Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction Track


Trai Cartwright, MFA “Character-Building Tools”

Hollywood has cracked the story character code and has refined some of the most elegant and efficient character-building tools in the story-telling business–all tricks that can be utilized to conquer fiction. This workshop shows you how to capitalize on the top ten master movie storytelling devices for developing characters in your own writing.

Bio: A 25-year entertainment industry veteran, Trai teaches, produces, and writes screenplays and novels. In LA, she was a screenwriter, independent film producer, story consultant and development executive for HBO, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and more. Trai currently teaches creative writing, screenwriting and producing for Colorado colleges, writers’ groups, and conferences. She also does one-on-one development and story editing.

Mary Peace Finley “Bait, Hook, Fight: GMC”

This workshop focuses on the importance of goal, motivation and conflict—the foundation of every good story. What does the character want, why does he or she want this goal, and what stands in the way? Authors need to use internal and external conflicts to build an intriguing story.

Bio: Colorado native Mary Peace Finley specializes in fact-based historical fiction of the American Southwest. Her “Santa Fe Trail Trilogy” garnered a Colorado Book Award, Benjamin Franklin Award, awards from the Colorado Authors’ League, Women Writing the West, CIPA and others. She presents book talks, writing workshops, and classes.

Anna-Maria Crum “Plotting a Winner”

Anna-Maria will present the rationale for a plot structure that can build a story from inception through conclusion. The structure provides a road map of major junctures and interesting story points that lead a reader forward in interesting ways. Attendees are encouraged to bring in 1-2 page synopsis for discussion and advice.

Bio: Anna Maria Crumb has authored 22 grade school readers, fiction and non-fiction. Additionally, she co-authored a challenging interactive novel for Choice of Games, which involved plotting on a mind-blowing level. A long-time member of SCBWI, she is part owner of Plot Doctors, a writing service that helps people develop a plot that works for their project.