STAC

Sessions

Riddle Me This

By Natasha Deen, Author

Junior High: ND-1

Want to play with your reader? Hide the answer to your story puzzle in plain sight? Join Natasha and see how you can hide clues about character and plot in your story. Learn how to create story puzzles will keep your readers turning the pages!

The Busy Writer’s Guide to Plotting

By Natasha Deen, Author

Senior High: ND-2

A hero wouldn’t be a hero without making a choice, but they wouldn’t have choices if it wasn’t for the plot. Join Natasha and get simple ways to outline your story and learn how plotting can help you figure out character arc, help you combat writer’s block and create a story that will stay with readers long after the last page has been read.


Visual Storytelling and The Creative Journey

By Tayson Martindale, Graphic Novelist

Junior High: TM-1  Senior High: TM-2


Learn how and why Tayson became a graphic novelist as he shares how he started down the path of creating comics. He’ll share his writing process and potential career opportunities for his field, as well as his top 5 pro tips for writing stories. Students will be taken through the steps of creating an 8 page mini-comic and will have a finished product by the end of the session.

Heroes and Villains

By Laura L. Comfort, Author

Senior High: LC-1

We are drawn to the worlds of fantasy and adventure. Swept up by magic, invested in the struggles, and compelled to witness good conquering evil: we are left wanting more. Laura will lead discussions on the similarities and differences between the heroes that we love, the villains we love to hate, and how these characters can inspire new creations. Characters included in the discussion are villains Sauron, Magneto, and Mateo and the heroes Frodo, Harry Potter and Hanna. Students will have the opportunity to work on character sketches of their own heroes and villains.

Hidden Messages

By Laura L. Comfort, Author

Junior High: LC-2

It’s fun to add details into your writing that hint at what is to come. Using foreshadowing, symbols and even character names, may tip off the observant reader as to what future events may occur without giving away the story. In this session we will look at some examples of hidden messages used in well known stories and how to add these techniques into your own writing.

Writing Dialogue: Make the Talk, Walk the Walk

By Tyler Sehn, Author

Senior High: TS-1

Dialogue can bring a story to life! Learn from examples of effective, and not so effective, dialogue as well as writing exercises to help find your style. Discover how to make believable, interesting characters that will take your writing to the next level.

Building Better Stories

By Kate A. Boorman, Author

Junior High: KB-1

Character, Setting, Plot, Conflict, Theme: you know the elements of a story, but how do you create something people want to read? The answer is more obvious than you think! Bring your story idea and learn how character goals, obstacles, and stakes can turn that idea into a compelling journey. This session includes writing exercises, and students will have the opportunity to begin outlining their newest project.

Publishing 101

By Kate A. Boorman, Author

Junior High: KB-2 Senior High: KB-3

How do you get a book published? How does traditional publishing work? What does it mean when an author is “under contract”? Join Kate for a discussion on everything you wanted to know about publishing, from writing query letters to polishing your book with an editor and every step in between, and learn ways to set yourself up for success in the industry. (Note: this workshop does not cover information about self-publishing.)

Play a Game; Write a Story!

By Lorna Schutlz Nicholson

Junior High: LN-1

What makes a good story great? Writing fiction is about creating amazing characters, setting the place, hatching plots and adding real life dialogue. Plus, we can’t forget that every good fiction story has some sort of gripping conflict. To get you writing, Lorna lets you play the trade game to get your imagination working. This workshop includes all types of genres from western to sci-fi and everything in between. It is a hands-on workshop, and you will be proud of your story!

Telling Real Tales

By Lorna Schutlz Nicholson

Junior High: LN-2 Senior High: LN-3

Are you interested in true stories? Do you like reading about fascinating people? Do you like writing about amazing events? Writing non-fiction is just as creative as writing fiction. In this class you will learn how to interview, gather information and write an incredible true story that will keep your reader turning the page.

Emotion: A Study in NOT Playing it Safe

By Karen Spafford-Fitz

Junior High: KS-1 Senior High: KS-2

Want to write high-stakes stories that grab readers by the heart and the throat and won’t let them go? Then think emotion! Whether you’re into fantasy, mystery, contemporary-problem stories or other genres, prepare to create an intriguing, relatable protagonist. Then, through discussion and fun writing exercises, learn how to make your readers experience suppressed rage, to ache for love and acceptance, or to recoil from the sting of injustice alongside your character. Expect the unexpected in this session, while we go deeply into your character’s journey.

The Power of the Pyramid

By Sigmund Brouwer

Junior High: SB-1 Senior High: SB-2

Build a pyramid the right way with the right material, and it be an amazing piece of work, admired by all. Build it the wrong way or with the wrong material, and, well, you know what will happen. Writing is the same — except for worrying about whether a ten-ton rock will land on your toes! Build the pyramid right, and you’ll have great story. you’ll have a fun time with Sigmund Brouwer learning exactly what you need as you construct any of your writing pieces, from short stories to essays to novels.

WordPlay for Teens

By Joan Marie Galat

Junior High: JMG-1 Senior High: JMG-2

Interested in writing but not sure where to start? Explore and grow your creative writing abilities in WordPlay. This session shows you how to dream up ideas, overcome the first blocks to writing, and get your thoughts organized. You’ll discover what makes a good story, how to choose the best words, and how to finish. Expect creativity warm-ups, idea-generating activities, and time to playfully launch yourself into writing.

Creative Writing in Comics

By Shea Proulx

Senior High: SP-1

Shea will show examples of comics that defy our expectations of the medium. Afterwards, there will be a discussion and a chance to practice familiar kinds of creative writing tools such as humour, poetry, metaphor, symbolism, foreshadowing, and juxtaposition. She will then work with students to experiment with ways of adapting these to the visual narrative arts by writing and drawing.

Words & Pictures in Comic Storytelling

By Jeff Martin

Junior High: JM-1 Senior High: JM-2

This session is an introduction to comic book storytelling techniques with award-winning graphic novelist Jeff Martin. The relationship between text and image is vital to creating a good graphic novel, and this workshop will explore how an author can make the best use of the medium by choosing the images they show to readers and what information they can leave the reader’s imagination to fill in, as well as how to use text and and images in different combinations to change the meaning of their story. Students will leave class with a completed comic strip using the techniques learned in the workshop!

Writing Horror & Dark Fantasy

By Erika Knudsen

Senior High: EK-1

Learn the difference between the horror and dark fantasy genres. In this session, Erika will delve into the darkness and discuss the three types of horror as well as explaining the different elements that enhance a horror or dark fantasy story. Students will be given three prompt ideas for them to choose from and use the tips given to create their own horror or dark fantasy short story.

World Building

By Erika Knudsen

Junior High: EK-2 Senior High: EK-3

There are many details involved in creating a fully immersive world. Erika will take you on a journey to discover the characteristics that will make your creation captivate your readers and have them coming back for more! Students will be given world building work sheets to help them create a whole new world, be it dystopian, utopian or fantasy.

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