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The 2021 Summer Workshop is just around the corner and we can’t wait to see you! Check your inbox within the next couple of days for specific details regarding the workshop, including access to the Portal page.

Monday, June 21 – Saturday, June 26, 2021

A Week of Wonder!

Young writers and amazing speakers in cyberspace!

There is so much for young writers at our Summer Creative Writing Workshop: Going deeper in understanding fiction and how to write it… learning from published authors, agents, and publishers… receiving feedback and support in a small critique group… getting to connect with other One Year Adventure Novel students. We want you to come!

We’re anticipating a wonderful six days together at our second online workshop. Content may be virtual, but the welcome and community won’t be. And neither will the swag!

How the Virtual Workshop Will Work:

  • We will use Zoom for sessions, critique groups (this time with dedicated accounts), mentor appointments, and more.
  • Sessions will be recorded, and the recordings will be available to attendees through the summer!
  • Your workshop swag will ship to you beforehand!
  • The schedule accommodates Pacific, Mountain, and Eastern time zones, and all sessions will be recorded and available to attendees through the end of the summer, so students in other parts of the world won’t miss out. (Scroll down to “Schedule” for more.)
  • With the event being online, we can bring in different speakers.
  • The removal of travel expenses means more OYANers can attend.
  • Registration is only $275. If you have a credit from the venue change last summer, we will be in touch by email.

Got questions about how this all works? Keep scrolling for info about the new schedule and more.

Cyber Winter Workshop 2021 on Zoom

Featured Speakers

Allen Arnold

Alllen Arnold | Summer Creative Writing Workshop

Allen is the author of The Story of With, an allegory about creativity that fuses elements of identity, imagination, intimacy, and creative fellowship with God and fellow artists. Allen reveals how creative interests and desires actually serve as a supernatural homing device, drawing us closer to God as we pursue what we are most passionate about.

A highly sought-after speaker, Allen teaches this transformative message to diverse creative teams, which have included Dave Ramsey’s organization, numerous writing conferences, the Association of Christian Schools International, and Grace and Lace, a multi-million dollar business featured on Shark Tank. As the founding Fiction Publisher for Thomas Nelson, Allen oversaw the development of more than five hundred novels that spanned every genre. He now oversees content at Ransomed Heart, a ministry founded by John Eldredge, the New York Times best-selling author of Wild at Heart.

More about Allen on his website >

Robert Liparulo

Robert Liparulo author photoRobert Liparulo is a journalist turned author. Robert joined us for the 2021 Winter Workshop, and we’re delighted to invite him back!

His novels, Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall Deadlock, The 13th Tribe, and The Judgment Stone, have received rave reviews. His short story “Kill Zone” is included in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson. He is also the author of the best-selling young adult series DREAMHOUSE KINGS: House of Dark Shadows, Watcher in the Woods, Gatekeepers, Timescape, Whirlwind, and Frenzy. His work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. He previously worked as a celebrity journalist.

Robert lives in Colorado with his family.

More Speakers!

Lindsay A. Franklin

Lindsay A. FranklinLindsay A Graham author photo would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. She is a Carol Award–winning author, freelance editor, and she homeschools her three geeklings. The Story Peddler and its sequels are published by Enclave Publishing.

Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their precious offspring, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed marsupial named Wombatman.

You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn’t hijacked all her accounts. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at


John Otte

John is a life-long writer. He started with badly drawn comic books in the fifth grade. When he realized that he was a lousy artist, he moved on to badly written novels in middle school. He’s tried his hand at screenplays, stage plays, fanfic, teen mysteries, and religious fiction. But his first love has always been speculative fiction.

His debut novel, Failstate, was published by Marcher Lord Press, and was a finalist for the Christy Awards. He has gone on to publish three more novels with Marcher Lord Press, one of which, Numb, was also a finalist for the Christy Awards.

John looks forward to telling even more strange tales that point people back to God and His incredible grace.

Jill Williamson

Jill Williamson authorJill Williamson is a chocolate-loving, daydreaming creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several speculative fiction novels including By Darkness Hid, Replication, The New Recruit, and Captives. She got into writing one day when someone was complaining about teen books and she thought, “I could do that! How hard could it be?” Very, she soon learned. But she worked hard, and four years later, her first book, By Darkness Hid, was published and won several awards. Her newest release, Hunger, sequel to Thirst, came out in April (order here).

We have had the privilege of welcoming Jill as a speaker at many of our workshops; we like her so much we keep asking her back!

Jill is a Whovian, a Photoshop addict, and a recovering fashion design assistant, who was raised in Alaska. She loves teaching about writing, which she does weekly at She also teaches fifth grade ELA/Social Studies for an online school.

She lives in Washington with her husband and two children. Learn more about Jill and her books on her website:

Daniel Schwabauer – “Mr. S.”

“Mr. S.” is the creator of The One Year Adventure Novel, Cover Story, and Byline creative writing curricula and the author of Runt the Brave, Runt the Hunted, and The Curse of the Seer. His newest book, a standalone military sci-fi, Operation Grendel, released March 9, 2021, and is available directly from us (signed copy) and on AmazonMr. Schwabauer is a compelling speaker and loves to share his passion for Story.

Daniel has taught in many venues including various writers’ conferences, home school conferences, classrooms, and co-ops.

He was once asked if he would like to be the next C.S. Lewis. He replied, “I’d rather train a thousand C.S. Lewises.”

He has a Masters in creative writing from the University of Kansas.

Kirk DouPonce

Kirk DouPonceAlthough Kirk DouPonce studied traditional illustration in college, he spent the first decade of his career as a graphic designer working in the publishing industry. Never losing his love of illustration, he would merge the two disciplines whenever possible. In the early 2000’s Kirk discovered ZBrush, an amazing digital sculpting program. It became his gateway drug into the world of 3D illustration. Today Kirk’s portfolio is a mixture of digital painting, photography, 3D, and typography. With these skills, Kirk has created over a thousand book covers for publishers in the US and the UK. His work has appeared in Spectrum Fantastic Art, Communication Arts, Infected by Art, ImagineFX, and on his mother’s refrigerator. Kirk lives in Colorado with his wife and their four children.

You can see more of his work at:

Tracy Workman

Tracy WorkmanTracy Workman has always been a student of the arts: visual arts, music, and performing arts. In 2004 she taught a small art class for home-schooled children. She fell in love with teaching art and decided to go back to college and become an art teacher, graduating from the University of Florida with highest honors, a Bachelors degree in art education, and a minor in art history. For three and a half years she was the art teacher at Imagine Schools – Nau Campus in Port St. Lucie, FL, teaching approx. 650 K- 8 students each year. She has been active leading small groups of children and adults in musical productions, theater/video productions, and puppetry.

Now a homeschool mom, Tracy offers periodic art classes from her home for homeschool students and is in her eighth year teaching the arts to K-12 students at the SALT homeschool co-op. Also an OYAN mom, she is excited to be attending her fourth Summer Workshop this year. She is thrilled to be making a difference in the lives of students just as her art teachers once made a difference in hers. Learn more about Tracy on her website.

Tineke Hegeman Bryson

Tineke Bryson photoTineke is a creative nonfiction writer and an editor. Many years ago, she audited a live One Year Adventure Novel class, thinking it might help her teach writing in a more rounded way, and she was so impressed she joined the Clear Water Press team!

Tineke has a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Stirling. Originally from Canada, she grew up in French West Africa, and she now works for Clear Water Press remotely from Cambridge, England. She understands the bravery it takes to keep writing when it isn’t your job, as she is doing her best to make headway on her memoir-in-progress while both working and caring for her toddler full-time. She is also passionate about editing—turning a gift with words inside out to champion other people’s stories!

Tineke’s favorite things are countryside rambles with her husband and son, weather (of all kinds!), giant silk moths, moss, and interior decorating. You can enjoy some of her writing on the One Year Adventure Novel blog here.

Daily Schedule

Central Time

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – 2 sessions

9:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Group activities

Tuesday – Friday
Central Time

10:00 a.m. – Noon – 2 sessions

Noon – 1:30 p.m. – Break (lunch)

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Optional parent sessions (After Tuesday‘s parent session there will be a Meet-and-Greet hosted by some of the veteran OYAN parents.)

1:30 – 4:00 p.m. – Student critique groups

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Mentoring appointments (optional; request an appointment here)

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Brainstorming sessions with Mr. S.  (Wednesday – Thursday)

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Break (dinner)

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – 2 sessions / Open Mic night

9:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Group activities

Central Time

10:00 a.m. – Noon – Group activities

To accommodate Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern time zones, we are only scheduling activities between 10:00 a.m and 10:00 p.m. Central. The event schedule will show these four time zones, to help you stay on track.

All sessions will also be recorded, and the recordings will be available to attendees and registered parents through August 2021. We especially hope our students outside of the Americas can make use of these recordings to participate as fully as possible!

Value of Workshop Teaching

We don’t divulge our session topics beforehand, but we are happy to offer this PDF of session blurbs from years past, so that you can get a better feel for what the teaching at Summer Workshop is like!
Click to view >

What Do I Need to Participate?

Technical Requirements

To participate in the Cyber Summer Workshop, all you need is:

  1. A computer, tablet or smartphone
  2. A decent internet connection
  3. The Zoom application (download through this link). Choose the first download option, “Zoom Client for Meetings.” If you plan to watch on a smartphone, you will need to download the Zoom app. (Should you have any problems, simply call 1.888.799.9666. A Zoom technician will help you resolve any technical issues. Problems are normally because of a missing plugin.)

Spending Money (optional)

Workshop shirts are included in the price of your Student Registration ticket.

We will have a virtual pop-up shop for speaker books, curriculum materials, and other t-shirts. T-shirts will be discounted to $15 from $18. Cover Story, Byline, and One Year Adventure Novel sets will be discounted by $20. Other Worlds, module 2 of One Year Adventure Novel, will be discounted by $10.

Students – $275

The Cyber Ticket is only $275 through Monday, May 7. You’ll still be able to register through Tuesday, June 1, but with a $25 late fee for $300.

Please note:

• The price includes a workshop t-shirt.
• Parents may register for $20 each (see Parent section).
• Siblings (non-students under 13) attend FREE.
• Siblings 13 or older must register as students.
• Siblings under 13 and parents may not attend student critique groups nor mentor sessions.
Registering as a student after May 7 will incur a $25 late fee.

FAQ about student eligibility »

Mentor Appointments – FREE

Students may request a 20-minute appointment with a speaker/mentor. The mentors are not intimidating! These appointments are designed to give young writers a “practice agent appointment” so they can get used to pitching their story idea to an agent or publisher, but it is also fine for students just to ask questions about writing, the industry, etc.

The appointment will take place using Zoom. Clear instructions for how to attend your online meeting will be provided. The student’s contact information will not be shared.

These Mentor Appointments are optional and limited in number, so students may only reserve one ticket each. Please submit your request by the end of day on June 1.

FAQ about Mentor Appointments »

Critique Groups

Novel Excerpts

Please prepare four different excerpts from your novel for critiquing. The excerpts should be four pages long and must be formatted as described in your textbook, The Compass (double-spaced, 12 point Courier New or Times New Roman, one-inch margins on all sides, name and number in header, etc.)

The four excerpts we recommend sharing are:

  1. The first four pages of your novel
  2. Four pages from your “Embracing Destiny” chapter
  3. Four pages from your “Black Moment” chapter
  4. Four pages from your “Showdown” chapter

Please do not send poetry, fan fiction, or screen plays to your Summer Workshop critique group.

We will provide instructions before the workshop begins for sending your excerpts to your critique group.

FAQ about Critique Groups »

Excerpt Content
Your novel must be free of offensive content (especially of a sexual or gratuitously violent nature). While we respect the right of authors to create honest stories, we also respect the right of readers to retain their innocence. We therefore reserve our right, exercised through the critique group leader, to not include discussion of any novel deemed to be offensive to a general audience.

Parents – $20

There is a small registration fee for parents who will be participating along with their student(s). This helps to offset the cost of the parent sessions we offer. It is only $20 for the entire week. We look forward to connecting with new parents and seeing those who’ve attended previously—online!

The $20 ticket applies to any parent who will be participating at any level (i.e., sitting in on any workshop sessions, attending Open Mic Night, attending parent sessions, etc.).

If you have any questions about how this affects your family, please get in touch!

Family Participation


Siblings who are 13 and older should register as students. Each student requires their own unique license number.

Please email us at if you have questions about how this applies to your family.


Parents and siblings are not permitted to sit in on student critique groups or mentor appointments.

“As a math teacher, I don’t understand what it means to be a writer. Every afternoon there is a parent session where speakers talk directly to the parents. I found that many of the parents there were in the same situation I was. … I’ve been to four workshops, and each time I learn more about how to help and support my writer. I’m so much more aware of what she goes through and have learned ways I can care for her, and I don’t think I would have figured any of this out on my own. I used to think I just had this really weird kid. But really, I have a writer.”

Tress, parent-educator

“Open Mic” Night

We are still hosting Open Mic Night! Instead of a physical stage, you will perform online by submitting a recording of your act ahead of time. Over the years, our Open Mic Night has become a favorite workshop tradition for our attendees and we enjoy seeing our student writers’ additional talents on display.

The submission deadline is June 1, at 9:00 p.m. Central.

Submit here >

Video or audio recording of any part of the Zoom workshop content is strictly prohibited. This includes cell phone and pocket-camera videos. Please respect this policy.

Recordings will be made available to attendees.

Videos taken during free time are permitted as long as all participants agree to be filmed. (Photos are welcome.)


Summer Workshop Scholarships

Mr. & Mrs. S. donate a limited number of scholarships for students demonstrating financial need.

The scholarship awards are issued in the form of a partial refund on the student registration ticket, so you can go ahead and purchase your ticket. If you prefer to wait until you receive a decision, that is also fine. We will email a coupon code to use toward your ticket.

Please note: Applying for a scholarship does not guarantee that you will receive a discount.

You must apply by March 22, 2021, to be considered.

You will receive a reply by March 29.

Supervision of Students

There will be adult “hosts” at all official Zoom sessions, including those designed for student socializing.

Critique group leaders are all personally vetted students 18 or older.

A member of staff will be online and available to help any student experiencing difficulty connecting with their assigned mentor for their mentor appointment.

While there will be adults present, we CANNOT personally “parent” every child. Students are expected to behave respectfully and appropriately when participating in any and all workshop events and groups.

If you register your student you are saying that you trust them to follow the stated guidelines, and to act responsibly and appropriately online.

Any violation of guidelines regarding conduct may result in the student losing workshop privileges and losing access to the workshop without a refund. The safety and respect of all attendees is top-priority.

If you have any questions, please email us at

Note on Workshop Content

The One Year Adventure Novel curriculum is nonsectarian, and is approved for purchase with public funding. It is a writing program, not religious instruction. However, the instructor himself is a Christian, and everything taught in the course is compatible with a biblical worldview. The workshop speakers come from a Christian perspective; and some of the teaching sessions may include Christian themes and/or references.

Being a Christian is not a requirement for attendance, and the focus of the event is on writing, but this workshop may not be the best fit if you are not comfortable with Christian themes or relevant expressions of personal faith being woven into some of the speakers’ talks.

If you have any questions, please contact us; we are happy to talk with you. Our goal is to train and support teen writers. We want every young writer who attends our workshop to have a positive experience!
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