Hello readers! Please enjoy today’s guest post from a member of the Ch1Con 2015 Team! Feel free to share it with young writers that you know, or link to it. ~Charlotte
Hi guys! My name’s Kira Budge and I’m the associate online admin for Ch1Con, a unique writing conference by young writers, for young writers. Today I’m here posting as part of the Ch1Con 2015 Blog Tour, which spans a number of writing-related blogs and includes a ton of original content from the Chapter One Young Writers Conference team.
Founded in 2012, the first Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con) took place in Chicago 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. And so the conference was born!
This year, the conference will take place on Saturday, August 8th in the suburbs of Chicago, IL, in Arlington Heights. 2015 registration is open on the Ch1Con website for writers from a middle school to undergraduate level and at an early bird discount price of $39.99. Three speakers have been confirmed so far: headliner Kat Zhang, the bestselling author of the Hybrid Chronicles, Taryn Albright, better known as the Girl with the Green Pen, and Ava Jae, debut author of BEYOND THE RED (YA sci-fi coming out in 2016). As a special bonus, Ava Jae’s agent, Louise Fury of the Bent Agency, will open to queries only from conference attendees for up to thirty days after the event.
Early bird registration is currently available at this link with adult registration for those 18+ and youth registration (with parental/guardian consent) for those under 18. This early bird discount ends May 31st and there are only thirty slots open, so register ASAP! For more information and to join in on our community, check out our website and social media platforms:
Conferences like ours are only one of the many great resources young writers can use to find information on establishing writing careers. Young writers have just as much capability as adults to do the work, if we’re dedicated to the craft. All kinds of writing blogs and communities and books can give you help on your way, just the same as they help adult writers. One collection of these can be found at this link.
To further help you guys out, I’m doing a Q+A today using questions provided by a young writer very close to Charlotte’s heart. J Enjoy! And please comment with your own resources and tips below.
Q: Where do young writers find agents for their books?
Once you’ve got a book written and polished and are ready to start querying, it’s time to seek out an agent. I generally use one of two resources to find agents: QueryTracker online or the annual Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents. You can get the second from your library, which I recommend because there’s a new and updated edition every year.
When you’ve found agents, do your research: look at their websites to see what their requirements are for submitting and what genres they represent, read their blogs to see if their personalities mesh with yours, and do the same with their social media. I also recommend using Preditors & Editors to confirm that your chosen agents have a good record and are considered legitimate in the industry. It’s easy to get trapped in a scam!
As you begin to query, again, it’s vital that you read at the agent websites and do other research across blogs and books so you can follow the submission process properly. It’s important to show that you’re willing to do the work and follow the rules!
Q: Is there a place to self-publish if young writers don’t want to or can’t find an agent?
As for adults, there are many routes to publication. You can seek out small publishers that don’t require agented submissions (again, I’d check Preditors & Editors when looking into these) or you can go to the total self-publishing route with resources like CreateSpace on Amazon.com. Keep in mind that you should not pay for actual publishing services and if you are asked to, it’s probably a scam. However, there are certain fees for services related to publication that you will have to front if you’re going the full self-publishing route. These include a professional editor, proper layout, and a good cover design. You’ll want to have all of these things if you’re serious about publishing. Make your work the very best it can be!
Q: How do young writers or artists break into the comic book industry?
Again, you do it like any writer or artist! Big comic book companies like Marvel and DC don’t accept submissions, but you can work your way into the spotlight where they can see you by starting with small comic book companies. Do your research to track these down and submit to them. In the meantime, because of how strongly modern comics are based online, it’s recommended that you begin regularly posting your work on a blog or something similar. If you get a good digital following, you’re more likely to be picked up for print publication.
You can also go the graphic novel route, which would be closer in nature to that of regular novel publishing, though you would have to find specialized agents and publishers. Only a rare few choose to represent this art form!
Thanks so much for your questions. I hope my answers help both you and our readers today! J
The Chapter One Young Writers Conference. Every story needs a beginning. This is ours.