Monday, April 13, 2015

The Importance of Community & Ch1Con Book Giveaway

This post and GIVEAWAY is brought to you by Chapter 1 Young Writers Conference. Inklined is participating in the Ch1Con 2015 Blog Tour, which spans a number of writing-related blogs and includes a ton of original content from the Chapter One Young Writers Conference team. I’m super excited to be a part of it.

Founded in 2012, the first Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con) took place in Chicago with six teenagers in attendance in person and countless others attending via an online live stream. It was an experiment limited to members of the Scholastic’s Write It community and their friends: Could a group of teenagers from across North America really get together and run their own conference? The answer soon became apparent: Yes. And so the conference was born!

 2015 registration is currently open on the Ch1Con website for writers from a middle school to undergraduate level and at an early bird discount price of $39.99. Three speakers have been confirmed so far: headliner Kat Zhang, the bestselling author of The Hybrid Chronicles, Taryn Albright, better known as the Girl with the Green Pen, and Ava Jae, debut author of BEYOND THE RED (YA sci-fi coming out in 2016). As a special bonus, Ava Jae’s agent, Louise Fury of the Bent Agency, will open to queries only from conference attendees for up to thirty days after the event.

The 2015 conference will be held in the Courtyard Chicago Arlington Heights/South Marriot, with sessions from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Saturday the 8th of August. Tickets for transport and room reservations can be bought online with links on the conference’s Travel page. Early bird registration is currently open at this link with adult registration for those 18+ and youth registration (with parental/guardian consent) for those under 18. 

 For more information and to join in on the Ch1Con community, check out the website and social media platforms for the conference:

Website: Chapter One Young Writers Conference 
Twitter: @Ch1Con 
Tumblr: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
YouTube: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
Pinterest: Chapter One YW Conference
Facebook: Chapter One Young Writers Conference 

The Chapter One Young Writers Conference. 
Every story needs a beginning. This is ours.

While I haven't signed up yet (due mostly to me being a proscrastanator (I'll look up how to spell it later)) I hope/plan on being at the Ch1Con this year! I would love to see you there.

Now, you might be asking

I'll tell you why. It's because I believe in the importance of community. Particularly, I believe in the importance of a community of teen writers who want to encourage you and help you write better.  There are three reasons for this.

1. Community Encourages You
Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time I took a year long creative writing class, in which we were encouraged to write a novel. I did great in the class, writing a chapter a week. It was the first time in my life I wrote consistently. A huge part of this was that I had a teacher expecting me to turn in a chapter every week. My writing class was my community. That summer, after class ended, I didn't write. And then the next semester, I didn't write. I didn't become a disciplined writer again until I joined the Go Teen Writers' Facebook Group.  When you have community, you have a group of people that will cheer you on during your high points, and give you a helping hand during your low points.  Your community plays Haymitch to your Katniss.

Community Encourages Your

2. Community Fosters Friendships
There are so many people I would consider my writing friends. Guess where I met them. If you guessed "Through your writing community," you'd be absolutely correct! Some of them are much better writers than me. Some of them are just starting out and still don't know the difference between there, their, and they're & don't know what an Oxford comma is. I pity those poor souls. Through the blogging and Facebook communities I'm a part of, I've built relationships with all sorts of writers. When you join and online community, you either make friends or become a non-contributing member of the community.  Communities by their very nature help you form and grow friendships.

Community Forcing you to make Friends

3. Community Makes Your Writing Better
I found all of my closest writing friends through the teen writing online community. My closest writing friends are the one's I trust to tell me when my ideas stink and when they are pure genius. It is not a huge leap from close writing friend to critique partners. Without community to teach me, support me, and encourage me, I would still write like a 4th grader. Your community, and most definitely your critique partners know how to give it to you straight to make you a better writer.

Community Gives it to you Straight

Those are my three biggest reasons community is so important to writers (or any creative person.)  What are some of your favorite or least favorite things about community? Leave a comment or tweet me @SarahFaulknr and let me know.

And now, the promised giveaway!  This giveaway is brought to you by Ch1Con
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for reading! I hope to see you at Ch1Con. Are you planning on attending?


  1. I am definitely going to think about this conference! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Coolness! I definitely won't be able to make it to the conference- I'm going to be volunteering elsewhere that week- but I hope everyone who goes has fun. :)

    I experience the writing community mostly through the forums I'm on, plus through blogs.

  3. This is a great post! I love writing community for just those reasons. My writing has gotten so much better because of online teen writer communities, plus I've made wonderful friends. Hope to see you at Ch1Con this year!

  4. Excellent post, Sarah! And may I just say: your GIFs are ON. FIRE. (Eh? Eh? See what I did there?)

    Thanks for spreading the word about the importance of the community (and about Ch1Con). :) I really hope you can come!

  5. I agree that community is so important to writing. Through the GTW blog and my own blog, I've made so many writerly friends. If it weren't for them, I would never have finished my first novel because I wouldn't have the support and encouragement that I have now. GTW and my writer friends have been such a great help!


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