A Week of Wonder!

Can you imagine anything more fun than a week with young writers? We can’t!

There is so much for young writers at our Summer 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… getting to meet friends made on the Student Forum face-to-face. We want you to come!

PLEASE NOTE: You must be 13 or older and use The One Year Adventure Novel under a valid license. Your curriculum license number is required to register.

Event details are subject to change.

Workshop Journal

Why We Love the Summer Workshop!

SW-2015-Journal-Cover 200x295

Remembering 2015:

Summer Workshop Journal »
Mr. S.’s Workshop blog post »



MidAmerica Nazarene University
The Bell Center, 2030 East College Way, Olathe, Kansas 66062

Sessions are held in the auditorium of the beautiful Bell Center on the MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) campus. There is plenty of seating for students as well as siblings and parents! Side rooms provide spaces for critique groups and optional advanced sessions for older students.

The Bell Center will be hosting our Summer Workshop exclusively all week.

• Get directions »  • View map of the campus »

no-peanuts-smallThis is a NUT-FREE event. Several attendees have SEVERE ALLERGIES. Please respect this rule. Thank you!


Monday, June 13 – Saturday, June 18, 2016


Check-in opens at 3:00 p.m.; settle into dorms and meet people. Casual boxed sandwich dinner in the cafeteria from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. (if you purchased the meal plan). The event officially begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Bell Center auditorium with an orientation (mandatory). Fun, visiting, and games afterward, until curfew.


9:00 a.m. through evening session


9:00 a.m. through evening session


9:00 a.m. through evening session


9:00 a.m. through evening session


7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – Continental breakfast
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.

How to Attend

STEP 1: Purchase Your Workshop Registration Ticket. 
Student and sibling tickets are sale-priced through March 31; they are regular price April 1–May 31.

STEP 2: Complete and Upload Waiver & Emergency Form
You can find the form below. Upload by May 31, 2016.

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 31. Please be aware that the Girls’ Dorm spots will go quickly, and they could sell out.


Registration Costs

Bell-auditoriumEarly Bird “Sale” Pricing – through March 31, 2016

First student in family ……………….. $270
Additional students in same family … $215

Pricing as of April 1, through May 31, 2016

First student in family ……………….. $295
Additional students in same family … $240

Registering after May 31 will incur a $25 late fee.

Please note:

• The price includes a workshop t-shirt.
• Parents and 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.

FAQ about student eligibility »

Student Registration Ticket  Sibling Registration Ticket

There is no upper age limit for workshop attendance. Many students begin attending our workshops in high school and continue to attend while in college. If you are 30 years of age or older, please contact us before registering to attend.

Waiver & Emergency Form

It is extremely important that you complete the Waiver and Emergency Form. Students will not be permitted to attend until we receive their signed form as a PDF upload. (We do NOT accept them by mail or email.)

We must receive this form by May 31, 2016.

FAQ about Health »

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.

Download Form Upload Form

Meal Plan

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday morning through Friday night, PLUS a “brown-bag” dinner on Monday night and a continental breakfast Saturday morning.

Per person (student or family member) … $130

When you purchase a meal ticket, you will be given a selection of dietary choices, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. This is a 100% nut-free event.

FAQ about health »

Meal Plan Ticket

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 lobby of the Bell Center is also open, but no food or drink is allowed in the auditorium. 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.

• You must have special permission to cook in the Family Dorms. If you are staying in the Family Dorms and have severe dietary restrictions such that you can’t eat in the MNU cafeteria even with the dietary options they offer, please contact us.

On-Campus Lodging

MNU opens dorm-style housing to workshop attendees and their families. An accommodation ticket is for Monday night through Friday night.

• Single bed in shared room (Boys’ Dorm or Girls’ Dorm)… $155 each
• Family dorm room (entire room—2 beds—reserved)…. $310*

Boys’ Dorm & Girls’ Dorm

Boys’ Dorm Ticket Girls’ Dorm Ticket

If you wish to request a roommate, both parties must fill out the ROOMMATE REQUEST Form. 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.)

Family Dorm

Family Room Ticket

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 purchase 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.
• You may sleep up to two additional immediate family members in the room for only $35 each but you will need to bring them a sleeping pallet and linens. You can add these $35 options to your Family Room ticket when you make your purchase.
• Children under 5 are free, but you will need to bring a pallet or something for them to sleep on and bedding.

No pets or animals allowed in the dorms. We’re sorry for any inconvenience, but we need to honor MNU’s regulations. Thanks for your understanding.


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.

FAQ about off-site services »

Airport Shuttle Service

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 13, and return service to KCI from Olathe on Saturday, June 18. Shuttle service may be handled by a reputable third party.

To take advantage of this service, you must purchase a shuttle ticket by May 31, 2016. You will need your flight information to purchase the ticket.

Airport Shuttle Ticket

The cost is $49/person, in advance, and includes pick-up from and return to KCI. If you only need a one-way shuttle, please email us at info@oneyearnovel.com.

Shuttle Details

On Monday, June 13, the shuttle service will run between noon and 5:00pm.

On Saturday, June 18, the last shuttle will leave MNU before noon. 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.

FAQ about shuttles »

Families may prefer to rent a car for their stay. The greater Kansas City area does not have a good public transportation system.

Mentor Appointments – FREE

Students may request a 15-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.

Mentor Appointment Ticket

FAQ about Mentor Appointments »


Daily Schedule

Here is a general overview of the daily schedule:

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast

9:30 a.m. – Noon – 2 sessions with a short intermission (Main sessions in auditorium; advanced sessions in separate meeting hall)

Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Student critique groups

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Optional parent sessions (After Tuesday‘s parent session there will be a Meet-and-Greet organized by some of the veteran OYAN parents at 2:30.)

4:30 – 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. We will have access to the campus gym and adjacent Student Lounge.

11:30 p.m. – Check in with your dorm parent and remain on your dorm floor.

Video or audio recording of any part of the sessions is strictly prohibited. This includes cell phone and pocket-camera videos. Please respect this policy. Videos taken during free time are permitted as long as all participants agree to be filmed. Cameras/photos are welcome.

Advanced Track

Dan-student-wardrobeWe will again be offering separate, advanced tracks for older OYANers (ages 18+) daily. These will be in the morning, concurrent with the main sessions in the auditorium.

This allows us to continue offering foundational training for new members while providing fresh and more advanced training for the veteran students. Everyone will attend the same opening session and evening sessions.

Please note that we are unable to accommodate requests from under-18s who would prefer to attend the advanced track, no matter how many years they have attended the Summer Workshop. There is not enough space in the advanced session auditorium to add younger students. Thanks for understanding.


• Jill Williamson, author
• Steve Laube, literary agent; owner of Enclave Publishing
• Susanne Lakin, author and editor
• Nadine Brandes, author and editor
• Daniel Schwabauer, author and creator of The One Year Adventure Novel
• Mark Wilson, professor of English and Literature
• Stephanie Morrill, author

jill-williamson-speakerJill 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, ReplicationThe 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 GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in Washington with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer. Learn more about Jill and her books on her website: jillwilliamson.com.

Steve-Laube-speaker-photo-webSteve Laube

Steve Laube, a literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency, has been in the book industry for over 35 years, first as a bookstore manager where he was awarded the National Store of the Year by the Christian Booksellers Association. He then spent over a decade with Bethany House Publishers and was named the Editor of the Year. He later became an agent and has represented nearly 1,000 new books and was named Agent of the Year by ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). He was also inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall-of-Fame by their College of Theology. In addition, he is the president and owner of Enclave Publishing. His office is in Phoenix, Arizona. Steve is an excellent speaker and story-teller; you will enjoy learning from him.

Susanne Lakin

Susanne LakinSusanne Lakin (also known as C. S. Lakin) is a novelist and writing coach who spends her time divided between developing new book ideas and helping writers polish theirs. She is the author of fourteen novels—six contemporary novels, seven in the fantasy/sci-fi genre, and one in historical Western romance. Whether she is exploring the depths of the human psyche, pushing her characters to the edge of desperation, or embellishing an imaginary world replete with talking pigs and ancient mysteries, she is doing what she loves best—using her creativity and skills to inspire and affect her readers. To read more about Susanne and her work, visit www.cslakin.com.

Nadine Brandes

Nadine BrandesNadine is a self-described adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. She’s also a freelance editor—she learned her editing craft from Jeff Gerke, a frequent and beloved speaker at our Summer Workshops. The Out of Time Series, her dystopian trilogy, is contracted with Enclave Publishing. Books one and two, A Time to Die and A Time to Speak, are available on her author website, NadineBrandes.com. She and her husband make their home in Missouri.

Dan_Author2012_webDaniel Schwabauer – “Mr. S.”

“Mr. S.” is the creator of The One Year Adventure Novel creative writing curriculum 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.

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.”

 Mark WilsonMark-Wilson-mug-100px

Although he says of himself that he’s “about as interesting as Bilbo before his adventures,” the One Year Adventure Novel community begs to differ. Mark (B.A., Northwest Nazarene College; M.A., Washington State University) teaches literature and writing at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay.

Mark and Teckla live in Myrtle Point which he both loves and hates. When the rain stops, Mark and his Dobermann enjoy taking walks around the town.

Stephanie-Morrill-smallerStephanie Morrill

Stephanie Morrill lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband and two kids. She is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and the Ellie Sweet series. She 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.

John-W-Otte-100wJohn Otte

John W. Otte leads a double life. By day, he’s a Lutheran minister, husband, and father of two. He graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a theatre major, and then from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. By night, he writes unusual stories of geeky grace. He lives in Blue Springs, Missouri, with his wife and two boys.

His debut novel, Failstate, was published by Marcher Lord Press (now Enclave Publishing) in April of 2012, and was a finalist for the Christy Awards in 2013. He has gone on to publish three more novels with Marcher Lord Press, one of which, Numb, was a finalist for the Christy Awards in 2014. John looks forward to telling even more strange tales that point people back to God and His incredible grace.

no-photo-2Mrs. S

Mrs. S. will not be speaking formally. Mr. S. could not afford her speaking fee, and she has not written anything. She does, however, have 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 couple of times, but only in measured doses. You know the drill.

What Should I Bring?

Please bring 9 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 or Courier New, one-inch margins on all sides, name and number in header, etc.) The excerpts should be collated and stapled, and should be identical.

SW-FeatherPen-circleThe 4 excerpts we recommend bringing 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.

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

No need to bring money for a workshop t-shirt. Workshop shirts are included in the price of your registration ticket.

We will have books, curriculum materials, and other t-shirts for sale at the front desk. T-shirts will be discounted to $15 from $18. Cover Story Writing and The One Year Adventure Novel sets will be discounted by $20.

We take cash and all cards.

Parents and Siblings

Parents and siblings under 13 may attend the workshop free with one paid Student registration. The Bell Center has plenty of comfortable seating for all. We request that non-students sit in the back.

Please note, however, that 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.

Sessions for Parents

We offer hour-long sessions for parents in the afternoons addressing relevant topics related to helping your young writer. Parents will also have the opportunity to ask Mr. Schwabauer questions. Attendance is completely optional.

Supervision of Students

There will be adults at all official events.

NOTE: 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 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 info@oneyearnovel.com.


We are not able to offer any full scholarships, but a limited number of partial scholarships are available for students demonstrating financial need. The discount is issued in the form of a partial refund on the student registration ticket, so go ahead and purchase your ticket.

Please note:

• 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 March 15, 2016, to be considered.

Apply Now

You will receive a reply by March 31.

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: $295. Every little bit helps!

Donate Now

Student Helpers

** If you are a Student Helper, please arrive at 2:00 p.m. so you can check in before general check-in opens, and attend a 2:30 p.m. meeting to go over your responsibilities. **

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
• 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

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.

Apply by March 15, 2016. You will receive a reply by March 31.

Apply Now

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.

Convey messages

Sometimes, staff and dorm parents will need a trusted messenger to relay important information and details. They may request your help.

Cancellation Policy

If you have to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible! Every person impacts our planning.

Cancellation before May 13 = Full refund of all tickets

Cancellation May 13 or later = 85 percent refund of all tickets

Points of Interest

Olathe is a suburb of Kansas City, and there is a lot to do in the Kansas City metro area.

The Country Club Plaza – KC

The Nelson-Adkins Art Museum

National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

Union Station

Union Station | Kansas City Museum

Science City – for kids

Arabia Steamboat Museum

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Kansas City Jazz Museum: The Blue Room

Toy & Miniature Museum of KC

American Royal (rodeo, horse shows, etc.)

The John Wornall House Museum

The Oak Park Mall – at 95th St. & Quivira in Overland Park, KS


Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm

Heritage Park
Olathe Lake
Cedar Lake

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 J.C. Nichols Fountain by Henri-Léon in Kansas City


The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum

The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum

Special Thanks

MNU_logo_color2Special thanks to MidAmerica Nazarene University for partnering with us to host our annual Summer Workshop.

WARNING: Prolonged exposure to Epic-Epicness during this special week may cause Workshop Withdrawal.