2014 Junior Authors Writers Conference Richmond, BC

for ages 9 to 21

This is what we did in 2014 at our Junior Authors Writers Conference in Canada.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Junior Authors Writers Conference October 2014Sandman Signature Resort
10251 St. Edwards Drive, Richmond, BC
(Just south of the Oak Street Bridge by Highway 99)
Hotel phone: 604-278-9611
Conference phone/text: 604-307-4971
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Check in & Refreshments from 9:00 to 9:40 am
We start at 9:45 am sharp

With or without the t-shirt, Your choice!
Cost without: $89.00 CAD
Cost with special edition t-shirt: $99.00
Click to purchase Tickets & Register in the LTC Store 

Financial Need Scholarships Available Courtesy of Our Sponsors
Delta School District, Central Avenue Publishing & Albany Books
Application Deadline September 30th
See Details Below

Price Includes:

  • Five workshops on the art and craft of writing and the publishing industry. See our speaker line up below.
  • A t-shirt for those who purchase the $99.00 ticket. Please note: We may have a limited selection of t-shirts available on conference day. If we do, they will be $15.00 each.
  • Personalized Certificate of Participation
  • Goody bag
  • Programme with space for taking notes
  • Entry in multiple door prizes
  • Refreshments morning and afternoon – coffee, tea, biscuits
  • Buffet lunch
  • Parent Q&A session with Laura from 4:00 – 4:30 on how to support and encourage your young writer. This is included in the registration fee and attendance is optional.
  • Be there when the 2014 Junior Authors Short Story Contest winners are announced
  • Be there when the winner of the 2014 Polly Prize for Creative Writing is announced (deadline August 31st)
  • A chance to participate in the special conference fiction writing contest (details below) – Deadline October 15th
  • NEW! Participants have the option of ordering a special edition LTC t-shirt at the time of registration for $10 CAD. Artwork by Ken Rolston who did the cover art for Polly Wants to Be a Writer. 

JA Conference Fiction Writing Contest

Every young writer who comes to the conference is welcome to submit a piece of writing for our special conference writing contest.  The top two winning stories will be read at the conference and be published on jaBlog! in October/November. Each winner will receive one of our new LTC Insider Plus+ Memberships.

Here are the rules:

  1. Write a short story (fiction) of no more than 500 words that takes place during the lunch break at a fictional young writers conference. The title and your personal information do NOT count towards your total words. Just count the words in the body of your story.
  2. Please put your name, age, email address, and title at the top of the first page of your story.
  3. Email to Laura no later than midnight Wednesday, October 15th, 2014.
  4. You must be registered for the conference to participate.
  5. One entry per person.
  6. The 2 winners will receive one of our brand new LTC Insider Plus+ Memberships and have their stories published on jaBlog!


About the Organizer & Host

Laura Michelle Thomas Author

Laura Michelle Thomas

Laura Michelle Thomas, B.A., B.A., M.A., is an author and semi-retired professional copywriter and ghostwriter. She has been mentoring young writers in workshops, camps and courses since 2007. She has worked equally with homeschoolers and students in public and private schools, including those in gifted programs. Some of her students have gone on to have stories and poetry published in prestigious magazines like Stone Soup. She is also a mother with a daughter and step-son and a professional children’s storyteller, who was storyteller in residence at Science World, Vancouver for 2012. Laura also has experience working with writers with special needs, including autism spectrum and ADHD. More recently Laura formed a communications company through which she fosters the development of young writers worldwide through quality contests, conferences, blogging, books, and educational resources. She is the author of the 5-star hybrid novel and writing guide Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published.

Junior Authors Conference 2014 Schedule


About the Conference

The Junior Authors Conference is specially designed to recognize, affirm, inspire, and delight young writers ages 9  through 21. The workshops will be kept short. There will be lots of breaks, good food and opportunities to meet other young writers and some industry professionals. Click here to view a video from our 2013 Conference which took place at this same location. Read testimonials from past participants.

    • Specially designed for younger writers – Please see note below if your child is under 12 and you are concerned about them attending on their own.
    • Meet other young writers and industry professionals
    • Fast-paced with lots of breaks
    • Good food – Lunch plus morning and afternoon snacks
    • Open to ages 9 – 21 only
    • Be there when the 2014 Junior Authors Poetry Contest results are announced
    • Parents are invited to return to the conference room at 4:00 to participate in the Q&A session and Contest Awards (optional)

Regarding Children Under 12

While we have a few tickets set aside for special needs assistants, we cannot accommodate parents until the Parent Q&A Session at 4:00 pm. Here is what your younger child can expect:

    • We will be staying in one large ballroom together all day for all workshops and meals.
    • Everyone will be seated at banquet-style round tables.
    • LTC volunteers and staff will be available to assist younger participants.


Our Fabulous Speakers

Jacqueline Pearce Junior Author Conference

Children’s Author Jacqueline Pearce

10:00 – 10:45 am
Time Travel: How to Write About the Past As If You Were There
with Jacqueline Pearce, Children’s Author

Blogger Journey Meyerhoff interviewed Jacqueline for jaBlog!

Good historical fiction is like a time machine that takes readers back into the past─to a time and place where the characters live and breathe. This workshop will explore the process of researching and writing historical fiction and introduce some basic tools and tips for making history come alive. It will also touch on how some of these same tips can apply to writing about the future. Participants will try out their own “time travel” skills through a writing activity.  

Jacqueline Pearce is the author of ten books for children and teens, including Discovering Emily, about the 19th c. childhood of Canadian artist Emily Carr, The Truth About Rats (and Dogs), about a boy who smuggles home a pet rat, and Manga Touch, which follows a teenage girl’s exchange trip to Japan. In her newest novel, Siege, the main character finds himself dodging ghosts and musket fire in the middle of a War of 1812 re-enactment. Jacqueline grew up on Vancouver Island and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Victoria and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto.


Linda DeMeulemeester Junior Authors Writers Conference

Children’s Author Linda DeMeulemeester

11:00 – 11:45 am
Writing Tricks: The Magical Transformation of an Idea Into a Spell-casting Tale
with Linda DeMeulemeester, Award-winning Children’s Author

LTC Social Media Assistant, Cathy Yan, interviewed Linda DeMeulemeester for jaBlog!

How to you provide reader cookies to an audience? What should you feed a plot bunny? Who in the story gets ‘save the cat’ scenes? The answer to these questions and more are revealed as Linda weaves in stories and pointers about her writing process and how she became interested in stories of adventure and mystery – and the inspiring ideas that led her to begin writing Grim Hill. Participants will share brainstorming sessions on how to make and keep a story interesting for readers. She will also share with students some of the bumpier parts of the writing process including the story of her most miserable rejection and the hard work of editing.

Linda’s spooky mystery middle-grade Grim Hill series, published in Canada by Lobster Press came out of the gate to great success as the winner of the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Award and selected by the Canadian Toy Testing Council for the “Great Books of 2008.” The series went on to become the flagship for the small publisher where it was designated a hot ticket item with Scholastic Arrow Book Club, made it to the Canadian bestseller list, and was optioned for an animated T.V. series.


Michelle Halket Junior Authors Conference

Publisher Michelle Halket

1:00 – 1:45 pm
How to Get Your Book Published: Options for New Authors
with Michelle Halket, Publisher, Central Avenue Publishing

LTC US East Blogger, Lucy Zhang, interviewed Michelle Halket for jaBlog!

The options for getting your work read are greater today than ever before. In this session, you will learn what those publishing models are, from traditional publishing, to doing it yourself, to exploring the new forms of publishing like blogging and file sharing. Moreover, you will learn what you need before you get started and how to know which form is right for you and the type of work you produce.

Central Avenue is a press featuring writers of original fiction, poetry and selected non-fiction. They look for talented, driven and committed writers. They also distribute books published by ireadiwrite Publishing, Saberlee Books and their romance imprint, Everheart Books. Their goals are to treat writers with respect and integrity while bringing to market entertaining books and authors that connect with readers.

Michelle Halket is a self described bibliophile and technophile. The creator of Central Avenue Publishing, Michelle’s extensive background in account management and market research has loaned itself to creating a successful press that is riding the wave of digital books while maintaining a strong relationship with its authors and readers.


Michelle Barker Junior Authors Writers Conference

Author & Poet Michelle Barker

2:00 – 2:45 pm
Creating Memorable Characters
with Michelle Barker, Author & Poet

LTC UK North Blogger, Rhianna Urquhart, interviewed Michelle Barker for jaBlog!

Readers become engaged in a story when the characters seem real. If they are stereotyped or wooden, they fall flat and the story dies. But how does a writer create realistic characters? Are there secrets for how to make a CV-list of accomplishments and traits come to life? Absolutely! Michelle will discuss effective physical description, the importance of character motivation, and ways to show readers who your characters are rather than simply telling them.

Michelle Barker was born in Vancouver, BC. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from UBC and worked as an editor and researcher before turning to writing full time. She has published short fiction, non-fiction and poetry in literary reviews, magazines and newspapers. In 2002, she won a gold National Magazine Award in personal journalism. Her chapbook, Old Growth, Clear-Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii, was published by Leaf Press in 2012. Her poetry appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry in English (2011). Her first novel, The Beggar King is a young adult fantasy that was published in 2013 by Thistledown Press. Presently, Michelle is finishing up her Master’s degree in creative writing at UBC’s optional-residency program.


Books Editor & Reporter Tracy Sherlock

Books Editor & Reporter Tracy Sherlock

3:00 – 3:45 pm
How to Get Your Book Reviewed
with Tracy Sherlock, Books Editor & Education Reporter, Vancouver Sun Newspaper

This workshop will focus on how to get a book noticed by the public and reviewers. Topics will include: best practices for name recognition, including reviewing books, social media, and other forms of attention that are growing in popularity at the same time traditional media is shrinking. Tracy will talk about best practices for contacting book editors at newspapers, what reviewers look for in deciding which books to review, and what happens after a book is selected for review.

Tracy Sherlock is the books editor and education reporter for the Vancouver Sun Newspaper. She has worked at the Vancouver Sun for seven years as both an editor and a reporter. She has worked in the writing business since the late 1980s.



Scholarships Available to Help Cover Conference Registration Fee – Extended Deadline is September 30th

We are setting aside some seats at the conference for young writers who might not otherwise be able to pay the conference registration fee due to financial hardship. If you know of an aspiring young writer between the age of 9 and 21 who would deeply appreciate being part of this special event, please have the family email the following formation:

  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Address
  4. Phone number
  5. Why financial aid is needed to attend this conference.
  6. Why the student wishes to attend this conference.
  7. A brief description of the student’s writing goals and career aspirations.
  8. Anything else you would like to add.

Send the email by September 30, 2014 to Laura Thomas at laura@laurathomascommunications.com. Please note that the scholarships cover all or a portion of the conference registration fee. We do not provide funding for travel or other miscellaneous expenses.

We would like to thank our sponsors Central Avenue Publishing, Delta School District and Albany Books for making it possible to offer scholarships.


Refund Policy

On or Before October 4 – Refund less a 5% administration fee. Please make your request by email.
Between October 5 and 15 – Refund less a 15% administration fee. Please make your request by email.
After October 15th – No Refund

For more information about the Junior Authors Writers Conference, please contact Laura at laura@laurathomascommunications.com or leave a comment below.



One comment on “2014 Junior Authors Writers Conference Richmond, BC

  1. Lennox

    I went to the conference. It was really helpful!

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