The Friday Art Cat: Box Love Series – Spikey
Hello, readers! Today we’re participating in the Ch1Con & Ch21Con 2018 Blog Tour, an annual tour in preparation for this year’s conferences, which brings original content from the Chapter One Events team to a number of fantastic, writing-related blogs. You’re on one of those right now!
Chapter One Events is a nonprofit organization that brings writing information and publishing opportunities to young writers—culminating in the annual Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con, ages 11-20) and the brand new Chapter Twenty-One Conference (Ch21Con, ages 21-29). The Chapter One Events team is composed of a mix of middle school, high school, college, and twenty-something writers, who work together to create a unique, inclusive experience for young attendees.
The two conferences bring tweens, teens, and young adults together to hear from accomplished authors their own age, participate in professional workshops, and celebrate the influence young writers have on the world. With an atmosphere that combines the professional aspects of writing conferences with the awesomeness of hanging out with fellow young book nerds, Ch1Con and Ch21Con are truly can’t-miss events!
This year, Ch1Con (ages 11-20) is bigger and brighter than ever, with more opportunities, cooler giveaways, and a new roundup of fantastic speakers headlining the conference. And the inaugural Ch21Con (ages 21-29) will feature the same speakers and opportunities—just tailored to a slightly older audience. Both conferences will take place Saturday, August 4th at the Hilton Garden Inn – Chicago O’Hare in Des Plaines, IL (a suburb of Chicago). Registration is currently open on the conferences’ respective websites at an early bird discounted rate of $74.99. (This price includes a complimentary pizza party lunch during the conferences, with alternate options available for those with dietary restrictions.)
The speaker lineup features Karuna Riazi (author of The Gauntlet – Simon & Schuster), Amanda Foody (author of Ace of Shades – Harlequin Teen), Christine Herman (author of The Devouring Gray – Disney-Hyperion, spring 2019), and more! Between the awesome presentations and workshops, attendees will have the chance to participate in literary trivia games and giveaways, with prizes including professional critiques, signed books, and advance readers copies (ARCs). There will also be an author panel open to any and all questions at the end of the conferences, followed by a book signing by participating speakers.
During downtime, all participants are free to explore Chicago, relax at the beautiful hotel (where a discounted block of rooms is available for attendees), and network with one another, establishing the sort of vital connections that can jumpstart careers and create lifelong friendships.
The conference weekend will kick off with parties on Friday evening. For the Ch1Con crowd, this will be a picnic at the nearby Chippewa Woods Forest Preserve, which is about five minutes’ walk from the hotel. There will be a group order to Jimmy John’s for those who would prefer not to bring their own food. (In case of inclement weather, alternately the Ch1Con party will take place at local eatery Tiffany’s Restaurant.) For the Ch21Con crowd, the Friday night party will be an informal cocktail hour hosted at the hotel bar, the Garden Grille & Bar.
More information on transportation and lodging can be found on the Ch1Con and Ch21Con websites. Early bird registration is currently available here for Ch1Con (ages 11-20) and here for Ch21Con (ages 21-29). Those under 18 need a parent or guardian’s consent in order to register.
For those in need of financial assistance, Chapter One Events is hosting a spring short fiction and poetry-writing contest, for which the prizes are discounted conference admission and publication in an eBook anthology. Learn more about the contest here (for writers ages 11-20) and here (for writers ages 21-29).
So, if you’re a young writer and you’re interested in these conferences, register ASAP! With a growing number of tweens, teens, and young adults discovering the magic of Chapter One Events, seats are sure to sell out fast. The last day for early bird pricing is May 31st. For more information and to join the Ch1Con and Ch21Con communities online, check out the following links:
Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ages 11-20)
- Website: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
- Twitter: @Ch1Con
- Tumblr: Ch1Con
- Instagram: @Ch1Con
- YouTube: Chapter One Conference
- Facebook: Chapter One Conference
Chapter Twenty-One Conference (Ages 21-29)
- Website: Chapter Twenty-One Conference
- Twitter: @Ch21Con
- Instagram: @Ch21Con
- Facebook: Chapter 21 Conference
The Chapter One Young Writers Conference
Every story needs a beginning. This is yours.
The Chapter Twenty-One Conference
The twenties are rough, man. We’ll get through them together.
Hello readers! Today we’re participating in the Ch1Con 2017 Blog Tour, an annual tour in preparation for this year’s conference, which brings original content from the Chapter One Young Writers Conference team to a number of fantastic, writing-related blogs. You’re on one of those right now!
If you haven’t heard of it, the Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con) is a writing conference entirely by and for young writers. The team is composed of a number of high school, college, and early-twenty-something writers, who work to create a unique, inclusive experience for young attendees. The conference, with its subset focus on the young adult novel, brings teens together to hear from accomplished speakers their own age, participate in professional workshops, and celebrate the influence young writers have on the world. With an atmosphere that combines the professional aspects of a conference with the awesomeness of hanging out with fellow teen book nerds, Ch1Con is a true can’t-miss experience!
The first Ch1Con took place in Chicago in 2012 with six teenagers in attendance in person and countless others attending via an online live stream. It was an experiment limited to members of the Scholastic’s Write It community and their friends: could a group of teenagers from across North America really get together and run their own conference? The answer soon became apparent: yes. So, eager to get others involved in the fun as well, the team took the conference public in 2014.
This year, Ch1Con is bigger and brighter than ever, with more opportunities, cooler giveaways, and a new roundup of fantastic speakers headlining the conference on Saturday, August 5th in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Registration is currently open on the Ch1Con website for writers ages eleven to twenty-three and at an early bird discounted price of $49.99. The speaker lineup is up on the website now, featuring Kody Keplinger, author of a bevy of YA hits including THE DUFF (now a major motion picture!), literary agent superstar Brent Taylor, more.
Between the awesome presentations and workshops, attendees will have the chance to participate in literary trivia games and giveaways, with prizes including professional critiques, signed books, and ARCs. There will also be an author panel open to any and all questions at the end of the conference, followed by a book and swag signing by participating speakers. During downtime, all participants are free to explore Chicago, relax at the conference’s beautiful partner hotel in the nearby suburb of Rosemont (where the annual Friday night pizza party will be hosted), and network with each other, establishing the sort of vital connections that can make careers and create lifelong friendships.
The 2017 conference will be held at a brand new venue, the SPACE by Doejo event center, with sessions running from 9:45 AM to 4:30 PM on Saturday the 5th of August. Tickets for transportation and room reservations can be purchased online with links on the conference’s Travel page. Early bird registration is currently open at this link with adult registration for those 18+ and youth registration (with parental/guardian consent) for those under 18.
So, if you’re a writer between the ages of eleven and twenty-three and you’re interested in this opportunity, register ASAP! With a growing number of young writers discovering the magic of this event, seats are sure to sell out fast, and the early bird price ends June 1st. For more information and to join the Ch1Con community online, check out these links:
Website: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
YouTube: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
Facebook: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
And, of course, you can follow the rest of the Ch1Con 2017 Blog Tour at: www.chapteroneconference.com
The Chapter One Young Writers Conference. Every story needs a beginning. This is ours.
Where I’ve Been…
It has been a rough 4 months for my family and I. My mother had a mini stroke in December of 2016, and then she passed away after a massive stroke on April 5. In between, I was working on and then publishing my first cozy mystery. I was compelled to keep moving forward, even though I was being overwhelmed by the problems that surface when you are caring for an elderly parent.
Each time I made a trip to a hospital or doctor’s office to accompany my mother, I would bring all of my writing tools. I had my iPhone in my purse to use for dictation, my HP mini to jot down ideas and outlines, and if I forgot these things, I would go to the nearest pharmacy and buy a pen and notebook. It was crazy, and in retrospect, pointless.
Caring for someone who is terminally ill is exhausting, even if you won’t admit it to yourself. Thanks in part to my Fitbit tracking online, I discovered I was only sleeping about 3 hours per day, and my blood pressure had soared. Logging 3 hours of drive time per day to get to a stroke unit at a hospital in another state, along with caring for my children and farm had compromised my own health.
The trouble hasn’t ended there. A poorly written Will from 32 years ago has caused an incredible amount of stress, as well as finding out my mother hadn’t paid any of her bills in four months, has sent my husband and me on an unwelcome rollercoaster ride. We’re now wading through endless months of probate and dealing with relatives I haven’t heard from in over 20 years. Such is life after death.
Where I’m Going…
I realized that I had 2 choices to make after my mother passed away – either lie down and give up because the stress is overwhelming, or I could decide to get back to writing to forget about my problems.
I’ve decided to get back to writing.
I have two novels that are almost completed (within 4 chapters), and a new cozy mystery that I’m outlining. I’m excited to get back to enjoying the simple things, like a cup of coffee in the morning, reading my email, and then working on a chapter or two.
I’ve also decided to write a new Will.
I’m sure many people who are reading this are thinking, so what is the big deal about a Will? When I die, my stuff will go to my relatives. Not a problem. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. Dead wrong.
You HAVE TO write a will to make sure that your assets and book royalties/copyrights and website/domain ownership (yep, this is for indie authors too), go to the person or organization that you designate. My parents wrote a will 32 years ago that included their parents. Their parents died over 17 years ago. Unfortunately, this meant that THEIR descendants were then entitled to property and money from my mother’s estate, not just my brother and I. In my case, this includes two uncles, an aunt, and all of their tribe. My lawyer told me that intent doesn’t matter; the written word does. Lesson learned.
I hope that none of you reading this has the misfortune to go through what I recently did. A lengthy illness of a loved one, followed by a legal nightmare isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy.
I want to tell you, from my own experience, to do the following things after you read this post:
- Tell your family that you love them. You never know when something terrible may happen, and you may not get another chance to tell them how you feel.
- If you have elderly parents, talk with them about their estate, and persuade them if necessary to write a new Will. Have them write a Power of Attorney as well when they are writing their Will, naming someone to be in charge of their accounts and property in the event of their death.
- Have a DNR request in writing (Do Not Resuscitate). This form states whether or not they wish to be resuscitated. When someone can’t speak for themselves and you’re the next living relative, the hospital is going to go to you for a decision about their care. If it is in writing, you won’t have to make a difficult decision later. If you’re writing a DNR, do a Medical Power of Attorney as well – this gives someone else the power to make medical decisions for them in the event they are incapacitated – such as therapy and nursing home selection.
- Discuss and include, if necessary, the disposition of pets in a Will. Who is going to care for Fluffy and Rover when you’re ill or dead? Will the pets be turned over to an animal rescue or Humane Society, or will someone else take them in and care for them? Money should be left in the Will for the care and feeding of any animals to anyone willing to take the animals in.
- Write your own Will. You can’t get out of this world alive, so accept the fact that someday someone is going to have to deal with your estate. This is your chance to decide what will happen with your money and property, including your book rights.
- When you’re caring for someone ill, put everything else that isn’t important on hold, and accept help when it is offered. I tried to juggle a lot of responsibility because I thought I could handle it all. I couldn’t and I almost had my own health crisis as a result.
- Rest when you can. If you have small children, you know all too well how difficult it is to get the rest you need. The same is true when you’re caring for other loved ones. If you don’t, you won’t be able to provide the best care to your loved ones.
- Be forgiving of yourself and other caregivers. You’ll probably make some mistakes, but getting upset won’t help you get through the tough times any easier.
These are just some of the lessons I have learned during the last few months. There will be more roadblocks, of that I am sure.
Looking for a fast, weekend read? Check out Makeup and Murder by Cat Huntley! It is a new release on Amazon.com and will be free until Sunday evening on March 26. The first review was a 5-star, with a “wow” to describe it. What I can tell you without a spoiler alert is that it has plenty of action to keep you interested, including a bear attack. It is also a cautionary tale about technology!
The link for your freebie ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XR3HZHG
It is early autumn, and Dixie Mae Carver is enjoying working as a Beauty Maven Cosmetics representative in her small hometown of Friendship. Her business is off to a great start until she finds one of her wealthy customers murdered by a knife-wielding maniac.
When Detective Harlan Granger takes over the murder case, Dixie feels sure that he can quickly bring the killer to justice. Harlan and his team of officers soon discover, however, that the killer is always two steps ahead of them.
The ‘Killer Kisser’ ups the ante by terrorizing her cat, destroying her car, and spreading ugly rumors about her. Armed with lipstick bullets and a derringer, Dixie is prepared to fight for the lives of her friends, and for her very existence.
(45) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)
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A couple of weeks ago I launched my new designer collection with Vida Voices. I was particularly impressed with Vida’s ethics including setting up a reading programme for their makers. For their ‘Voices Collection’ I chose four of my strongest female felines: Matilda, the intrepid explorer and pioneering aeronaut from Owl and Pussycat II; my beautiful […]
Every human being has secrets. Why we hide the truth (or lies) from others and sometimes ourselves is often the most interesting part behind a good secret, but understanding what makes up a secret can help an author write a character in a more genuine way. So what should we know about our characters’ secrets? […]