Read About the 2017 Kids Camp

Young Authors Writing Camp (June 19-21, 2017, Teton County Library):

It may be old news, but you can read all about this first kids writing camp and get excited about the 2018 camp.

Young writers couldn’t wait to read or answer questions.

Jackson Hole Writers partnered with the Teton County Library to make the first kids writing camp a success. We received additional support from the Library and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole.

This year’s camp focused on Sci-Fi and Fantasy writing with our author/teachers coming from Jackson, Utah and Colorado. Authors Scott Savage, Amy Kathleen Ryan and Peggy Eddleman touched on all the bases. They said they were impressed by the kids. “They are so smart,” said Peggy. We ended up with thirty kids involved, some of whom came all three days. The Youth Auditorium at the Library with its outdoor garden area was a perfect venue, according to the kids’ evaluations.

Amy Kathleen Ryan, Jackson writer and author of Glow, talking about story and plot.


On the final day we had a drawing for the youngsters who attended all three camps and the winner Neveah Sentz received a copy of TA Barron’s The Wisdom of Merlin; the other two young writers received M&Ms (sorry, parents).

Young writers contemplating and writing and listening. A lot of excitement filled the air with ideas and words.

Thank you to Oona Doherty of Teton County Library for helping make the three days smooth, and the library for its support. Thank you to our great volunteers: Nanci Turner Steveson and Traci McClintic (both are JHW board members) and Cassandra Lee (our go-to volunteer).

TA Barron talked on the Monday evening of the kids camp (the weather was too nice after a couple of weeks of rain), but the kids and parents that attended were entranced. The day before his presentation, TA had addressed 9000 students at UC Santa Barbara. No matter. He was fully engaged with the audience and happy to be in Jackson.

TA Barron following his presentation on June 19. The Library hopes to bring him back again.

Details about the 2017 program follow. Watch for new information on the 2018 camp in the fall.

Open to authors age 10-17. These FREE science fiction and fantasy workshops will allow young writers (middle grade to YA) to explore their creative side with authors including Amy Kathleen Ryan, Peggy Eddleman, and Scott Savage. TA Barron will also offer a talk on Monday, June 19, at the library for the entire community.The Writing Camp is in partnership with Teton County Library and with a C3 grant from Center of Wonder.

Our goal with this kids writing camp is to inspire children and young adults to read more, write more, and to express themselves through the literary arts. We at JH Writers hope each child will come away filled with creative energy and new confidence.

Popular demand for middle grade participation in ALL of the sessions has meant that some middle graders are signing up for the June 20th YA/high school session with Amy Kathleen Ryan as well as the middle grade sessions. She said they are more than welcome to join that group. A number have already signed up, so we are letting parents and kids know that it’s OK. If a parent has a concern, he or she can contact us and we will have them chat with Amy Kathleen Ryan.

The Workshops (each participant needs to choose and register for each workshop she/he wants to attend):

  • Monday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Teton County Library Youth Auditorium. Middle-Grade Writing Workshop. Instructor: Scott Savage. Ten Tools To Bring Your Writing To Life. Ever have an idea that  sounds great in your head, but just doesn’t seem quite as exciting when you put it on paper. Ever wish you could make your stories more exciting? More real.? Join J Scott Savage to discover ten tools that make your stories fly off the page and into your readers’ imaginations. Learn how to build worlds, what kinds of details add reality, how to make characters come to life. And the best part: these tools are just as much for the writer as for the reader. Scott’s Mysteries of the Cove series earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. While his hero Trenton takes the reader into “an ingenious steampunk world” in this series, kids reading the Case File 13 will be laughing as chills climb their spines. And then there is the Far World. This workshop can’t help but excite readers of any age. His website even features stuff JUST FOR KIDS. After the workshop, there will be an opportunity to have books signed by the author. Parents can come to that!
  • Monday, June 19, 6 p.m. at the Teton County Library Ordway Auditorium. Special Presentation: Magical Worlds and Inspiring Heroes. Speaker: T.A. Barron. There will be books for sale and to sign following TA Barron’s presentation.  Come join us for a special evening. TA’s books get high marks from Booklist (“Completely magical…will enchant readers”) to Isabel Allende (“Brilliant”), from Terry Tempest Williams (“fables for our time”) to School Library Journal (“A wonderful storyteller”). Be prepared to be enchanted by the author of the Merlin Saga series, the Atlantis Saga series, The Ancient One & Adventures of Kate, and Tree Girl.  Real-life heroes also come to life in his stories, such as the eight-year-old girl who climbs Long Peak in High as a Hawk. Books will be available after the reading for the author to sign.


  • Tuesday, June 20, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Teton County Library Youth Auditorium. Middle Grade & High School Writing Workshop: Writing The Fantastic Plot In YA Fiction. Instructor: Amy Kathleen Ryan. She is the author of the Sky Chasers trilogy from St. Martin’s; the novels include Flame, Spark and Glow, which earned high marks from School Library Journal: “This gripping first installment is difficult to put down.” Her first two books have more contemporary settings, but involve coming of age stories. Amy, a native of Wyoming and a graduate of Jackson Hole High School, is on the resident faculty for the 2017 Jackson Hole Writers Conference. Teens are welcome at the conference, which has a special rate for parents and accompanying teens.



  • Wednesday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Teton County Library Youth Auditorium. Middle-Grade Writing Workshop. Instructor: Peggy Eddleman. Writing And Brainstorming the Most Fantastical Ideas and Worlds. About this workshop, Peggy has this to say: “We’ll talk about the steps to take to become an amazing writer, how to brainstorm the most fantastical ideas and worlds (we’ll do lots of fun brainstorming together!), then we’ll practice the best ways to write description so that you can get all those incredible ideas down on paper the same way that they are in your brain.”

Early registration is suggested as space is limited. You will have to sign up for each day separately. Everyone is welcome to attend Monday night’s special presentation by T.A. Barron; registration is not required for his talk.

Teachers who might be interested in sitting in, please use contact form to let us know. We are happy to accommodate teachers who are working with the same age group, but space is limited by the size of the Youth Auditorium.