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! Seriously.

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.

Why We Love the Summer Workshop!

SW-2015-Journal-Cover 200x295Remembering 2015:

2015 Summer Workshop Journal »

Mr. S.’s blog post about the workshop »

2016 Info

DATES: June 13–18

Event details for 2016 will be published in January.


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 break-out sessions for older students.

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

• Get directions »  • View map of the campus »



Monday, June 13 – Saturday, June 18, 2016

Monday, June 13

Check-in opens at 3:00 p.m.; settle into dorms. 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), followed by a short session by Torry Martin. Fun, visiting and games afterward, until curfew.

Tuesday, June 14

9:00 a.m. through evening session

Wednesday, June 15

9:00 a.m. through evening session

Thursday, June 16

9:00 a.m. through evening session

Friday, June 17

9:00 a.m. through evening session

Saturday, June 18

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



2016 costs will be published in January 2016.

Early Bird Pricing – through March 31, 2015

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

Pricing as of April 1, through May 31, 2015

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.
  • The reason the cost of tickets has risen slightly is that MNU’s rates have changed; we also have additional, new speakers.
  • Any partial scholarships we were able to provide this year were awarded in March. Thanks for understanding.
  • Parents and siblings (non-students under 13) attend FREE. Siblings under 13 and parents may not attend student critique groups.
  • Siblings 13 or older must register as students.
  • 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.

Meals Package

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 nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

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 or guys dorms 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.
This is a PEANUT-FREE event.

Campus Lodging

(College dorm-style housing)
• Monday evening through Saturday morning
• Single bed in shared room (boys dorm or girls dorm)… $155 each
• Family dorm room (entire room—2 beds—reserved)…. $310*

If you wish to request a roommate, both parties must email info@oneyearnovel.com. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your request, but we will do our best!

Same-gender siblings will be placed in the same dorm room unless we receive a different roommate request.

If staying in the girls or guys dorm (not family dorm) a student and his/her same-gender parent will be placed in different dorm rooms unless we receive a request to be roomed together. (Moms and dads not rooming with a child will be roomed with another same-gender parent.)

Families may stay together as dorm space permits. Alternatively families may stay off-campus (see suggested hotels below).

PLEASE NOTE that “Family dorm room” means that you will be in a dorm that is NOT gender segregated. It does not mean that the dorm rooms are any larger than the boys’ and girls’ dorms.

Students must be accompanied by a parent or other family member 20 years of age or older to purchase a family dorm room.

Family dorm room includes two twin-size beds. You may sleep an additional (3rd) immediate family member in the room for only $35 but you will need to bring them a sleeping pallet and linens (see separate ticket on Eventbrite.com.) Children under 5 are free, but you will need to bring a pallet and bedding for them.

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.

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 22, and return service to KCI from Olathe on Saturday, June 27. Shuttle service may be handled by a reputable third party.

To take advantage of this service, you must mail, fax, or email the Airport Shuttle Form and provide specific flight information by May 31, 2015.

Download Airport Shuttle Form

  • The cost is $49/person, in advance, and includes pick-up from and return to KCI.
  • On Monday, June 22, the shuttle service will run between noon and 5:00pm.
  • On Saturday, June 27, 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.
  • 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.

If you have any questions about flight scheduling, please contact us prior to purchasing your flight tickets.

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.

Families may prefer to rent a car for their stay.


Here is a general overview of the daily schedule:

7:30–8:30 a.m.


9:30 a.m. – Noon

2 sessions with a short intermission (Main sessions in auditorium; advanced sessions in separate meeting hall)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


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.


7:00 – 9:30 p.m.

2 sessions with intermission

9:30 – midnight

Free time. We will have access to the campus gym and adjacent Student Lounge.


Curfew – Check in with your dorm parent and remain in your dorm building.

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.


2016 speakers will be published in January 2016. Our speakers in 2015 were:

  • Torry Martin, actor, screenwriter, author
  • Tosca Lee, author
  • Jill Williamson, author
  • Stephanie Morrill, author
  • Jeff Gerke, founder of Enclave Publishing
  • Susanne Lakin, author and editor
  • Daniel Schwabauer, creator of The One Year Adventure Novel

TorryMartinBioPicture-smallerTorry Martin

Torry Martin is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, comedian and author. In addition to penning humor columns for national print and online publications, Torry is the author of several comedy sketchbooks published by Lillenas Drama Publishers. Martin’s unique sense of humor caught the attention of the producers of the popular children’s radio series, Adventures in Odyssey, who enlisted him to lend his writing skills to the show.

Torry Martin has been profiled in a host of national and regional print and online publications including Today’s Christian, Light and Life, At Home Tennessee and Christian-Movie.com. Martin is an in-demand speaker, performer and instructor at writing and filmmaking conferences across the U.S.

ToscaLeeBioPicture-croppedTosca Lee

“One of the most gifted novelists writing today.”
– Steven James, best-selling author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, The Legend of Sheba and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal and Sovereign).

Tosca received her B.A. in English and International Relations from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, with studies at Oxford University. She is a lifelong world adventure traveler and makes her home in the Midwest. To learn more about Tosca, visit toscalee.com.

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, Replication, The 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 Oregon with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer. Learn more about Jill and her books on her website: jillwilliamson.com.

jeff-gerkeJeff Gerke

Jeff Gerke is a Christian novelist and freelance editor. He is the author of five fiction craftsmanship books published by Writers Digest (The Irresistible Novel, Plot Versus Character, The First 50 Pages, Write Your Novel in a Month, and The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction) and six Christian thriller novels (originally under the pen name Jefferson Scott). He is the founder and former publisher of Marcher Lord Press – now Enclave Publishing – a small publishing house that produced Christian science fiction and fantasy novels from 2008 to 2013. He is a husband of 25 years and the father of three children. Jeff is also a graphic designer and digital painter. You can see what Jeff is up to at jeffgerke.com

Tineke-speaker-photo-webTineke Bryson

Tineke Bryson (Honors in Writing, Houghton College) lives in the very center of a pretty complicated Venn diagram, right where fiction and nonfiction, creating and editing, and American, European, and West African culture meet. Tineke grew up abroad, and before joining The One Year Adventure Novel, she worked as an editor. She and her husband, Matthias, live in Kansas.

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.

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 magical curses, 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.

Dan_Author2012_webDaniel Schwabauer

“Mr. S.” is the creator of The One Year Adventure Novel creative writing curriculum and the author of Runt the Brave and Runt the Hunted. 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.”

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.


How do I register?

STEP 1: Purchase your Workshop registration and tickets.

    • Early pricing is available through March 31st; ticket sales (regular pricing) close May 31st.
    • If you apply to be a Student Helper and are accepted, but you have already purchased a dorm spot ticket, we will refund the cost of the dorm ticket.
    • Other tickets (meal plan, accommodations, etc.) don’t have to be purchased today—the Eventbrite page can be accessed at your convenience to purchase remaining tickets. However, ticket sales close on May 31st.
    • Please be aware that even with the extra space open to us this year, the dorm rooms will go quickly, and they could sell out.
    • Please note that it is not necessary to bring printed ticket confirmations to check in on June 22.

Register or Add Tickets

STEP 2: Submit the Waiver and Emergency Form.

You will receive an email confirmation for each ticket you purchase on Eventbrite.com. It contains the link to the Waiver and 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 waiver and emergency form. We must receive this form by May 31, 2015.
  • 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 Waiver and Emergency Form

STEP 3: Send Airport Shuttle Form (optional)

If you are flying, and will need transportation from and/or back to the airport from MNU, please purchase a shuttle ticket on Eventbrite.com, and send us the Airport Shuttle Form.

You can return to the Summer Workshop Eventbrite event page any time through May 31st to purchase any other tickets you still need.

Download Airport Shuttle Form

Mail both to:

Clear Water Press, Attn: Summer Workshop
P.O. Box 62, Olathe, KS 66051

Sign and fax to:  1-970-692-2241

Sign, scan, and email to:  info@oneyearnovel.com

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.

The 4 excerpts you bring must be:

  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.
  5. A notebook and pen for note-taking.
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.

Video taping of any part of the Workshop is strictly prohibited. This includes cell phone and pocket-camera videos. Please respect this policy. Cameras/photos are welcome.

Parents and Siblings?

Parents and siblings 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.

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 package 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.

Session for Parents

We offer hour-long sessions for parents in the afternoons addressing relevent 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.


On-Campus Housing

Families have the option of staying in on-campus facilities. (Including Monday night, the 22nd.) See “Costs” section above to learn more.


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.

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.

Apply Now

All Student Helper positions have been filled for 2015.

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 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.

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.