Friday, May 23, 2014

WIFYR special guests

I don’t know how she does it, but Carol Lynch Williams seems to always pull in some big names to the WIFYR conference and this year is no different.

Thursday’s keynote speaker will be The Maze Runner author, James Dashner. The trilogy includes The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure and the movie hits the theaters in September. The Maze Runner is what he is most notable for, but Dashner has also written The 13th Reality series, the Jimmy Fincher series and two books in the Mortality Doctrine series.

The book I’m reading now is book one of The Infinity Ring, A Mutiny in Time. As a WIP is a time travel book, I wanted another perspective on the genre and Dashner starts with an interesting premise. Modern society is dystopic, and Christopher Columbus did not discover America. Dashner’s characters must travel back in time to repair breaks in history, such as the one in which the mutineers on the Santa Maria prevented his famous discovery. Similar to the 39 Clues series, each the book is written by a different author, including Utah’s own Jennifer Nielsen and Matt Kirby (a current and former WIFYR instructor respectfully). Scholastic Books has picked it up and has online games that go with it. Talk about use of social media.

Attendees at WIFYR will have greater access to the publisher guests. Editor Kristin Ostby will be there from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Agent John Cusick returns and he represents Greenhouse Literary Agency. The other agents are Michelle Witte from Mansion Street Literary Management and Amy Jameson of A+B Works.

The once thing about this conference is that these agents and editors respect the time and energy writers put into writing and their commitment to the craft. Utah has been noticed by the publishing world and they come to WIFYR seeking that talent.

James Dashner’s keynote is Thursday afternoon, June 19. Conference attendees, of course, get in. Others may come for free, however they must have a ticket, a copy of which just happens to be below and above. Print it out and present it for admission. Print out several and bring your writer friends, too.

(This article also posted at

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