First Pages—PB & Novel Breakouts
Submit your most polished work for the First Pages Panels. There will be one room for Picture Books and one room for Chapter Books/Middle Grade/YA. This work should be polished and submission ready. A panel of published writers and industry professionals will comment on the work. Only 10-15 stories can be shared, so there’s no guarantee of inclusion.
DO: Mail 4 copies of your first page postmarked on or before August 20 to:
6732 Northview Drive
Urbandale, IA 50322
Include the title and genre only. Double-spaced, 12-point font. They are read anonymously, so the audience will not know which story is yours.
Writers’ Round Table
8 copies of up to 3 full pages of a work-in-progress to share with a table of writers Double-spaced, 12 point font, title, genre, starting at the top of the page.
A reader will read the WIP aloud. Group members may say a few words about each one. A facilitator will keep the process moving. Each group will have a featured guest speaker (Cron, Sandford, Santopolo, Soloway, Naberhaus, Skeers) or one of Iowa’s fabulous published authors who will comment last on each piece.
Plan on about 10 minutes per person. A table facilitator will ensure everyone gets an equal amount of time.
Point of the Workshop:
At the end of the session, you’ll have ideas from your table-mates to help the story move forward.
Story Slam FAQ’s
What is a story slam?
A Story Slam is a competition where people read their original work without props, costumes, or music in front of a panel of judges. There is a three-minute time limit.
Who chooses the winners?
A panel of five judges will be randomly chosen from the audience. Each judge will privately score your slam based on how much they liked your story and your performance of it. Judges give each slam a score from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest or “perfect” score. The top three scores will be announced at the end of the night. Each of the top three performers will receive a fabulous prize!
What makes a winning story slam performance?
The story should be able to reach your audience the first time it’s heard and move them in some emotional way. How the story is read is as important as the content.
Who gets to perform at the Story Slam?
Sign up at the registration table before Saturday at 7:00 P.M. Fifteen names will be drawn at the beginning of the Story Slam.
What if my name is chosen?
You will be given three minutes to perform your original story or poem in front of a panel of five judges. If you go over the time limit, points will be deducted from the total score. Participants must read their own work.
What if my feelings get hurt?
Audience members will cheer, whistle, snap, or applaud every person who is brave enough to perform. All score cards will be destroyed at the end of the night and judges will be sworn to keep individual scores secret.
What if I don’t want to read my story, but still want to participate?
Share your enthusiasm with your fellow writers by cheering and applauding each of their performances. Grab a drink, make some friends, and have a fun-filled evening of camaraderie!