour classes that require pre-registration. 5.00 per class.

If the class you’d like to attend is full, you may request a spot on the waitlist at Instruction@storymakersconference.com

2019 Intensive Classes and Instructors

JASON WRIGHT: Reader Relationships: It’s Not All About That Book

Every year, Jason speaks to thousands of K-12 students across the country in large group assemblies,
classroom visits and writing workshops. He visits public, private and religious schools and often
schedules time for parents, staff and faculty events. He will discuss how authors can move beyond their
books to connect with their readers in meaningful ways off the page.

JULIE BERRY: Micro and Macro: The Economics of Revision

How do you transform a manuscript into a tightly-constructed novel? In this two hour intensive
session, ALA Printz and Odyssey Honor author Julie Berry, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the
L.A. Times Book Prize, and recipient of three Whitney Awards, will guide participants past
subjectivity to see their manuscripts from macro and micro vantage points, and will present a
detailed toolkit for finding what’s working and fixing what isn’t – cutting out redundancy,
indulgence, fluff; eliminating any confusion; strengthening the prose and the arc; amplifying
character, problem, desire, and place; and strategically wielding each story component; book,
section, chapter, scene, paragraph, sentence, and line – to work for your story.
Participants are invited to submit the first page of their manuscript (no names please),
double-spaced. Julie will select excerpts from these pages in her presentation to use as illustrative
examples, and will provide critiques of the chosen excerpts in the presentation, and teach critique
principles that will help participants evaluate their own and others’ work more helpfully. (Don’t be
scared. Nobody gets hurt.)

BRENDAN REICHS: Plotting Dynamic Novels

Dive deep into pacing and story structure while learning how to outline an entire novel from start to finish using specific scene types and turning points.

JEFF WHEELER: World Building 505

Stop living in your head and start writing the first chapter.

So exactly how much world-building do you need to have figured out before you start writing the first chapter? How do you develop your world into settings that become characters in the story? Whether your book is set on Earth or something more like Middle Earth, we’ll have a lot of fun diving into all the deliciously difficult ingredients of a fantasy world (the magic, politics, culture, geography, economics, religion) and then figuring out how much to reveal, when to reveal what, and how to exploit the tension opportunities each one brings to the table.

BECCA WILHITE: Pick Up the Pen

Beginning the Writing Journey – an intensive designed for writers who are new to the practice of writing.

So, you want to write. Now what? Dive in. Whether you know exactly what you want to start writing about or you’re simply feeling that vague itch in your fingers, come learn tips, tricks, suggestions, and ideas for fearless writing. This intensive will have you writing–today–in several genres, dipping your toes into the pools of poetry, nonfiction, short story, setting, dialog, and characterization, all of which will give you tools with which to move on in the direction that feels right to you.