Thursday, October 16, 2014

Teen Author Boot Camp

by Jill Williamson

I was so glad to meet Jennifer Jenkins, co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, this past September at Salt Lake Comic Con. I decided to have her on Go Teen Writers so you all could learn about her amazing teen writers conference! But first, here's a little but about Jennifer:

With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare. Weird? We know.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction. NAMELESS, her first published work, releases Fall of 2015.

She has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid). You can learn more about Jennifer at www.jajenkins.com.

Thanks for stopping by Go Teen Writers, Jennifer. What is Teen Author Boot Camp?

Founded by the five women of Writers Cubed, Inc. (a federal non-profit), Teen Author Boot Camp is one of the largest writing conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. It is a daylong event where teens have the unique opportunity to learn from their favorite authors in a motivating environment. At registration, teens receive a T-shirt, drawstring backpack, and a pass for bottomless soda throughout the day. We also feed you lunch and a snack. It's seriously like Christmas for the teen writer.

We host a highly competitive first chapter contest judged by professional authors. Teens submit their work prior to the conference, and the top ten finalist in both the Jr. High and High School divisions receive a full chapter critique. The top three in each division also receive cash prizes and a plaque made by the artist/creator of the Iron Man suit. Pretty amazing! Winners and prizes are announced at the conference. One of last year's winners was picked up by literary agent, Jo Schaffer, who acted as a judge in the contest.

Since 2011, TABC’s live and virtual classes have reached thousands. In 2014, five hundred teens attended the conference at UVU with around seventy teens on a waiting list. Past keynotes at the TABC include Kiersten White (PARANORMALCY), Brandon Mull (FABLEHAVEN), Shannon Hale (PRINCESS ACADEMY), James Dashner (THE MAZE RUNNER), and Ally Condie (MATCHED). Additional NYT bestselling authors who have presented at the conference include: Janette Rallison, Bree Despain, and Aprilynne Pyke.

This year we're excited to announce international bestseller, Brandon Sanderson, as our afternoon keynote.

How exciting! *Jill tries not to hyperventilate* Everyone here at GTW knows how much I love Brandon Sanderson's books. How often do you have boot camp events?

TABC is held annually at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah every Spring. Next year's conference will be April 11, 2015.

We've recently been asked to host a Teen Author Boot Camp in conjunction with a major writing conference in St. Louis on July 23, 2015. Details with that are still being ironed out, but it looks like it will be a blast.

Do agents and editors attend TABC?

At our 2015 conference we have three publishers and three agents attending.

How much does it cost?

The conference is $49 for the entire day if you register before February 1st. This includes lunch, a snack, bottomless soda, T-shirt, drawstring backpack, and other materials. As a non-profit, we fight to keep costs low for our teens and offer a scholarship programs to deserving teens on our website. All authors (including keynotes) and organizers donate their time to put on this event.

Are there housing options and meal plans available for teens who live far away?

As of right now, we do not offer housing for attending teens. It's something we're hoping to do in the future through the University. There is a very nice Hampton Inn right across from UVU though. :)

What can a teen writer expect from attending a Teen Author Boot Camp event?

Hmmm. I answered some of this earlier, but I will say this: Expect to meet a lot of teens who share your interests and goals. This year's schedule includes twenty-five authors from around the United States whose books will be sold all day long at the conference. There will be an epic opening ceremony to kick off the day at 9:00 am, six breakout sessions with seven different class options available in each session, a keynote by Brandon Sanderson, and another epic closing ceremony. Because this will be our five year anniversary, you can expect a few extra "surprises" to spice up your day, as well. :P At the end of the day there will be a massive signing with all participating authors.

That sounds amazing, Jennifer. Thank you for taking the time to tell us about this conference.

And guess what, guys... I applied to present a class at the 2015 Teen Writers Boot Camp, and they selected me as a Drill Sergeant! I get to teach my Map-Making 101 class at the same conference Brandon Sanderson is keynoting! *fangirls* (I'll be good, I promise.) 

I do hope that some of you can come. Visit http://teenauthorbootcamp.com for more information. And check out this sweet official badge Jennifer gave me:


Any questions? Want to go to TABC? Do you have a favorite writers conference?

30 comments:

  1. Ooh I wish I could go!!! But I'll *hopefully* be back in Papua already! :( But I'll definitely keep this in mind next time I'm in the States, it looks AMAZING. Have fun Jill!! :)

    TW Wright
    ravensandwriting.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is my ultimate earthly dream. Congratulations to anyone and everyone who's going. I wish I was!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's such a shame that there aren't writers conferences in the Netherlands... This looks like a lot of fun!

    arendedewit.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Writer's conference with Brandon Sanderson as a speaker. Oh, how I wish I could go! Alas, alas, that Utah is a long way away and I don't think my parents will go in for it. :P

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would love to go... unfortunately, I live across the country from Utah. :( But I'll be going to a conference next week here in my state!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That sounds so awesome! Unfortunately, I live too far away. "Sigh" Jill, you are doing a class?! I sooo wish I could go. Are you going to the ACFW conference next year? I think I'll be able to go, because it's in Texas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't yet know if I'm going, Sierra. Depends on whether I can teach classes...

      Delete
  8. I wish I could go, but it's kind of expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would love to go, but it's way too far away for me. Sounds awesome though!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Now is wish I could have known about that this year! While I was still 19. :(

    ReplyDelete
  11. This makes me wish I was still a teen!

    ReplyDelete
  12. It sounds SO fun! Unfortunately though, I live kind of far away... One day I'll get to do things like this...one day... Haha! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just fifty dollars for a conference with literary agents AND publishers? That sounds like an incredible deal, even adding in hotel fees. If it were two months earlier I'd beg my family to let me go, but by April my eldest sister (who has a car and is a writer) will be twenty and I don't really want to go all by myself, even if I could get someone else to drive me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although even if it was two months earlier so my sister would be nineteen, I still probably couldn't convince her to drive sixteen hours one way.

      Delete
    2. Ooh, yeah. Sixteen hours is a long way, Lydia.

      Delete
  14. That looks AMAZING. I want to go so badly... D: Why must it be so far?

    I've only ever been to one writer's conference before (OYAN Summer Workshop), and I'm hoping to get back there again next year, so alas, this won't be a possibility. But perhaps some year I'll make it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds AWESOME. (If only I lived anywhere close to Utah... I do have a teen writer friend who lives there, though, so I'll be sure to pass on the link.)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds so exciting! I would love to attend it, if only I didn't I live so far away... :-(

    ReplyDelete
  17. I would also love to go! I've read several books by the past keynote authors. But again, I'm probably too far away :(

    ReplyDelete
  18. MoreShipsThanTheNavyOctober 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    I would love to go! I'm only about ten hours from Utah by car, and I have a lot of family there... I'll keep this one in mind. Plus, it sounds like they feature a lot of Mormon writers (huge bonus).

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sounds awesome! Utah's about 12 hours drive from where I live, so perhaps I can go!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Eek! I love TABC! I've gone since they first began, I think around 2011. It is awesome beyond belief and well worth it.

    Lol, Jill, I did a fan club yahoo when I heard you're a drill sergeant! I can't wait to meet one of my favorite bloggers! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, Parker! Can't wait to meet you!

      Delete
    2. I'll be sure to introduce myself! :D Me too!!

      Delete
  21. I wasn't able to find any info on the scholarships, even though I went to their website. Do you know where the information is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I emailed Jen and here are her answers, Alyssa.

      Registration for Teen Author Boot Camp will open on December 1st.

      Writers Cubed is offering ten need-based scholarships to the conference. On November 1, 2015 a "Scholarship" tab will appear on our website where teens can apply online. They will be asked to write an explanation of why they feel they deserve the scholarship and also be asked to upload a letter of reference from a teacher. (If the teen is homeschooled, a letter may come from a non-family member). Scholarship applications will be accepted until January 15, 2015 and recipients will be announced no
      later than January 25, 2015. If applicants aren't granted one of the ten scholarships, they will still have a little time to catch early-bird registration which ends February 1, 2015.

      Delete
  22. Aww. I'm going to be ten days too old. D: Bummer. This looks like a blast!

    ReplyDelete

Home