utopYAcon 2013 Schedule Announced!

UtopiaAnnouncements

2010_03_12_orsay_museum_clock_bigWhew! The utopYAcon schedule and panelist assignments were a doozy to put together. Thanks to all the cooperative, collaborative and amazing panelists and moderators who made this daunting task easier.

P.S. This is subject to change.

utopYAcon 2013 Schedule

Friday, June 28, 2013

7 AM – Registration opens

8 AM – Welcome

  • Opening announcements
  • Daily Raffles

9 AM SHARP: Keynote: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Laskey Great Hall
Everyone must be seated by 8:30 AM or will be asked to wait to enter

HIT THE TARGET: WRITING FOR MULTIPLE AUDIENCES 10AMModerator: K. P. Simmon
Panelists:

SM Reine, author
Quinn Loftis, author
M. Leighton, author
Samantha Young, author

These days it seems more and more authors are writing more than one book at the same time. Not only that, but each book is being written for a different audience and sometimes even a different genre.

How do you keep all the balls in the air without losing sight of a solid story? How do you keep your audience happy, your publishing schedule on track and your sanity? This panel will share the secret sauce.

JUDGING THE BOOK BY ITS COVER 10AM

Moderator: April Robbins
Panelists:

Victoria Faye Alday, designer
Georgia Cates, author
Regina Wamba, designer
Frankie Rose, author

In the digital world, YA authors often change book covers every few months. Confusing or Creative? When can you tell a book by its cover, and how important is that first impression people have of your book, both in print and online?

GODDESS COMPLEX: THE GENESIS OF A NEW WORLD 10AM

Moderator: Jessie Peacock
Panelists:

Rashelle Workman, author
A.G. Henley, author
R.K. Ryals, author
L. M. Davis, author

The creative process intertwines with research to create rich, believable characters, settings and mythology that keep the reader coming back for more.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES 11AM

Moderator: Susan Burdorf
Panelists:

Ella James, author
Heather Self, author
Teal Haviland, author
Amy Evans, author
KP Simmon, publicist/author

The dramatic effect that the first utopYAcon had on attendees and panelists was profound, and beyond our and their wildest dreams.

Hear how one author’s monthly income increased tenfold in only a couple months after taking the advice of two of her favorite authors she met at utopYA.

Hear other the stories of those who got published, those who made new and lasting friendships, and those who made career contacts and connections that have propelled their careers faster and better than they expected.

The panelists will share their personal story of how the year has impacted them, and how you can make the most of utopYA, too.

HOW TO KEEP THE SIZZLE IN ROMANCE 11AM

Moderator: Quinn Loftis

Panelists:

Shelly Crane, author
Heather Hildenbrand, author
Brina Courtney, author
M. Leighton, author

How many different ways are there (really) to write about a kiss?

How do you keep the fans and the writer as excited as the “first time” they read about the frisson and the fire?

This panel will share how they tap into new creative depths to keep the readers coming back for more, more, more. We may even read a few aloud. SWOON.

TEENS WRITING FOR TEENS 11AM

Moderator: Kallie Mathews
Panelists:

Kacie Bawiec, author
3 “A Novel Idea” students
Kristen House, “A Novel Idea” founder

This panel will be lead by teens who are writing YA right now.

Their point of view on what is happening in publishing, writing, storylines, and balancing it all will blow your mind.

Do not miss this amazing panel!

LUNCH – 12 PM

LUNCH – 12 PM

LUNCH – 12 PM

BATTLING LIFE: YA vs. NA LITERATURE 1PM
Moderator: K. P. Simmon
Panelists:Addison Moore
Elizabeth Kirke
Jessica Sorensen
Chelsea Fine

The Young Adult category is hotter than a dripping wet Channing Tatum wearing nothing but a very small, damp towel. Another category gaining equal amounts of the hotness factor is New Adult. The background on this category is muddied at best. Some would say it’s a must-have sub group while others will say it’s just a marketing trick.

In this “coming of age” panel, we will talk about the evolution of the genre, the marketing and meaning of it all.

DAMSEL IN DISTRESS VS BADASS BABE: 1PM

Moderator: Samantha Young
Panelists:

Samantha Young, author
SM Reine, author
Chanda Hahn, author
H.D. Gordon, author
Frankie Rose, author

Are we empowering women or promoting a stereotype of the girl in need of protection by a strong man? You decide in this sure-to-be-heated session.

A very popular panel last year, and the discussion isn’t over yet.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: How to Navigate Cliques & Promote Your Book 1PM

Moderator: Susan Burdorf
Panelists:

Teal Haviland, author              C. J. Redwine, author
Misty Provencher, author
Kacie Bawiec

Not so long ago, the digital self-publishing space was like the great Goldrush out West. All were welcome, and there was plenty of room for everyone.

Now, in a time where everyone is trying to make their dreams come true and take advantage of the digital space, how do you break into the cliques who started it all with grace, courage and success? How do you stand out in the crowd, stand up for your “shelf space” your book occupies, and prove to the ones who came before you – both the readers and the authors – that you belong there.

QUERY LETTER ZONE 2PMModerator: D.B. Graves
Panelists:

Jessie Peacock, author
C J Redwine, author
Theresa Oliver, publisher
A. G. Henley, author

What your query letter must have to attract and hold the attention of the agent and publisher.

What your query letter must avoid if it wants to make it past the slush pile.

FICTIONALIZING WORLD CAUSES & TEEN ISSUES 2PM

Moderator: Tiffany King
Paneilists:

Kacie Bawiec, author
Elizabeth Kirke, author
Chanda Hahn, author
Amy Evans, author

Homosexuality, environmental and world-stage causes, women’s issues and more will be discussed in this pivotal panel on how to approach these topics in your book.

EDITING IN THE DIGITAL WORLD 2PM

Moderator: Susan Burdorf
Panelists:

Jennifer Chesak, editor, publisher
Hollie Westring, editor
Georgia McBride, author, publisher

Your heart’s in the right place, but your comma isn’t. Are there new rules or is it every woman for herself in the rush to publish?

The most common mistakes, what to look for in an editor, how to handle online comments, and when to press GO! All this and more will be covered in this important session.

LOVE TRIANGLES: OVERDONE OR NOT ENOUGH 3PM

Moderator: Kallie Matthews
Panelists:

Chelsea Fine, author
Addison Moore, author
Delphina Miyares, blogger
R. K. Ryals, author

Whether you’re Team Gale, Team Jace, Team Logan, Team Damon or you have refused to pick teams at all, this is the panel for you.

Is it played out or part of the secret sauce to success? We’ll discuss the trite, the true and how to avoid pitfalls while you build tension.

PARANORMAL SCREENWRITING: MACEDONIA FILMS 3PM

Moderators & Panelists: MACEDONIA FILMS

Dan Baker
Katie Baker
Jessica Aducci
Nick Aducci
Rachel Taylor

The process of getting your paranormal world out of your head and on to the screen.

Casting, special effects, script, filming, unforeseen forces and guiding hands will all be discussed in a special screening and panel hosted by Macedonia Films.

MUSIC AS MUSE 3PM

Moderator: Amanda Havard
Panelists:

Amy Bartol, author
Misty Provencher, author
Cydney Lawson, author

Music is often an additional character in YA books, adding texture, personality and mood to scenes. What’s more, though, is the authors, themselves, are thanking musicians in the acknowledgments for not only inspiring the creative process, but being crucial to it.

In this session we’ll talk about who they are and why they really do, on some level, play the part as muse for the writer

POWER OF THE FANS 4PMModerator: K. P. Simmons
Panelists:

Delphina Miyares, blogger
H. D. Gordon, author
M.R. Polish, author
Heather Self, author

From blogs to fan art to fan fiction, Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest to Spotify, Amazon to Goodreads — how are fans not only following, but creating the YA movement online? Where do they hang out, how do they start or kill buzz and what can you do to harness their powers for good?

SHARING THE SPOTLIGHT: CO-WRITING 4PM

Moderator: April Robbins
Panelists:

Carol Kunz, author
Adam Kunz, author
Dave Robison, podaster
Riana Lucas, authors

Have a book in you, but not sure how to execute it? Work better with a partner? Need accountability and a sounding board for your creativity?

The pros and cons of writing as a team will be shared in this interesting panel.

HOW TO AVOID PUBLISHING PITFALLS at 4PMModerator: Susan Burdorf
Panelists:

Willow Cross, author
Theresa Oliver, publisher
Stacy Rourke, publisher, author
Kristen McLean, guru

So you’ve figured out which publishing path is right for you, but you’d still like to make as few mistakes as possible, and avoid being taken advantage of along the way. Authors will share their stories that can save you pain, suffering and cash.

This is NOT a bashing panel.

This is a panel to help aspiring authors navigate a sometimes scary unknown world of publishing with clearer eyes.

STORY FRENZY

5PM – Laskey Great Hall (downstairs)

Moderators: April Robbins & Amy Evans
Panelists:

LM Davis
Amanda Havard
Amy Evans
Myra McEntire
K. C. Neal
Cydney Lawson
RaShelle Workman
Angeline Kace

Much in vein of improv or ad-lib comedy, Story frenzy is an interactive game between the audience and the authors on the stage. The audience calls out prompts for characters and plot line.
First author on stage begins telling a story about the main character then passes it off to next author. Next author will be given a new prompt or new character to add to story, and so on down the line.

Two rules:
1. Main character must change from beginning of story to end.
2. You can NOT kill off main character.

If it’s anything like last year’s #Ligerbane bonanza…It will get crazy. We will have fun.

** ATTN ALL PANELISTS: This panel is open to everyone. If you want to participate, just let us know, and we’ll update the panelist list.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

How To Find A GREAT Writers Group 10AM

Moderator: Jessie Peacock
Panelists:

Mike Turner, Nashville Writers Meetup Group founder
Morgan Wylie, author
Teal Haviland, author

A great writing group can mean the difference between whether you finish the book, get published and get out there.

In this panel you will learn how to tell the difference between a good and great writing group, where to find one, what the key elements in outstanding feedback are, and how to be an integral part of a writing group that flourishes around you and your writing career.

COMPETITVE VS COLLABORATIVE MARKETING 10AM

Moderator: Kallie Mathews
Panelists:

Heather Robbins, blogger
Carol Kunz, author
Adam Kunz, author
Tiffany King, author

You need both to grow, but how do you do this without sharpening the claws and flapping your jaws? In this panel, we will breakdown the good and the bad of competition vs. collaboration — how to share space, audience and healthy competition so that everyone goes farther faster.

HOW TO SNAG A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER 10AM

Moderator: DB graves
Panelists:

C. J. Redwine, author
Samantha Young, author
Jessica Sorensen, author
Kristen McLean, guru/maven

So you wanna run with the big cats? There are still many great reasons to seek out the attention of the big publishers – an advance so you have time to write, credibility, licensing so that your books have international legs, just to name a few.

How do you do it? This panel will share their experience to help you on your path.

D.I.Y. PUBLISHING 11AM

Moderator: Susan Burdorf
Panelists:

Stacey Rourke, publisher, author
Theresa Oliver, publisher
Jennifer Chesak, editor, publisher
K.B. Miller, author

Whether you are self- or indie-published, there’s a whole new world of options available to you, digital and otherwise. Is there such a thing as D.I.Y anymore? Are you pooling resources and creating your own team, or are you trusting an Indie to do that for you? There is no right answer here. It’s what works best for you. This panel will have people from both camps sharing the pros and cons of both so that you can make an informed decision.

FROM FAN TO FAMOUS: READER TODAY, AUTHOR TOMORROW 11AM

Moderator: Kallie Matthews
Panelists:

Raine Thomas, author
Heather Hildenbrand, author Angeline Kace, author
Ella James, author

It is possible to go from unknown to having 10,000, 50,000, 80,000 and even more copies of your books downloaded from a single web store.

Meet some of the authors who have done it in a matter of months. MONTHS. Hello? That is the amazing world of awesome we live in now. If you have a story inside you, you will not want to miss this panel.

THE SOCIAL SIDE OF YOUR WRITING CAREER: special panel hosted by Month9Books and #YALitChat 11AM

Moderator: Georgia McBride
Panelists:

Kallie Mathews, blogger, author
Erica Erwin, social media expert
Susan Kaye Quinn, author

During every phase of writing your book, you have the ability to use the Internet, social networks and your God (or goddess)-given talents to create, attract, build and sustain an online platform that grows with you, serves your community and catapults your vision.

This session will tell you how, when, where and why it is so important to get this part of your writing career and life mastered.

LUNCH – 12 PM

LUNCH – 12 PM

LUNCH – 12 PM

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER 1PMModerator: April Robbins
Panelists:

Susan Kaye Quinn, author
Cydney Lawson, author
K C Neal, author
Tammy Blackwell, author

Join authors who make a full-time living from their writing, as well as authors trying to balance their “day job” with their life’s passion.

They will share how they manage it all, how their family deals with it, as well as talk about the joys of writing in your jammies.

How to make a Hollywood-worthy Book Trailer: a special panel Sponsored by VLC Productions 1PM

Moderator: Vania Stoyanova
Panelists:
Frankie Rose, producer, author
Raine Thomas, author & utopYA 2012 Award winner for Best Book Trailer
M. R. Polish, author

Book trailers have gone from “that would be cool to have” to a “MUST HAVE” for authors.

Find out the elements, the copyright laws, and the hooks that can move your trailer from ho-hum to awesome.

BLOG YOUR FACE OFF 1PM

Moderator: Supagirl Heather Robbins
Panelists:

Addison Moore, author
Tess Watson, blogger
Nancy Straight, author
Amy Bartol, author

In this special panel lead by Heather Smiddie Robbins, the group will talk blog tours from the author and blogger side.

You’ll learn why every writer who wants to be taken seriously needs to know how they work, what it takes to put one together, and why knowing the people on this panel can change your career.

PUBLIC IMAGE UNLIMITED 2PM

Moderator: KP Simmon

Panelists:

M. R. Polish, author
Teal Haviland, author
Morgan Wylie, author

Do indie- and self-published authors need a publicist? Do you need public relations? Who are they? What is it? Why you might just be missing one of the most key components in your marketing strategy.

CASTING YOUR CHARACTERS 2PM

Moderator: Heather Robbins
Panelists:

Shelly Crane, author
Amy Bartol, author
Frankie Rose, author
Chelsea Fine, author

From book covers to the big screen, it’s fun “casting” the main characters of books. It’s a great way to give your book marketing longer legs, engage the audience and a great excuse to imagine hotties playing the heroes and heroines of the books we love.

However — Is it a good thing or does it obstruct the imagination? Can it hinder the ability for the audience to be kind if and when your characters actually do make it to the big screen and aren’t portrayed by the person everyone wanted to play him or her?

AMAZON MARKETING 101 2PM

Moderator: Kallie Matthews
Panelists:

Stacey Rourke, publisher, author
Angeline Kace, author
Quinn Loftis, author
Ella James, author

It’s the world’s largest bookstore. But once you list your book on Amazon…then what do you do?

Did you know they give you free marketing if you know how to work their simple system? In this panel, you’ll discover:

  • how to pick the right categories for you to make the best-seller lists
  • how to use tags properly
  • how to hit the Top Rated List without much effort and minimal sales
  • the value of Reviews
  • the importance of pricing and whether or not it pays to advertise
THE SWAGGER OF SWAG 3PM

Moderator: Tiffany King
Panelists:

Amy Bartol, author
Adam Kunz, author
Carol Kunz, author

Where do the authors get all that awesome promotional stuff? And where do they get it at a reasonable price? This panel will share with you the tips and treats that have made the difference in giveaways, branding and bling in their careers!

REVIEW REHAB: HOW TO HANDLE GOOD AND BAD 3PM

Moderator: Susan Burdorf
Panelists:

Brina Courtney, author
Willow Cross, author
Tess Watson, blogger
Misty Provencher, author

You need them. BUT, how do you hold your head up when some can cut like a knife? This panel will discuss how to weather the highs and lows of Reviews, and how to be at your best when you feel beat down.

DIGITAL MARKETING OUTSIDE THE BOX 3PM

Moderator: Kallie Matthews
Panelists:

Amanda Havard – transmedia
Dave Robison – podcasting
Chelsea Fine – audio books
Erica Erwin – Social marketing

Has it all been done? How do you get the attention of fans and publishers, build raving fans, give your marketing and your book longevity — all while trying to relate to the fans, write the next book and have a life?

This session will talk podcasting, trans-media marketing and other innovative tools and strategies you MUST know to boost your image and your sales.

THE FUTURE OF YA: TRENDS 4PM

Moderator: Kallie Mathews
Panelists:

Shelli Johannes, YA rep for Alliance of Independent Authors, author
Myra McEntire, author
Cydney Lawson, author
Georgia McBride, Month9Books & #YALitChat

Have we just reached the tip of the iceberg on the possibilities and lifespan of supernatural YA/NA or are its days numbered? Will the beloved series get longer or shorter? What are YA and NA audiences clamoring for more of?

We’ll look at the trends in books, sales and culture to see what’s ahead.

There will only be two sessions during this time. ANYTHING GOES! YOU’RE IN CHARGE 4PM

Moderator: TBD
Panelists: TBD

 

Have legal or tax questions? Want more from our guest authors? Here’s your chance to create your own panel —

You tell us who you want on the panel from our list of panelists. Then you submit the questions you want to ask. This is where YOU decide what you want to know without us dictating what the panel will be about! Email questions and who you want on the panel to info [at] utopYAcon.com.

utopYA Awards Ceremony

8 PM – Laskey Great Hall

Arrive 30 minutes early. Everyone must be seated by 8 PM

We will take a chainsaw to the velvet rope, and includ the fans for this special night of celebrating the authors, producers, bloggers, editors and experts who rock our imaginations.

SUNDAY, June 30

10 AM

Closing Ceremonies and Open Floor Keynote

 

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