And now for the Breakout Sessions

Choose among these breakout sessions on Saturday morning of the July conference:

”Writing the Eco-Mystery Novel / Balancing Entertainment with Education”—Bonnie Doerr

Follow the unique writing journey of combining environmental science with fiction.  Topics covered include choice of location, inspiration, plot development, research, observation of endangered species, interaction with natural environment, character development, and teaching without preaching.

Bonnie J. Doerr, former reading and science educator, outdoor enthusiast, and avid gardener, is the author of the eco-mystery novels for tweens, Island Sting (Leap Books, 2010) and the forthcoming Stakeout. Her work has contributed to environmental education and has been included in literary field guides. Bonnie was born and raised in Hagerstown, MD. Currently, when not researching or writing in Key West, she lives in a log cabin in North Carolina.;

“Look Before You Leap”—Carolyn Reeder

Historical fiction is much more than a story set in the past. Explore why it’s important to know the history before imagining the fiction, discover ways of bringing the past to life for your readers, and pick up some tips on making your characters authentic.

Carolyn Reeder writes historical fiction for middle grade and YA readers. Shades of Gray, her first published novel, won the Scott O’Dell Award, and her third book, Moonshiner’s Son, won the Joan G. Sugarman Award. Carolyn became interested in writing for young people after seeing how her sixth grade students as well as her own children responded to books—and after enjoying the books they thrust at her, saying “You just gotta read this!”

“Building a Fantasy World”—Amie Rose Rotruck

What color is the sky?  Who’s the king/president/dictator?  What’s the most common tree?  How does the food taste?  Good fantasy is not only about a good plot and interesting characters, but a fully-realized world.  Even if you’re writing urban fantasy set in your own neighborhood, you still have some work to do to make your fantasy world believable.  We’ll look at some examples of well-created worlds, discuss how to find inspiration for your world, and do some world-brainstorming.

Amie Rose Rotruck is the author of “Bronze Dragon Codex” (as R.D. Henham) and the forthcoming “Young Wizard’s Handbook.” She holds a self-designed BA in Writing for Children from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an MA and MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She is also head of the children’s and young adult literature division of the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts. More info available at

About ediehemingway

I am an author of children's middle grade novels and the Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV SCBWI chapter.
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