A Week of Wonder!
Young writers and amazing speakers!
MONDAY, JUNE 19 – SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2023
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 in-person feedback and support in a small critique group… and getting to meet other One Year Adventure Novel students. We want you to come!
MidAmerica Nazarene University • 2030 E. College Way, Olathe, Kansas 66062
Sessions are held in the Tollefson conference room of the beautiful Cunningham Center on the MNU campus. There is plenty of seating for all. Side rooms and a relaxing lounge area provide spaces for critique groups and the optional breakout sessions on specialized writing topics.
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 five more novels, two of which (Numb and Failstate: Legends) were Christy finalists as well. His latest novel, Drawn in Ash, came to life at the 2017 OYAN Summer Workshop.
John looks forward to telling even more strange tales that point people back to God and His incredible grace.
Learn more about John’s work at his website: https://johnwotte.com/
Rachel Garner – “Nairam”
Rachel Garner is a longtime member of our Clear Water Press staff. Known as “Nairam” in the extended One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) community, Rachel is an example of dedication to her craft and a gifted editor, serving for several years as an OYAN Story Coach. Her main work is administrating the OYAN Student Forum and helping coordinate the Summer Workshop, but she also co-teaches an online AP English Language course with Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. She loves young writers and nurturing the kind of communities that made her time as an OYAN student so special.
After homeschooling, she earned an honors in history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a postgraduate certificate in Cultural Heritage Management at the University of York, England. She currently spends her days organizing books, alternatively laughing or crying over medieval people, talking too much about the TV show Lost, and trying to finally write a spaceship story.
Megan Gerig is a writer, editor, and candlemaker who loves drinking pots of tea in Spare Oom. She spends her days chasing her hobbit son around the house, dreaming about stories of mystery and magic, and sneaking bites of cookie dough from her stash in the freezer. Megan, her librarian husband, and their book-devouring son live in a cottage in the midst of a busy city where they dream of someday owning a mini-farm.
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, www.GoTeenWriters.com.
To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrill.com.
Daniel Schwabauer – “Mr. S.”
“Mr. S.” is the creator of The One Year Adventure Novel, Cover Story, Byline, and Other Worlds creative writing curricula and the author of Operation Grendel (2020) and Maxine Justice: Galactic Attorney (2022). He is also the author of a series for young readers: 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, homeschool 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 and is currently working on his Doctorate in Theology in semiotics.
Emily Steadman – “Harpley”
Emily “Harpley” Steadman is a storyboard artist and animator, as well as a gifted writer and editor. A lover of both the written and visual mediums of story, she is extremely passionate about using her animation background to teach young writers about story principles that apply to all forms of writing. She is a firm believer that studying a variety of story-telling methods (such as film scripts, animation, and advertisements) can vastly improve one’s novel-writing skills.
Harpley worked as an animator and storyboard artist on WHRO’s animated short “My Plan to Save the Planet,” which won an Award of Excellence from the National Educational Telecommunications Association. She also received a “Best Animation” award from the Christian Online Film Festival for her work. After winning multiple university showcase awards for various animated shorts she produced, she graduated with honors from Regent University with a degree in animation. She enjoys drawing, knitting, thoroughly beating her family in Mario Kart, and thoroughly getting beaten by her friends in Minecraft.
Please check back for an update on additional speakers.
Breakout Session Speakers!
Carrol Schwabauer – “Mrs. S.”
“Mrs. S.” has been a professional graphic designer for many years. She enjoys sharing basic design principles with students interested in pursuing a career in digital art, or writers who are beginning to market their work and realize that we often do judge a book by its cover.
She also has a sincere love for the One Year Adventure Novel students and is excited about seeing them equipped to impact their generation! Therefore, we may let her have the microphone a few times, but only in measured doses. You know the drill.
Please check back for an update on additional breakout session speakers.
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.
These Mentor Appointments are optional and limited in number, so students may only reserve one ticket each.
FAQ about Mentor Appointments »
How to Attend
STEP 1: Sign Legal Waiver Form.
You need this ready before you can register. You can find the form below.
STEP 2: Purchase Your Workshop Registration Ticket.
Student tickets are sale price through February 15; they are regular price February 16 through April 30. A $25 late fee applies after April 30.
STEP 3: Purchase Other Tickets
Other tickets (meal plan, accommodations, etc.) do not have to be purchased at the same time as your registration ticket. However, ticket sales close May 19. Please be aware that the Girls’ Dorm spots will go quickly, and they could sell out.
STEP 4: Sign MNU Waiver Form.
We will make this available at a later date. You do not need this to register, but you will need to sign it and submit it to the college before arriving.
• The price includes a workshop t-shirt.
• Parents may register for $50 each (see Parent and Siblings section).
• Siblings (non-students under 13) attend FREE, if accompanying a registered parent.
• 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 April 30 will incur a $50 late fee.
We require a signed Legal Waiver for each student. Students are required to upload their signed Legal Waiver form in order to register. It is one page, and you can download it using the button below or download it directly in the Student Registration ticket form. A PDF upload is preferred, but photo files are also accepted. (We do NOT accept them by mail or email.)
If you are under 18 years old, you need to have your parent or guardian sign the waiver; if you are 18 or older, you must sign it yourself for legal purposes. If the student is over 18 but still lives at home, we also require the parent or guardian’s signature as confirmation that they have read the document.
Additionally, MNU is also required to have a signed waiver from every attendee. Yes, this means signing two waivers. We will make the MNU waiver available to you at a later date. The MNU waiver need not be completed before you register, but you must submit it to the college before arriving.
We will comply with all COVID guidelines set in place by the state of Kansas and by our host location, MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU).
If you need to cancel your registration for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible! Every person impacts our planning.
We will offer a full refund (minus PayPal/credit card fees) for cancellations made by end of day on May 19. If you need to cancel at a later date, let us know before 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 16 in order to receive an 85% refund.
We know that things happen and want you to have peace of mind. Because of this, we are offering special leniency in regards to our cancellation policy if you need to cancel due to emergencies that are out of your control. If you are unable to attend due to cancelled flights, illnesses (COVID-19 or otherwise), or other last-minute emergencies, please get in contact with us at email@example.com to discuss your situation.
Parents & Siblings
There is a small registration fee for parents who accompany their student(s) to the Summer Workshop. This will help to offset some of the costs incurred providing various services to you during the week. It is only $50 for the entire week. We look forward to meeting new parents and seeing those who’ve attended previously!
The $50 ticket applies to any parent who will be participating on-site at any level (i.e., sitting in on any workshop sessions, attending Open Mic Night, attending parent sessions, etc.), whether staying in MNU accommodation or off-site. Siblings under age 13 remain free.
There will be seating in the Tollefson conference room (located in the Cunningham Center) for parents and siblings. We request that non-students sit in the back.
Parents and siblings are not permitted to sit in on student critique groups or mentor appointments.
If attending parents/siblings would like to eat meals with us, you are very welcome to do so by taking advantage of the special meal plan offered by the University. Meals provided by the college must be ordered in advance.
Alternatively, you may bring a sack lunch (can’t be eaten in the cafeteria) or grab something at a local restaurant.
I have attended five of the OYAN workshops with my children and each one is better than the last. As a parent, I attend the workshop sessions so I can provide better feedback to my writer children. But there is always something that I hear that is intended just for me. My favorite thing about the Summer Workshop? The glow on my children’s faces when they are spending time with their favorite people—learning, laughing, crying, dancing—sword-fighting, too. Best family vacation ever.
– Kristine H., parent-educator
Cost of meal plan per person (student or family member) … $175
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday morning through Friday night, PLUS dinner on Monday night and breakfast Saturday morning.
When you purchase a meal ticket, you will be given a selection of dietary choices, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options. This is a 100% nut-free event – NO exceptions. One of our OYAN students wrote an excellent blog post which provides important context to our strict nut-free policy.
If you prefer to bring your own meals, you are welcome to do so. However, as MNU charges for everyone in the cafeteria, you cannot bring your own food into the cafeteria. There are beautiful, spacious grounds if you would like to picnic, or you may eat in the dorms. The Cunningham Center is also open. Please also note:
• Students under the age of 18 may not leave campus without their parent or legal guardian.
• Students 18 and older do NOT constitute legal guardians.
• Cooking is not allowed in the Girls’ Dorm or Boys’ Dorm under any circumstances; there are no kitchens.
• Coolers are NOT permitted in the Girls’ Dorm or Boys’ Dorm. If your student needs to have refrigerated items for health reasons, please contact us.
• You must have special permission to cook in the Family Dorms. If you are staying in the Family Dorms and have such severe dietary restrictions that you can’t eat in the MNU cafeteria even with the dietary options they offer, please contact us.
MNU opens dorm-style housing to workshop attendees and their families. An accommodation ticket is for Monday night through Friday night. Bed linens, pillow, blanket, and towels are provided.
• Single bed in shared room (Boys’ Dorm or Girls’ Dorm)… $210
• Family dorm room (entire room—2 beds—reserved)…. $420
Boys’ Dorm & Girls’ Dorm
Per Dorm Ticket – $210
ROOMMATE REQUESTS & ROOMING POLICY
• If you wish to request a roommate, both parties must fill out the ROOMMATE REQUEST Form by 11:59 p.m. Central on April 30. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your request, but we will do our best!
• Unless notified otherwise through the Roommate Request Form, we assume that same-gender family members in the Boys’ Dorm and Girls’ Dorm do NOT wish to be roomed together. (Moms and dads who do not request to be roomed with their daughter or son will be roomed with another same-gender parent.) But we will put you on the same floor.
• We do not permit more than 2 students to share a room in the Boys’ Dorm or Girls’ Dorm. We also do not take requests for adjoining rooms. We only take roommate requests.
Per Family Room Ticket – $420
We reserve separate halls or buildings for families, so that family members can stay together as dorm space permits. Alternatively, families may stay off-campus (see suggested hotels below).
• PLEASE NOTE that “Family Room” means that you will be in a dorm building that is NOT gender segregated.
• Students must be accompanied by a parent or other family member 20 years of age or older to stay in a Family Dorm Room.
• A Family Room contains two twin-size beds and is the same size as a room in the Girls’ Dorm or Boys’ Dorm.
Optional Additional Occupants in a Family Dorm Room
You may sleep EITHER one additional immediate family member in the room ($100) OR up to two children under age five (free). In either case, you would need to bring the additional occupant(s) a sleeping pallet, bed linens, pillow, blanket, and towels.
You can add this $100 option to your Family Room ticket when you make your purchase.
Parents and families may prefer to stay in a nearby hotel. The La Quinta Inn & Suites is not far from MNU. However, there are other hotels in Olathe. Searching “hotels in Olathe, Kansas” is the best way to get accommodation details and up-to-date pricing.
Families may prefer to rent a car for their stay. The greater Kansas City area does not have a good public transportation system.
Airport Shuttle Service
We will be using a new shuttle service this year.
The following details will be updated soon.
The airport shuttle provides pick-up service from Kansas City International airport (KCI; but the flight code is MCI) to the workshop on Monday, June 19, and return service to KCI from Olathe on Saturday, June 24. Shuttle service may be handled by a reputable third party.
A One Year Adventure Novel student representative is stationed at each terminal, outside the gate area, to ensure that students get on a correct shuttle/find their departure gate.
To take advantage of this service, you must purchase a shuttle ticket by 11:59 p.m. Central on May 19, 2023. You will need your flight information to purchase the ticket.
An Airport Shuttle Ticket is $69 per person, in advance, and includes pick-up from and return to KCI. If you only need a one-way shuttle, enter “N/A” in any fields that don’t apply to you and then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a 50 percent refund.
On Monday, June 19, the shuttle service will run between noon and 5:00 p.m.
On Saturday, June 24, the last shuttle will leave MNU before noon. So if you choose a late afternoon/evening flight, you will have a long wait at the airport. If considering early morning flights, please be aware that MNU is about 45 minutes from the airport in regular traffic. To get you to the airport an hour before your flight, we would schedule your shuttle about two hours before your flight time. If you book a 6:00 a.m. flight, prepare for a 4:00 a.m. shuttle—you’ll need an alarm clock!
Please schedule your flights with these shuttle service times in mind. If you have any questions about flight scheduling, please contact us prior to purchasing your flight tickets.
• We will try to coordinate pick-up and return times with your schedule, but you may encounter some wait time at the airport. Bring a snack or money to buy one.
• This shuttle service is NOT AVAILABLE to and from other locations in the Kansas City area.
• Please note that the shuttle is something we coordinate as a service to you. We do not make money off of the shuttle service. Usually what we collect from attendees for this does not fully cover what we are charged for it.
• General Schedule •
• Check-in opens at 3:00 p.m. at the Cunningham Center; settle into dorms and meet people.
• Dinner in the cafeteria from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (if you purchased the meal plan).
• The evening session begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Cunningham Center with an orientation (mandatory), followed by fun, visiting, and games until curfew.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
9:00 a.m. through evening
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast (if you purchased the meal plan)
Check out of dorms by 10:00 a.m. Leave the MNU campus by noon. Cry. Determine to name all of your kids after fellow OYANers.
• Daily Schedule •
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast
9:30 a.m. – Noon – 2 sessions with a short intermission
Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Mentor appointments (20 minutes each)
1:30 – 4:00 p.m. – Student critique groups
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Optional parent sessions (Tuesday only: Meet-and-Greet organized by some of the veteran OYAN parents.)
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Free time
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Dinner
7:00 – 9:30 p.m. – 2 sessions with intermission
9:30 – 11:30 p.m. – Free time
11:30 p.m. – Check in with your dorm parent and remain on your dorm floor.
• Open Mic Night •
Do you play an instrument? Have you written a funny skit or song? Do you juggle or dance? We would love to see your special talents at the Summer Workshop! 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.
In order to be considered for participation, you must submit your act by 11:59 p.m. Central on May 19, 2023. (We do not accept submissions via email or any other method.)
What Should I Bring?
Please bring 8 copies each of 4 different excerpts from your novel for critiquing. The excerpts should be 4 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 excerpts should be collated and stapled, and should be identical.
The 4 excerpts we recommend bringing are:
- The first four pages of your novel
- Four pages from your “Embracing Destiny” chapter
- Four pages from your “Black Moment” chapter
- Four pages from your “Showdown” chapter.
Please do not bring poetry, fan fiction, or screen plays to the Summer Workshop.
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.
No need to bring money for a workshop t-shirt. Workshop shirts are included in the price of your Student Registration ticket.
We will have books, curriculum materials, and other t-shirts for sale during the week. T-shirts will be discounted to $15 from $18. Cover Story, Byline, One Year Adventure Novel, and the new Other Worlds sets will be discounted by $20.
We accept cash and all cards.
Supervision of Students
There will be adults at all official events.
While there will be adults present at events, we CANNOT personally “parent” every child. Students are expected to stay with the group at all times during the workshop (unless, of course, they are with their parents/guardian).
If you send your student you are saying that you trust them to follow the stated guidelines, and to act responsibly and appropriately.
Any violation of guidelines regarding conduct may result in the student losing workshop privileges and being sent home early at the parent’s expense. The safety and respect of all attendees is our top priority.
NOTE: Younger siblings of registered students (under 13 years old) may not be dropped off at events, but must be accompanied by an adult who is specifically responsible for the child(ren).
If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com.
In order to apply, you must:
• Be 18 or older
• Have attended at least one Summer Workshop
• Stay on-site in the boys’ dorm or girls’ dorm, NOT the family dorm
• Assist Dorm Parent with nightly check-in (11:15 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.)
• Be able to arrive at MNU by 2:00 p.m. on Monday, and stay until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
• Have a working cell phone
• Be on call for staff and dorm parents
This year’s Student Helpers receive free lodging. If you purchase a dorm spot ticket before learning that you have received a Student Helper position, we will refund your purchase.
Student Helpers have the full workshop experience, but are “on-call” to:
Help first-time workshop attendees get oriented when they check in on Monday.
As a Student Helper, you will have attended at least one Summer Workshop before—which means you know where things are on campus. Help people carry their luggage. Direct them to their dorm room, and answer any other questions they may have. If you don’t know the answers, you will at least know who to ask.
Help dorm parents check students in/out at curfew and after breakfast (before the 1st session)
This will be your most important task. If one of the dorm parents comes to you and asks for your help with anything, that is your job. It may be as simple as walking with them on their nightly bed-check, or you may need to go get something from their car for them. Whatever it is, you will be responsible for helping them with a smile and a good attitude.
Sometimes, staff and dorm parents will need a trusted messenger to relay important information and details. They may request your help.
Apply by 11:59 p.m. Central on April 30, 2023. You will receive a reply by May 9.
Mr. & Mrs. S. donate a limited number of partial scholarships for students demonstrating financial need.
The discount is 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, but please be aware that the sale price on registration is only available through February 15, and you may not receive a reply until May 9.
• Students accepted as Student Helpers are not eligible for a scholarship because the Student Helper position already includes a discount.
• Applying for a scholarship does not guarantee that you will receive a discount.
You must apply by 11:59 p.m. Central on April 30, 2023, to be considered.
You will receive a reply by May 9.
Donate to the Scholarship Fund
Would you like to donate to the scholarship fund to give more students the experience of the Summer Workshop? You can choose to donate $10, $25, $50, $100, or the full cost of a student registration. Every little bit helps!
We, as staff, rely on Dorm Parents to help monitor curfews, ensure that students make it to the sessions, and “filter” student concerns. To be considered, you must have previously attended a Summer Workshop.
Dorm Parent Responsibilities:
- Be available on your floor by 10:30 p.m. so that the students under your care can check in before the 11:30 curfew. Your assigned Student Helper will report to you to help out at 11:15 p.m.
- Make a round in the morning (around 8:45) before the 9:00 a.m. session begins, to make sure students are not in their rooms.
- Inform staff promptly of any health, safety, or relational concerns among the students under your care.
- Be willing to report any observed SW guidelines violation by any student at any time.
- Be able to attend a Dorm Parent briefing meeting at 5:00 p.m. on the SW check-in date. (If this is impossible due to flight or travel time, etc., please make other arrangements via email BEFORE that day.)
We usually receive more requests than available slots, so it is impossible for everyone who applies to be selected. You must apply by 11:59 p.m. Central on April 30, 2023, to be considered. Selected applicants will receive a reply by May 9.
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.
Points of Interest
Olathe is a suburb of Kansas City, and there is a lot to do in the Kansas City metro area. If you’re interested in researching things to do in the area simply Google “Kansas City attractions.” An exhaustive list of places of interest—though we did attempt it—is beyond the scope of this web page. 😉
The Country Club Plaza – KC
The Nelson-Adkins Art Museum
National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
Kansas City Museum Science City (for kids)
The Arabia Steamboat Museum
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
American Jazz Museum
Toy & Miniature Museum of KC
American Royal (rodeo, horse shows, etc.)
The John Wornall House Museum
The Oak Park Mall
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm
Special thanks to MidAmerica Nazarene University for partnering with us to host our annual Summer Workshop.
WARNING: Prolonged exposure to this special week may cause Workshop Withdrawal.