YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM–but there is also a red team, a BLUE team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by 4/3/16, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Today, I am hosting Deidre Riordan Hall on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of young adult, including the Amazon bestseller, SUGAR, the recent release PEARL and several new adult titles in the Follow your Bliss series. When she’s not writing, she’s probably surfing or in pursuit of magic or both. She also has a healthy case of wanderlust, loves salsa, guacamole, and tortillas, and dreams about learning to play piano.
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here!


As seventeen-year-old Pearl Jaeger emerges from a gritty childhood, her uncle sends her to a prestigious prep school with the promise of a second chance. But haunted by her memories and reckless with grief when her mother overdoses, she turns to partying with the burnouts, including shy and sweet Grant. All too soon, she’s spiraling out of control on the heels of her late mother. But between friendships that turn into sisterhoods, the salvation of art, and Grant showing her what it is to trust and forgive, Pearl must close the door on her past or lose love, along with her future.
Pearl Journal intro
Pearl Journal 1
Pearl Journal 2
Pearl Journal 3


And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Deidre, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 16. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Jessica Brody!

Book News: Announcing ROSEMARKED!

I’m so glad to be able to share!

From Publisher’s Marketplace:

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The book is currently slated to come out January 2018.

I’m soooo excited about this book, guys. And I’ve been having a blast researching it, from archery and stick fighting lessons to conversations about memory loss with my old classmate at MIT. And I can’t wait to share it with you.

Now I just need to, uh, finish writing it 😛

Complete Creative Writing Workshop Bundle Now Available (Save over 20%)

Bundle cover2

My entire Story Writing Workshop is now up on Teachers Pay Teachers!  There are seven lessons total. You can also get the complete bundle for a 22% discount.


Lesson One: Introduction to Storytelling (Free download)
Lesson Two: Freewriting and Idea Generation
Lesson Three: Building Strong Characters
Lesson Four: Plot
Lesson Five: Setting and Description
Lesson Six: Revision
Lesson Seven: Book Cover Design

Description and Setting Lesson Now Available



We’re on a roll!  My lesson plans for Description and Setting are now available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

How do writers bring an entire world to life through simple words?  In this lesson, students learn the secrets of precise and descriptive prose, and how to filter a description through a character’s point of view.  Then they’ll go on to explore their story’s setting and how it affects their characters and plots

Plot lesson now available


The fourth installment of my Creative Writing Workshop is up on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Lesson four is about plot. What drives a plot and keeps the reader engaged? Students will learn basic plot structure, from inciting incident to climax, as well as tips for organizing everything in between. Then, they’ll draw plot charts for their own stories.

Third Creative Writing Lesson Plan Up


And the third lesson plan from my Story Writing Workshop is now available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Lesson three is about characterization. Students learn the tips and tricks that make a well rounded character.  Through brainstorming exercises, mock interviews, and character autobiographies, students develop their main character’s life experience and personality. Then after they’ve nailed down their protagonist, students explore how supporting characters complement and challenge the protagonist.  Finally, students learn about the ways  which characters grow and change throughout a story.

Check out the rest of the series as well:

Lesson One: Introduction to Storytelling

Lesson Two: Freewriting and Idea Generation (The writing prompts in this lesson are also available separately as Out-of-the-Box Creative Writing Prompts.)

Lesson Three: Building Strong Characters

Lesson Seven: Book Cover Design

Second Creative Writing Lesson Plan Is Up

This past July, I ran a week long creative writing camp for middle and high school students.  After the camp, I revised my materials and expanded on them for other teachers to use.


Lesson 2: Freewriting and Idea Generation is now available on Teachers Pay Teachers. It’s all about figuring out what to write. Sometimes the muse is ready to meet us, but other times we have to go look for her. This lesson leads students through eleven writing prompts. After they complete the exercise, they pick their favorite idea and develop it into a rough synopsis.

This lesson can be used as a standalone creativity exercise. Alternatively, students can take the synopsis they write here and refine it with the help of later installments of this series.


The creative writing prompts in this lesson are also available on their own as Out-of-the-box Creative Writing Prompts, without the lecture material.

Free Lesson Plans From My Summer Creative Writing Camp


This past July, I ran a week long creative writing camp for middle and high school students. We had a ton of fun, and the students wrote some great stories! After the camp, I revised my materials and expanded on them for other teachers to use.

Lesson one, introduction to storytelling, is now available for free download at Teachers Pay Teachers.  It’s a bird’s eye view of storytelling. Why do we tell stories in the first place? What makes a good story? How do you become a better writer? The lesson uses several well known stories to discuss plot, character, and writing, with the goal of encouraging students to start thinking about stories in a more analytical and intentional way.

Six more lessons to come…

How I Came to Write Midnight Thief

Midnight Thief is Tome Society’s November book of the month, and I made an introductory video for their blog.  In it, I talk about how I came to write Midnight Thief, as well as some of the influences behind it. (It’s also the first video on my youtube channel, and I still haven’t figured out how video editing works. I feel old…)

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