Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.


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

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.

Christmas Writing

Whether you spend time skiing for Christmas break, travel to Grandma’s house for turkey and ham, or if you hole up in a cabin snuggled in your fuzzy slippers by the fire, reading a book and sipping hot cocoa there’s time for a little writing. There’s a smidgen of time for journaling or blogging.Christmas Orn 2

If you have a tradition dear to the family or you’re like me and watch Hallmark Christmas movies for two weeks straight while the kids run around the house like banshees, stay in practice. It doesn’t need to be formal or fancy. Write a thank you note. Write a letter to a high school friend who moved away.

Pick up a Christmas card and pretend to jump into the card and write the “rest of the story”. Or try a different point of view such as “What would it be like to see Christmas from the inside of a snow globe”. Build a scenery for another story you are working on with the landscape from another Christmas card.

Here are a few websites listing Christmas writing prompts or do you own search on Google or Pinterest.



Middle School and Beyond from


  • Write a persuasive paragraph to convince a skeptic that Santa Claus really does exist.
  • Write a personal narrative describing the best Christmas you have ever had.
  • Write an extended definition of the word “Christmas.”
  • Write an essay that answers the question “What is Christmas all about?”
  • Take a familiar Christmas story and adapt it into a reader’s theater piece. Enlist the aid of friends or classmates to perform it.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper arguing for or against Christmas displays in public places.
  • Is Christmas too commercialized? Write an essay that answers the question and explains your answer.

The important part is to keep writing.


SCI/FI Fantasy Conference Schedule

Class Time Class Speaker
8:30 – 9:00 Registration and munchies
9:00 – 10:00 NaNoWriMo Tracy Sockriter and Chris Richards
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:30 How to Write Believable Alternative History Jeff Kildow
11:30 – 11:45 Break
11:45 – 12:45 Lunch
12:45 – 1:45
Fantastical Inspiration
Brock Eastman
1:45 – 2:00 Break
2:00 – 3:15 Making Good Fiction: do’s and don’ts of good Science Fiction Mike Carroll
3:15 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 4:00 Speaker Q&A All Speakers