YA Writing Conference

Authors of young adult fiction, including several New York Times bestsellers, share strategies, tips, and tricks for writing engaging work for tween and teen readers in three workshop sessions spanning key topics.

Then join us from 2-4pm for an author panel followed by a mix and mingle booksigning (FREE).

This year's panelists include Tom Leveen (Mercy Rule), Stephanie Elliot (Sad Perfect), Amy Lukavics (The Ravenous), Bill Konigsberg (Honestly Ben), Abigail Johnson (First to Know), and Amy Trueblood (Nothing But Sky).

  • All admission options include entry to all three (3) workshops.
  • → Cost ($75): Admission for one (1) person with lunch provided by First Draft Book Bar.
  • Register below or call 602.274.0067.
  • Event guidelines may be subject to changes.
  • Refunds will not be issued within three days of the event.
  • The YA author panel from 2-4pm is free to the public.


  • Don't want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.

TOM LEVEEN was born and raised in Arizona, where he lives with his wife. Party was his first young adult novel. Tom was previously the artistic director of Chyro Arts Venue, an all-ages performance space hosting live music, theatre, visual art, and independent film, where he enjoyed watching new YA bands taking the stage for three years.

STEPHANIE ELLIOT is the author of the young adult novel Sad Perfect (Margaret Ferguson Books/FSG, Winter, 2017), which was inspired by her own daughter's journey with ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. She has written for a variety of websites and magazines and has been a passionate advocate of other authors by promoting their books on the Internet for years. She has been, or still is, all of the following: a book reviewer, an anonymous parenting columnist, a mommy blogger, an editor, a professional napper, a reformed Diet Coke drinker, a gecko breeder and the author of three self-published novels. A Florida native, Stephanie has lived near Chicago and Philadelphia and currently calls Scottsdale, Arizona home. She graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Stephanie and her husband Scott have three children: AJ, McKaelen and Luke. They are all her favorites.

Horror author AMY LUKAVICS lives and lurks in Northern Arizona. When she isn't reading or writing, she enjoys playing roller derby, cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms. Her novel The Ravenous was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in the Superior Achievement in a YA Novel category, and Daughters unto Devils was a YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers 2017. Other books include The Women in the Walls and Nightingale.

BILL KONIGSBERG is the author of Openly Straight, which won the SCBWI Sid Fleischman Award for Humor and was named to the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list; The Porcupine of Truth, which won the Stonewall Book Award and was named a Booklist Editors' Choice selection; and Out of the Pocket, which won the Lambda Literary Award. Bill lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his husband, Chuck.

ABIGAIL JOHNSON was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snowstorms for year-round summers and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip in a purple spiral-bound notebook that she still has, and has been writing in ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn't let that stop her from body surfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high-school production of Cinderella, and publishing her first novel.

AMY TRUEBLOOD grew up in California only ten minutes from Disneyland which sparked an early interest in storytelling. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism, she worked in entertainment in Los Angeles before returning to Arizona. Fueled by good coffee and an awesome Spotify playlist, you can often find Amy blogging and writing. Nothing But Sky, a 2018 Junior Library Guild selection, is out now. Amy's second novel, Across A Broken Shore, will be released in late 2019.  


SKU: YAwritingconference2018

Admission for one (1) person with lunch provided by First Draft Book Bar.