skip to Main Content

The link to the Cyber Summer Workshop PORTAL was sent by email to attendees on Thursday, June 4. If you did not receive it, email

Monday, June 8 – Saturday, June 13, 2020

A Week of Wonder!

Young writers and amazing speakers! Now 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!

Now online for the first time, we’re anticipating a wonderful six days together. Content may be virtual, but the welcome and community won’t be. And neither will the swag!

Click here if you are looking for information about cancellation and refunds >

New & Different:

  • We will use Zoom for sessions, critique groups, 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!
  • We’re expanding the schedule to take advantage of the bookend days typically used in travel. We will now have six full days of learning and interaction!

  • The schedule will be adjusted to accommodate 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.)
  • Now that the event is online, we can bring in different speakers. Jill Williamson is coming back!
  • The removal of travel expenses means more OYANers can attend. We already have new registrations, and we extended the deadline to May 15 so you, too, can come!
  • Registration is now only $275. And, yes, if you already registered, you will get the difference in price back as a refund (unless you choose to apply it to Summer Workshop 2021 or Winter Workshop 2021)!

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

Featured Speakers

Paul McCusker

Paul has written for various media. You may know him from the Adventures In Odyssey Radio Show, or the Father Gilbert Mysteries. Other lauded projects include: the award-winning audio drama Brother Francis: The Barefoot Saint of Assisi and The Trials of Saint Patrick, stage plays like The First Church of Pete’s Garage and Catacombs. And C.S. Lewis projects like The Chronicles of Narnia audio dramas or The Annotated Screwtape Letters. He also wrote the screenplay for the film Beyond The Mask. We are super excited that he will be joining us and that you will have an opportunity to learn from him!

Get to know Paul McCusker on his website >


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 >

More Speakers!

Stephanie Morrill

Stephanie Morrill lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband and three kids. She writes books about girls who are on an adventure to discover their unique place in the world—girls like Evalina Cassano, in Stephanie’s latest release, Within These Lines, a WW II era novel set in San Francisco; and Piper Sail, heroine of The Lost Girl of Astor Street, a jazz-age mystery set in 1920s Chicago.

Previous books from Stephanie include the Ellie Sweet series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. Stephanie enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog,

To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out


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 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.

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 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. Mr. 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.

Daily Schedule

Monday – Saturday
Central Time

10:00 a.m. – Noon – 2 sessions

Noon – 12:30 p.m. – Break (lunch)

12:30 – 3:00 p.m. – Student critique groups

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.)

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

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

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 2020. We especially hope our students outside of the Americas can make use of these recordings to participate as fully as possible!

Students – $275

The Cyber Ticket is for students who haven’t yet registered for the Summer Workshop. If you registered before May 1st, we are still planning to see you at the online workshop!

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 15 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.

FAQ about Mentor Appointments »

Parents – $20

This year there is a small registration fee for parents who will be participating along with their student(s). This will help 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

Mom and Daughter | Summer Creative Writing WorkshopSiblings

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

Submit >

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.)

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.)

Novel Excerpts – Six Instead of Four

Because of the additional two days of critique group, please prepare six 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.)

Student in Costume | Summer Creative Writing WorkshopThe first 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

For the other two excerpts, we recommend either bringing excerpts from some of your chapters between “Embracing Destiny” and “Black Moment” or longer excerpts that will then be read over two days (for example: the first eight pages of your novel opening, which will be read as two four-page excerpts).

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.

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.

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

Summer 2020 Donations

A couple of people have asked about a donation option. Obviously we don’t expect that, but we also wouldn’t say no to help during this challenging time. While some experts expected the homeschool “industry” to flourish during this quarantine, that hasn’t been the case for us. The closing of vendor halls and conferences—coupled with widespread financial worry—has created a spring drought.

That said, we love what we do and understand that many of our customers are in a similar situation. We don’t expect donations, but if you’d like to help, this is one way to do it.

Back To Top