2018 Young Adult Writing Conference "Between 2 Worlds"

Are you Between 2 Worlds?

College bound?
Captivated by creative writing?
Curious about a career in writing?

It's not easy being a junior or senior in high school. You are standing on the edge of one world and about to leap into another, unknown world. Even though you may have had the benefit of top-notch in-class instruction, you may still be feeling a fair amount of concern.

"Between 2 Worlds" is a one-day critical and creative writing conference designed to answer many of the questions students at this juncture may have -

  • How will college level instruction be similar to or different from what you're used to?
  • What are the expectations of college writing professors, for example?
  • What opportunities will be available for you to explore creative writing?
  • What skills do you have now that could be sharpened and honed to help you in your future?

Come join experts in the field and learn how your aspirations can unfold in your academic life beyond high school.

2018 Young Adult Writing Conference "Between 2 Worlds"
This day-long conference will feature the expertise of nationally and internationally known instructors, writers, and artists. Including some from Salem and Keizer!

WHEN: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 @ 8:00 am---1:30 pm

WHERE: Broadway Commons, Salem Oregon
1300 Broadway St NE, Salem 97301 (transportation options will be available)

WHO: Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors who plan on continuing their education after High School

COST: FREE - Due to the generous sponsorships of Withnell Dodge/Hyundai and Dark Horse Literary Inc./Underdog Press there is no cost for students to participate. And lunch is included!

WORKSHOPS: Students will have the opportunity to hone their creative and critical writing skills across a wide spectrum of genres (fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction/memoir, college composition writing, screenwriting) in a supportive and nutritive environment. They will also have an opportunity to share their work during an open mic session and receive one-on-one feedback during mentor meetings with nationally and internationally recognized writers.


Writing for Graphic Novels: The Basics with Adam Gallardo
In the US, graphic novels have undergone a transformation from something strictly for kids to a viable choice of expression for stories of all types. In this class, you'll get a crash course in the steps necessary to produce a graphic novel, as well as the basics to writing for the medium, including a short script-writing exercise.

Writing the College Application Letter: from ideas to a full draft with Cornelia Paraskevas
The class is a workshop designed to help students create a complete draft of their college application essay. Students will need to come with rich ideas, an open mind, and writing tools: during the workshop, the instructor will first share with them sample college application letters that have been highly successful and then guide them as they transform their own rich ideas into engaging college application letters.

Something Old, Something New with Colette Tennant
Creative writers live in a tricky place somewhere between an old world and a new one. The old world is all of the writing that has come before us. The new world is the creative works we will write someday. Where do our poems and short stories and novels get written? In between those two worlds. We'll practice some exercises that will help us negotiate that tricky in-between place. You'll come away from the workshop with at least two new poems.

The Discipline of Writing with Matt Buckle
Writing, like any other art form is about discipline. It is having the discipline to simply write. Often times, it doesn't matter what you are writing about. Write about your day, your week, your dreams, that exciting thing, that boring conversation you had with Bill from the corner store. Write about what inspires you and what makes you doubt yourself. Because if you do not write, no one will ever read your words. That seems like an obvious thing to say, but the person who seeks writing as a career must have the discipline to pursue their craft every day so that their talent can shine through when their moment comes.

Isn't That a Little Personal? with Diana Blackstone-Helt
Make your characters come alive by asking them personal questions. Get them to reveal their desires, motivations, strengths, flaws, and secrets by learning to listen.

Writing for Film and Video with Brad Steiner
Course writing for film and video is a whole different kind of writing. This is a crash course on script writing for fun and profit. We'll go into what format to use for your scripts and why. And talk about why pre-production and writing is 10 times more important than production and shooting.

We Have Liftoff! with Jim Hills
Often the most difficult and always the most important part of writing a story is crafting the beginning. This class will introduce five ways to launch your story on its trajectory of wonder and delight.


Adam Gallardo is a writer living in Oregon. At the moment, he is best known for his work writing comic books. He's the author of Star Wars: Infinites - Return of the Jedi as well as two creator-owned series, 100 Girls and Gear School. He's also written a handful of short comics stories. His debut YA novel, Zomburbia, was released by Kensington Publishing in 2014, and its sequel, Zombified, came out in 2015.

Gina Ochsner is the author of the novels Russian Dreambook of Flight and the Hidden Letters of Velta B. She has been awarded the Flannery O'Connor prize for short Fiction, The William Faulkner Award, the Raymond Carver award and the Oregon Book Award. Ochsner teaches at Corban University.

Dr. Cornelia Paraskevas is Professor of Writing and Linguistics at WOU. Originally from Athens, Greece, she came to the US in 1980 on a Fulbright scholarship to pursue graduate work at the University of Kansas. She completed her Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1987 and moved to Oregon in 1989. In addition to teaching at WOU, she is also the lead faculty in writing for Willamette Promise, a collaborative project between WESD, WOU, Corban University and OIT.

Colette Tennant is an English Professor at Corban University, where she teaches creative writing and literature classes. Her first book of poetry, Commotion of Wings, was published by Main Street Rag in 2010. Her second book of poems, Eden and After, was published by Tebot Bach in July 2015.

Brad Steiner has worked in film and video production since 1993 when he graduated with a degree in radio/tv/film from Sam Houston State University. He has worked in corporate video as well as commercial and feature production his entire career (with the exception of being a stage carpenter for a year). BrAd is currently a Senior Producer and D.P. for Allied Video Productions in Salem, OR. His free time is spent making films, acting and playing with his kids.

Jim Hills teaches Creative Non-Fiction at Corban University. His collection of essays, Garage Sale of the Mind and Other Opinions, was the 2016 recipient of the Cascade Award for non-fiction. He has taught evening classes in writing and literature at the Oregon State Correctional Institution and the federal penitentiary in Sheridan, and has taught in Germany and Indonesia.

Matt Buckle was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Keizer, OR. He became involved with a creative collective at the University of Oregon called Avant Garde Society and his passion for writing blossomed. This led to the publishing of An Anthology of a Youthful Mind, a collection of poetry and short stories focused on the ideals and idea of youth and the importance of it in our society. Matt has also traveled to many countries in Europe, expanding his perspective on the narrative of human life. In September 2016, Matt joined The Black Cowboy, a Documentary covering the history of black Americans in the West and present day cowboys, as Writer and Producer.

David Espinoza is a Chemeketa Community College graduate. The author has a passion for writing inspiring sports stories and memoirs, it's what happens off the field or court. David was inspired to write his first book in 2008 after witnessing what his son, Matt, accomplished. David has written 5 books and he blogs. His 6th book, coming soon, will be his autobiography -- a Christian-based book. For more info, please check out his website -- www.davidespi.com

Diana Blackstone-Helt works part-time, between summers, as yearbook adviser and Dean of Academic Support at a local school. She lives in Salem with her husband Alan and son Isaac. Her adult son Mitchell lives nearby. Diana is the author of When Sparrows Fall.

Gabriela Elkins is a senior undergraduate student at Corban University here in Salem. She is pursuing an English major, fostering her love of writing and literature. She recently presented a paper about feminism interpreted by popular culture at the Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature. Her dream is to continue to engage with contemporary issues through essay composition and creative writing.

Keynote Speaker:
The Honorable Paul De Muniz the author of In The Debt, criminal defense attorney Peter Chavez is summoned by the man who saved his life more than thirty years earlier in Vietnam to defend the man's son on charges of murder and rape of a beautiful Russian journalist in the mysterious and corrupt Russian Far East. Despite his pending presidential nomination to the U.S. District Court bench, the debt that Chavez owes to the man makes refusal impossible. The setting is the Island of Sakhalin in the Russian Far East, a territory that Russia and Japan still dispute - a place rich with oil and gas, and where the remnants of communism contest with the new corrupt capitalism of post-Soviet Russia. The author is the former Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, now a Distinguished Jurist in Residence at Willamette University College of Law, and before ascending to the bench, a successful trial and appellate attorney.