2020 Conference Schedule

Class Grid Schedule, Class Guide, Intensive Classes, and General Conference Schedule

A collection of the Syllabi is available here.

Additional information about the Whitney Gala can be found here.

Follow this link 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

2020 Intensive Classes and Instructors

“The Anatomy of Story” by John Truby

John Truby, author of The Anatomy of Story, has worked as a Hollywood story consultant and script doctor for Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, FOX, and HBO. Some of his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood’s most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. PC Magazine calls Truby “the best script doctor in the movie industry.”

  • How to fix the “murky middle, sagging middle, dragging middle” issues in your stories FOREVER.
  • The key techniques to to layer emotion into your story – and make your reader CARE DEEPLY about your characters.
  • The first rule of writing a bestselling novel.
  • Why narrative drive is the most important aspect of ANY novel your write. (Nail this and 80% of your work is done!)
  • Why it has to be in your premise, or it will never be there at all.
  • How to create a desire line that MAXIMIZES the narrative drive.
  • The all-important connection between Narrative Drive and Opponent.
  • Why adequate conflict is one of the keys to great narrative drive (and the ability to accelerate it towards the finish line)

“2K to 10K: How to Write Faster, Write Better, & Write More of What You Love” by Rachel Aaron

Rachel Aaron is the author of twenty novels and the best selling writing book “2k to 10k: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love.” Her methods have helped thousands of authors from best sellers to newbies double their daily word counts without sacrificing quality. If you’re a writer struggling with limited time or just someone who wants to get books done faster, this is the course for you.


  • How to us the 2k to 10k method to double your words per hour and make your daily writing sessions faster, better, and more fun! (If you’ve already read the book, this course goes beyond the original arcticle to bring in everything Rachel has learned and improved in the eight years since 2k to 10k came out.)
  • How to storyboard any scene from fights to romantic interludes so you never waste time wondering what happens next.
  • Why fast writing doesn’t equal bad writing. 2k to 10k is an efficiency system, not a speed writing hack. We’re not putting down just any old words. We’re removing the uncertainty and time wasting habits that hold us back.
  • How to keep your enthusiasm high all the way to The End and look forward to getting your words every single day. Excited writing is fast writing! Never dread sitting down at the keyboard again!
  • How to edit like a pro to produce a final draft that’s polished, painless, and doesn’t take forever.

“Magic Systems & Worldbuilding” by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson has published numerous novels with Tor-Elantris, the Mistborn books, Warbreaker, The Stormlight Archive, and the young adult Fantasy The Rithmatist. Five books have been published in the middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series. The Reckoners trilogy, which concluded with Calamity in 2016, was released by Delacorte. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; the final book, A Memory of Light, was released in 2013. Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

“Triangulating Your Characters: How Focusing on Character Relationships Drives Conflict & Plot” by Lisa Mangum

Lisa Mangum has worked in the publishing industry since 1997. She is currently the Managing Editor for Shadow Mountain Publishing and has worked with several New York Times best-selling authors, including Ally Condie, Brandon Mull, and Jason F. Wright.

Lisa is also the author of four national best-selling YA novels (The Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello) as well as several short stories and novellas. She has edited multiple anthologies and has written a nonfiction book about the craft of writing using the TV show Supernatural. She currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy.