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Kanab Writers Conference

Event Start
8:00 AM  on  on Oct 28, 2016
Event End
5:00 PM  on  on Oct 29, 2016
Arts / Performance
General Community Events
Signature Event
Annual Event

The Kanab Writer’s Conference is a two day seminar offering an exciting schedule of classes, presented by knowledgeable professionals, to educate, and sharpen writing skills. The event is designed to benefit both visitors from outside the area and especially the local community including businesses looking to utilize great writing to enhance their business activities and internet marketing strategies such as blogs and social media. The program has been designed to enhance economic development in our region towards the end of October, in addition to the educational benefits and support for our businesses. The event attracts individuals from all across the area as we target the entire state of Utah and surrounding region (especially Arizona and Nevada).


The 2016 conference will be headlined by a keynote speech and master class taught by Laura Wilson. Laura Wilson’s photographs have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, London’s Sunday Times Magazine, and the Washington Post Magazine. She has published five books of photographs: Watt Matthews of Lambshead (Texas State Historical Society, 1989), Hutterites of Montana (Yale University Press, 2000), Avedon at Work (University of Texas Press, 2003), Grit and Glory (Bright Sky Press, 2003), and her current book, That Day, Pictures in the American West, which is a collection of photographs taken over the last thirty years and includes her recollections of the day itself on which the pictures were taken. She is currently working on two projects, The Writer’s Project, is for the Ransom Center at the University of Texas, and Making Movies, which documents directors, cinematographers and actors behind the scenes. Laura was elected to the Philosophical Society of Texas and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters where she won the Carr P. Collins award. She was also awarded the Royal Photographic Society of England Book of the Year for Avedon at Work.


There are also over twenty breakout classes offered this year. The workshops range in subject from scholarly writing, to writing fantasy; from memoir to historical fiction; from self publishing to writing as a spiritual experience. Other presenters at the conference include Amanda Sowards, Angie Lofthouse, Rod Miller, Janette Rallison, Marilyn Richardson, Carla Kelly, Marsha Ward, Liz Adair, Raven Chiong, Ron Shook, Tanya Parker Mills, and Michael Young.


All the presenters and keynote speakers will have their books for sale in the bookstore, which will also be open to the public during the conference. For a full list of speakers and their bios, please visit the link: http://www.kanabwritersconference.com/presenters-bios/

Event Start
8:00 AM  on  on Friday, October 28, 2016
Event End
5:00 PM  on  on Saturday, October 29, 2016
Annual Event

Arts / Performance
General Community Events
Signature Event
Annual Event

The admission is $40 online or $50 at the door.

Kanab Middle School
Additional Information

This year, our faculty of amazing presenters is offering classes in a wide range of subjects. Below is a list of all the classes that will area offered at the 2016 conference.


Anatomy of an Action Scene by Jared Garrett

Effective action scenes have an anatomy that can be studied and used in your writing– without losing your character’s voice. This session will examine the bones and flesh of effective action scenes, including pacing, sentence and paragraph length, and perspective. This is a demonstration and workshop session, so bring your action scenes.


An Author’s Journey by Valerie J. O. Gardner

This course is to educate authors who want to publish. It includes useful information about what goes into preparing a manuscript for publication as well as marketing the book. I compare the differences and similarities of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. At the end I recommend helpful courses for young and aspiring authors to take. There will be a little time left for a few questions at the end.


Audiobooks 101: There are no dumb audiobook questions by Liz Adair

Liz will be tour guide, taking you on her own audiobook odyssey. She’ll give you a step by step guide about how you can become an author with audiobooks on Audible/Amazon and give you an idea about what your (or your publisher’s) investment will need to be.


Basic World Building by Valerie J. O. Gardner

This course will begin by defining world building. I’ll cover the basics that all authors will use before delving deeper into what is necessary for sci-fi and fantasy including technology, magic systems, language, and politics. I’ll also cover the importance of having a map as well as some basics of geography and how it affects the story.


Dialog: How to get your characters talking–the right way by Janette Rallison

Dialog isn’t real speech but must sound that way to your reader. In this workshop, you’ll learn ten techniques that will help you create the artful deception. You’ll learn which deadly tagline mistakes to avoid, how to do away with unnecessary taglines, and the right way to convey needed information to your readers through dialog (and when you shouldn’t.)


Diving into Deep Point of View by Rebecca Blevins

What is it about some books that pull you in so far that before you know it, you hear birds chirping and discover you’ve been up all night? The answer lies in how to effectively use a deep point of view. We’ll study examples of this technique from popular books, then we’ll discuss varying levels of shallow (toe dipping) to medium (wading) to deep (sitting in a hot tub) POV and apply them in a short workshop. Get ready for some hands-on fun!


Don’t Sleep Your Dreams by Jared Garrett

EE Cummings’ extraordinary poem ‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’ talks about sleeping your dreams as opposed to living them. Have you been waiting on someone to hand you success or give you validation for your hard work? It’s time to stop waiting. It’s time to fight for your dreams. This session will alternate between depressing and inspiring. Just like your writing career.


Children’s Books: My Journey by Austin Soderquist

Austin will share his experience in writing, illustrating and publishing a children’s book. He will walk the class through the indie-publishing process and why he chose the route he did. He will also talk about marketing opportunities and challenges for children’s books.


Genre Blending, the Art of Making the Most of Three Acts by Shanae Branham

Shanae uses the book, Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies by Blake Snyder and standard screenplay three-act diagram to show how writers can affectively combine genres for a more intense story. Shanae developed unique way of outlining my books. With it writers can easily move from book-story form into movie form (which is helpful if you hit it big and sell your book to be made into a screenplay). Shanae will also show how to effectively use inciting incident, transition into the second act, and transition into the third act to move a story forward.


Graphic Novels for Beginners by Kevin Grew

Kevin takes you through the basics of how to get started creating graphic novels. He talks about resources available, about publishing possibilities, and about the pros and cons of collaborating.


Heroes, Villains, Foils, and Secondaries: Creating a Great Cast by Annette Lyon

What would GONE WITH THE WIND be without both Scarlett and Melanie? How about STAR WARS without Vader, Han, or Yoda? HARRY POTTER without Draco, Dobby, and Neville? Every plot succeeds or fails based on its characters, from villain to sidekick to dramatic (yes, dramatic) relief. (Don’t know what that this? Come find out!) We’ll cover how to use foils as one of the best ways to propel the plot and to show, not tell. Learn how to pinpoint the characters your story is missing, when to cut or combine characters, and ultimately, how to create a cast that makes your story impossible for readers to forget.


How to do a Photo Book by Laura Wilson

Laura takes you through the process of creating a photo book, from how to plan, put together, find an agent or publisher, and finally, market your book.


Incorporating Adventure and Wonder in Young Adult Writing—with a side dish of love and drama by Laura Bingham

This class explores the methods of bringing a variety of plot twist to a story line.  Drama and love drive the industry, but adventure and a sense of wonder keep your book from the throes of melodrama.  Character development brings new angles to a story.  We will be discussing how to write contemporary, science fiction and urban fantasy with characters a reader can relate to.  In any story, there must be a balance of pace, character, adventure and a sense of wonder. Together we will make a tossed salad that has just the right amount of every flavor.


Keeping the Numbers with Integrity by Betty Colston

The class will cover the importance of accounting for your Writer’s financial activities, what needs to be tracked, documents required, length of time to maintain records, what is allowed or not allowed and how QuickBooks Pro software makes keeping track quick and easy leaving your valued time for writing.


Marketing: You Mean I Have to Sell the Darn Thing? by Steven J. Clark

There is a harsh new reality in the world of traditional publishing. Unless your last name is Patterson or Grisham or Steele, there will be no marketing budget, no flashy ad campaigns or publisher provided book tours. Whether self-published or traditionally published, writing fiction or non-fiction, more than likely you alone will be responsible for your book’s sales. Author and 35-year marketing veteran, Steven J. Clark shares tips and insights that may help you do just that.


Pace Yourself: How to keep writing with an impossibly busy schedule by Laura Bingham

Laura, full time high school teacher, dance studio owner, dance teacher, and a mom of four kids still at home, has some experience on how to keep the writing going strong even when it seems impossible.  She will discuss ways to squeeze in writing time, how to set goals, and the importance of creating a supportive writing environment.  There will be tricks of the trade for every writer type.  Whether you are a stay-at-home mom (she did it with three-year-old twins and an infant) or a full time employee (and then some), there are things you can do to keep writing a part of your life.


Plotting a Page Turning Novel by Janette Rallison

There are no formulas for writing a novel, but there are tried and true principals for writing successful fiction. Come learn the six things every author needs to know about their story before they hit the keyboard. We’ll cover the do’s and don’ts of plotting that will make writing your novel faster, selling your book easier, and keep your readers wanting more.


Realities of Self-Publishing vs. Traditional or Vanity Publishing by Steven J. Clark

This no-holds-barred class discusses traditional vs. vanity vs. self-publishing. Traditional publishing houses are becoming more and more distant and exclusive. Vanity presses will print anything you want, but with a considerable price tag attached and many times resulting in a basement full of unsold books. The alternative is self-publishing, often touted as being easy, ultra-low-cost, or even free. But if you do it right, ‘easy’ is a relative term, and ‘free’ doesn’t necessarily mean without cost. Find out why.


Strong First Pages by Rebecca Blevins

You have the most amazing book idea ever, and all you have to do is start writing. Should you begin with a prologue? What does it mean to start with action (there’s a secret to that one) or to make your characters earn emotion? In this class we’ll learn how to make your first page so strong it’ll wrestle your readers to the ground and hold them there until they’ve been pinned–er, hooked.


Swords and Spears and Axes! Oh My! (Medieval Weapons 101) by C. David Belt

How can you write believable historical fiction or fantasy that includes swordplay if you’ve never wielded an actual sword?  Do you know the difference between a long sword and a great sword?  A saber and a rapier?  How about the difference between a thrusting spear, a throwing spear, and a hewing spear?  How heavy is a mace or a war hammer, and how hard is it to swing one?  Why is the butt-cap one of the greatest military inventions of all time?  Did you know that a flail (think spiked ball on the end of a chain and handle) is actually a farming implement?  Why is the idea of a three-foot long bronze sword wielded by an eleven-year-old (e.g., “Riptide” in the “Percy Jackson” series) laughable?  How heavy is a suit of chain vs. plate, and how hard is it move, much less fight wearing armor?  This is a HANDS-ON demonstration of various types of swords, axes, spears, and other weapons and armor, ranging from the Bronze Age to the 20th Century, from copper to bronze to high-carbon steel.  Participants will have the opportunity to handle and heft actual weapons, don armor, and learn how such items were employed.



Using Humor in Fiction by Rod Miller

How do you blend humor with narrative and use language to set a humorous, lighthearted tone? Based on the award-winning novels Rawhide Robinson Rides the Range: True Adventures of Bravery and Daring in the Wild West and Rawhide Robinson Rides the Tabby Trail: The Tale of a Wild West CATastrophe, this workshop reveals writing techniques that create and contribute to humor in fiction.


When you are the Presenter by Betty Colston

This Class will cover how to create and deliver an unforgettable message with a design for what you want the audience to remember long into the future, generating the points that solidify the message and a meaningful delivery to set your message in the memory of the listeners.



Writers on Writing: Whys and Wherefores by Rod Miller

Writers like to talk about writing—especially why and how they do it. Engaging quotations from a variety of authors from over the centuries trigger discussion about differing philosophies, approaches, techniques, and viewpoints on writing-related topics. We learn through exposure to others’ ideas, whether we agree or disagree. This presentation will help writers reinforce their opinions, refine ideas, even change their minds. Anything is possible when we discuss why and how we do what we do as writers.


Writing as a Spiritual Practice by Raven Chiong

“In order to have self-expression, we must first have a Self to express.” (Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way”)

2016 marks Raven’s twelfth anniversary of stream of consciousness writing every morning. What started out as a writing assignment has transmuted into a non-negotiable spiritual practice that has become a way of life. In this class, Raven hopes to inspire participants to deepen their journey by beginning their own Morning Pages. Prompts will be given, with opportunities to both read and witness. Please come prepared to sit in Circle and bring old fashioned pen and paper!


Your Book on Legal Steroids: Pumping Iron with Plot and Conflict to Build a Totally Ripped Story Body by Annette Lyon

Without conflict, a story has no plot and no stakes—in other words, no point, nothing to grab or transport the reader with. In this workshop, we’ll talk about scene questions and how they drive plot, we’ll investigate the plot tree theory, and go even deeper with the powerful technique of scene/sequel. No matter what you write—even if it’s not a so-called plot-driven genre—you’ll leave with tools that can pump up your story so it’ll be strong enough to hold readers’ attention until you decide to drop the mic.

others’ ideas, whether we agree or disagree. This presentation will help writers reinforce their opinions, refine ideas, even change their minds. Anything is possible when we discuss why and how we do what we do as writers.


Basic Directions

690 South Cowboy Way

Kanab, UT 84741