Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Learning at UtopYA Con 2015

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm here to talk to you all about panels. Why? Because you need to know what you want to attend when you arrive at utopYA in June. If you don't have tickets to the con yet, you need to get them now. There are only five more days to buy! Go here to visit the Eventbrite page and get your order on!

Let me tell you, $110 for all you can potentially learn is one heck of a steal!

You can add these panels to your schedule on this page of the Sched app.

Let's just get going, shall we?

Thursday, June 18 11-12am:

ClockWise World Building
Moderator: C. J. Redwine
Panelists: Amy Bartol, Helene Dunbar, and Marissa Meyer

What you can expect to learn:
World building isn’t just for fantasy books. It is central to not only things like the topography of the places held within its pages, but also to the cultural standards and rules governing the interpersonal relationships and politics of the book’s plot and story. Is there such a thing as too much description? How do you temper or pepper it throughout the book to best effect? The creative process intertwines with research to create rich, believable characters, settings, and mythology that keep the reader coming back for more. Learn how to do this well from authors at the top of their game.

For: Beginners

Expand Your Universe: A How-to Guide for Newbies and Introverts
Moderator: Mindy Ruiz
Panelists: Rachel Harris, Eva Pohler, and Misty Provencher

What you can expect to learn:
Writers are inherently isolated creatures -- even the most extroverted still have hints of insecurity that tend to hold them back from effectively networking at conferences. Let’s face it; writers work and play with imaginary friends most days and nights. This panel aims to provide an interactive how-to workshop on how to network for the wallflower or newbie. What to say past “I love your book.” And how to step out of your comfort zone, approach any group, and add them to your “clump” or tribe of collaborators, conspirators and friends.

For: Beginners

Tense Time Warp: Raise the Tension with Past and Present POV
Moderator: Crystal Bryant
Panelists: Kristina Circelli, Cambria Hebert, Elizabeth Kirke, and Christina Mercer

What you can expect to learn:
The overwhelming trend in current NA books is to switch points of view each chapter between the male and female protagonists. And in YA we see one book written from one person’s point of view, and the next in the series written from another.  There are even books out there where one chapter is written in first person, and the other chapters, written from another’s point of view are written in third person limited. Do you know how to write from the different points of view? Do you know what they are and what ones are most effective for your audience?  While it drives purists insane, it drives readers wild with delight. What’s your point of view?

For: Advanced

Thursday, June 18 12-1pm:

Expanding Your Empire: International Markets, Audiobooks, etc...
Moderator: Tammy Blackwell
Panelists: Nikki Jefford, Carlyle Labuschange, Lana Popovic, and Cameo Renae

What you can expect to learn:
Now that you have a few published books under your belt and sorta have the hang of this whole writerly life, it's time to take your books and career to the next level. There's a big world out there, and this session will help you: navigate the waters of international markets, get yous books into libraries and book stores, market to new and influential audiences, understand licensing - turning your booksinto audio books, comic books, movie franchises and more.

For: Advanced

Great Sexpectations
Moderator: Delphina Miyares
Panelists: Angela Graham, Katie McGarry, and Jessica Sorensen

What you can expect to learn:
The lines of sex in NA and what is acceptable and what is expected are blurry at best. Clean NA is getting slammed for being too clean. Hot NA is being called erotica in disguise. New Adult is still a NEW category, and it will undoubtedly evolve or split off into multiple categories. Why not be a part of the discussion and influence the future of NA. There is just so much here to unpack, and these panelists are going to help you do just that.

For: Beginner/Advanced

So You Wanna Be a Writer?
Moderator: Kallie Ross
Panelists: Laura Christiano, Amy Evans, Kim Holden, and Morgan Wylie

What you can expect to learn:
You have a book in your heart, characters chatting in your head and a desire so deep to finally write that book you’ve been dreaming about. So what’s holding you back? Time to step out of the shadows and into the world of writing. Whether it’s just something you want to cross off your bucket list or what you want to do for the rest of your life, getting a book into the hands of the public has never been easier. This session will talk you through the realities of the writer’s life so that you can lead your dreams.

For: Beginner

Did you miss the buy link? Let me share it yet again:

You don't wanna miss this conference. Just read some of the testimonials on the Our Stories page on the utopYA website. 'Nough said.

Don't forget to visit the other official bloggers today and tomorrow so you learn about the other awesome panels that are happening at utopYA this year.

A Book Vacation
Book Junkie
Paisley Reader

Which one are you itching to sit in on?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Aww wish I was going! The panels sound great, I love a lot of the authors who will be presenting. And that price is a steal!

    1. You gotta come in 2016. I so want to meet you face to face!!!!


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