A Week of Wonder!

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

There is so much for young writers at our Summer 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… getting to meet friends from 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.

Workshop Journal

Why We Love the Summer Workshop!

Summer Creative Writing Workshop Journal

2017 Journal | 2016 Journal | 2015 Journal

Monday, June 11 – Saturday, June 16, 2018


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 Writing Workshop exclusively all week.

Get directions »View map of the campus »


This is a NUT-FREE event. Several attendees have SEVERE ALLERGIES. Please respect this rule. Thank you!


Confirmed speakers are listed below. We will update this list as additional speakers are confirmed.

Featured Speaker!

Andrew Peterson

We are thrilled to be hosting Andrew Peterson!

Not only will Andrew be speaking—he has graciously agreed to an intimate concert just for registered Summer Workshop attendees!

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga. He is the founder of The Rabbit Room, an experiment in creative community. The Rabbit Room fosters Christ-centered community and spiritual formation through music, story, and art. Read more about Andrew on his website »

Enjoy a sample of Andrew’s music:


Daniel Schwabauer – “Mr. S.”

“Mr. S.” is the creator of The One Year Adventure Novel, Cover Story, and Byline creative writing curricula 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.

Daniel has taught in many venues including various writers’ conferences, home school 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.

Nadine Brandes

Nadine 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. The Out of Time Series, her dystopian trilogy, is published by Enclave Publishing.

Keep up with Nadine at NadineBrandes.com to get updates on her new two-book contract with Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian Publishing! The first one, Fawkes, is available for pre-order—it releases July 10!

She and her husband make their home in Missouri.

Jenn Bailey

Jenn received rave reviews from students after last year’s Summer Workshop; so this year we asked her to speak thrice! (She said yes.) Jenn is often lauded for her practical, hands-on teaching style; we know you’ll be enriched by hearing her.

Jenn Bailey received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is represented by Rosemary Stimola of the Stimola Literary Agency and has just signed her first book contract. Jenn has spoken at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators national conferences in New York City and Los Angeles and continues to be an editor and critique partner at Heartland Writers for Kids and Teens. Currently, Jenn is joining forces with two of her VCFA schoolmates to open up the BLT Literary agency.

We appreciate Jenn’s enthusium–not only for her craft–but for sharing what she’s learned with younger writers!

 Stephanie Morrill

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 Piper Sail, in Stephanie’s latest release, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, a jazz-age mystery set in 1920s Chicago; and Evalina Cassano, heroine of her next book, Within These Lines, a WW II era novel also contracted with Blink/HarperCollins!

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.

John 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, including The Hive and Numb, 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. Get to know John at johnwotte.com.


We will have additional speakers at this year’s event. Speakers’ names and information will be added soon as confirmations are obtained.

Mrs. 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.

Advanced Track

We 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 hall to add younger students. Thanks for understanding.

Workshop 2.0 Track – NEW!

Writing instructor Daniel Schwabauer with workshop attendee.For the first time, we are offering an extra track open to ALL students daily. These will be in the morning, concurrent with the main sessions in the auditorium—just like the Advanced Track sessions.

Many of you who aren’t yet 18 have asked for more options. We heard you! The Workshop 2.0 Track will feature sessions with a specialized genre focus—topics such as poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for middle grade, and more!


• General Schedule •


• 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 evening session begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Bell Center auditorium with an orientation (mandatory), followed by fun, visiting, and games until curfew.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

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.

• 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.

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 March 31; they are regular price April 1–May 24.

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

Students at our creative writing workshop

Registration Costs

Bell-auditoriumEarly Bird “Sale” Pricing through March 31, 2018

Sale price …………. $345

Pricing as of April 1, through May 24, 2018

Regular price ……. $375

Registering after May 24 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 – $345

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

Waiver Form

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.)

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

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) … $137

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 – $137

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.

• 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.

On-Campus Lodging

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)… $175 each
• Family dorm room (entire room—2 beds—reserved)…. $350

Boys’ Dorm & Girls’ Dorm

Boys’ Dorm Ticket – $175 Girls’ Dorm Ticket – $175


• If you wish to request a roommate, both parties must fill out the ROOMMATE REQUEST Form by May 24. 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.

Family Dorm

Family Room Ticket – $350

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 ($35) 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 $35 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.

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 11, and return service to KCI from Olathe on Saturday, June 16. 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 May 24, 2018. You will need your flight information to purchase the ticket.

Airport Shuttle Ticket – $49

The cost is $49/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 info@oneyearnovel.com to request a 50 percent refund.

• Shuttle Details

On Monday, June 11, the shuttle service will run between noon and 5:00 p.m.

On Saturday, June 16, 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.

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 – FREE

FAQ about Mentor Appointments »

Students at a Summer Creative Writing Workshop.

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.

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 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.

Summer workshop attendeeThe 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.

Please do not bring poetry, fan fiction, screen plays, or short stories to the Summer Workshop.

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, Byline, and The One Year Adventure Novel sets will be discounted by $20.

We accept cash and all cards.

Parents & Siblings

Parents and siblings under 13 may attend the workshop free with one paid Student registration. The Bell Center Auditorium has plenty of comfortable seating for all. We request that non-students sit in the back. Please note, however, that there may not be sufficient seating if you would like to sit in on an advanced track session. The advanced track hall is smaller.

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

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 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.


The Pevensie Scholarship

Pevensie-scholarship-logo-webA full scholarship for one student coming to the Summer Workshop for the first time. This annual scholarship is the gift of an adult One Year Adventure Novel student who is passionate about teen writers experiencing the Summer Workshop that so impacted this student’s life.

The $706 scholarship covers:

• Student Registration ($345)
• Meal plan for one ($137)
• One spot in the Girls’ Dorm or Boys’ Dorm ($175)
• $49 to cover the Airport Shuttle ticket or gas, if the student will travel by car

To qualify, you must:

• Be 13–19 years old on June 11, 2018.
• Have a valid One Year Adventure Novel license.
• Be coming to the Summer Workshop for the first time.
• Not have already attended a Winter Workshop.
• Intend to eat in the cafeteria and stay on site in the Girls’ Dorm or Boys’ Dorm.

Please note:

• The application includes questions to assess financial need. We take the answers of these questions into consideration.
• Applying for a scholarship does not guarantee that you will receive it.
• In the event that you are not awarded the Pevensie Scholarship, we encourage you to also apply to the other scholarship program below.

You must apply by March 24, 2018, to be considered.

Apply Now

You will receive a reply by March 31.

Other Scholarships

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 March 31, and you may not receive a reply until March 31.

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, 2018, 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: $300. 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.

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.

Apply by March 15, 2018. You will receive a reply by March 31.

Apply Now

Cancelation Policy

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

Cancelation by May 24 = Full refund of all tickets; but if it has been more than 30 days since your payment, transaction fees will not be refundable (these are a very small percentage; varies by payment method)

Cancelation after May 24 = 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 epicness of this this special week may cause Workshop Withdrawal.