Author Archives: Tracy Sockriter

New Beginnings


The last you heard from us was a huge blizzard. WELL, we’ve dug out, thawed out and are ready for a new adventure. We’ve rested, regrouped and recuperated. We ready to meet new teen writers, hopefully connect with ones we already know.

We’re taking writing a little less serious and A LOT more fun.


Stay tuned for a little COLOR in our new class.


Blessing in Disguise

We hope and pray all are staying safe this morning in this crazy spring storm. We were heartbroken to cancel the April Conference, but are certainly grateful no one is traveling now. Keep on writing. Keep building those characters.


Event Cancelled


It is with great difficulty and heavy hearts to tell you, Chris and Tracy are cancelling the April Teen Conference.
We will be rebuilding and restructuring to make the your experience with WAY extraordinary.

As we go forward, we would love for you to consider coming back for our next conference in the summer, date to be determined.

Author JD Dudycha

J.D. Dudycha is a former college baseball player and coach. He has over ten years of experience in baseball at the collegiate level. After the birth of his son in 2012, J.D. retired from coaching to be a stay-at-home dad. Since his retirement, he redeveloped his love for writing, an outlet he so desperately needed in the absence of baseball. Though his stories are fictional, he has drawn from his personal life as well as his expertise and knowledge of the game to craft his novels.


Jon’s WAY Class

Jon Author bio pic

Author of Paint The Black JD Dudycha


What makes a character memorable? What draws you in? Creating character’s people will remember is no easy task. There are so many tired clichés that people have read/seen over and over again. The answer may be different for everyone, after all we are all unique.

As an author, it is my job to make you—the reader—feel. I try to tug on the emotional side of your imagination. I try to make you care about what happens on the page, but more importantly, care about the character on the page. If I can do that, then I have done my job.

I will stretch your limits, give you examples of other brilliant characters, and hopefully move you into the direction of creating your own memorable characters.

You can find John here:




Twitter: @JDDudycha

Amazon Author page:



Author J. Chris Richards


Chris Richards has been writing for as long as she can remember and became serious about getting published about 20 years ago. Her debut novel, Shattered Trust, combines her heart for solving problems in community and living as the wife of a police officer and soldier.She is the Young Adult Managing Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

She is a member of ACFW, Words for the Journey, and Writers on the Rock. She has spoken at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, Write to Publish, The Write Stuff, and the Castle Rock Writers Conference. She is also the co-founder of WAY – Words and Youth Conferences; writing conferences for teenage writer and holds these conferences about three times a year. Her passion is for helping other writers fulfill their potential.

Chris’ WAY class:Richards 200

Characters can be built from the outside or inside out.

Which method builds the right characters for your story? We will spend part of the class building different characters for your work in progress.

You can find Chris here:


Author Cherilyn Grace


Cherilyn Grace was born and raised near Baltimore, Maryland.  As a former newspaper columnist, she broke an initial investigative case against a  local School Superintendent and his Chief Financial Officer. They were eventually indicted on charges of embezzlement, theft and forgery.   After  children and marriage, she made a career change in pursuit of fiction and The Great American Novel.  Her first novel is Walking through Rain, which she self-published one year ago.  Currently, she is working on a year-long devotional book, as well as another fiction title.

Cherilyn’s WAY Class

 Everyone has them, but nobody really knows how to make them come to life.  What are they?  Cherilyn bio picThey are your characters!  Join her in an hour-long class as we explore a few points on characterization.  How do we think them up?  Where do they come from?  Does my old Aunt Fanny count as a character?  She will introduce you to a few her own  characters.  What is your guess on them?  Did I allow them to live or die?  Join us at WAY and we will find out the answers!

You can find Cherilyn here:

Find her book on Amazon: Walking Through Rain 


Her website:  Graciesword



Let’s warm up your writing fingers, dust off the laptop, fire up the WATTPAD.

One reading resource “Joy Writing” by Kenn Amdahl talks about writing badly. Kenn characterizes mudslinging like Bart Simpson letting out the inner child. He suggests one particularly interesting exercise.

“Another trick is to try making connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. How is a chair like a bird? … Make lists of things that have not apparent relationship, then try to create sentences that link them in some way.”

One paragraph he came up with using the words music and fire was:

“The guitarist began his solo slowly, his fingers moving across the strings as if they were twigs he rubbed together. Notes rose like smoke, overtones sparked from the strings. Soon his fingers moved too quickly to see, and arpeggios and chords blazed in the night. “

Let’s try it! Here are some words to try, or try your own list. Reply in the comments. Have fun.

Hair Street
Sunglasses Snow
Cellphone Roses
 Keys Saddle Horn
Ring Cash Register
Court Hospital
Nails Coyote
Generation Scissors
Photograph Jail

Check out Ken’s book: Joy Writing

Registration Now Open

Registration for April Teen Character Writing Conference is now open. We are very excited to announce we will be BUILDING CHARACTERS. Charcter Building



Whether you are in the middle of your manuscript or just starting, come join us and learn to enhance, debilitate, torture, inflict pain, let fall in love, relieve, or let your character become a hero.

Do you need to motivate your character? Are your character’s actions moving your story along?

Even a villain has some redeeming quality. What is it?

Come join us April 16th for the WAY Words and Youth Character Building Writing Conference.

Conference (and tax) Time

With Writers on the Rock behind us, we’re excited to announce this spring’s WAY Taxes aheadconference. It will be held April 16th the day after your parents worst day of the year. If you are a RETURNING student we sincerely hope you enjoy time spent with friends and learning from our author lineup.

If you’ve DEDUCED you need to learn about the writing craft, come learn in the SHELTER of a relaxed environment. A TREASURY of new skills is close at hand. The DIVIDENDS will be immeasurable.

While your parents are thinking about WRITE OFFS, writers think about writing.

Stay tuned!

Make The Jump

Have you made the jump? The mindset jump? Have you looked at the calendar and wondered where the year went? Gave it or want to give 2015 a good swift kick in the pants?

Do you want to jump off 2015 and jump into 2016?

Well, at WAY we’ve been planning and scheming for the upcoming year. We have a few irons in the fire. We have some new classes heading your way. Conferences on the schedule.

We would love to hear from all of our past conferees. We’ve had a blast at our last four conferences, we’d like to concentrate on making them bigger and better. You can help!

We’re looking for all our artistic teens to help us build  WAY. You can do that by sharing the blog on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all your social media.

We would also like to propose our first contest for the year. If illustrations, along with your writing are one of your super powers, we would love to challenge you to draw, to color, to photographs (originals only), to paint a logo for WAY. The logo should be scanned or in jpg format. Anything to represent writing and/or publishing, such as books, magazines, pencils, typewriters, etc should be your focus. (but not limited to) Chris and Tracy will be the judges.

The prize will be your next conference registration is FREE! Who doesn’t like FREE! Whose parents don’t like FREE!

This is also open up to your friends who haven’t attended, your cousins, your cousins’ friends and friends you want to attend. Tweens and Teens only please.

Contest end January 7th, 2016.