Writer Olympics 2019

Take the Leap. Beat Writer’s Block. Finish Your Novel.

Saturday, October 19

Are you ready to compete in the Writer Olympics? Come join the members of Yukon Writers' Society at our conference on Saturday, October 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Yukon Church in Yukon, Oklahoma. Our goal is to help beginner, advanced, and in-between writers take the leap, beat writer's block, and finish their novels. 


Our Presenters

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Kayla Olson: Keynote Speaker, YA Author, Coffee Lover

YA Fiction (9:30 AM) — Over the past decade, YA fiction has exploded well outside of its teen readership to capture the hearts of readers in their twenties and beyond. In this breakout session, we’ll look at the cornerstone features of YA that make it so compelling for such a broad audience, then discuss some practical ways to apply them when taking a YA project from first draft to finished book.

For the Love of Writing (1:00 PM, Keynote) How to stay motivated on the path to publication when various obstacles and setbacks pop up along the way.

Kayla Olson was raised in a small town in Texas where an infinite sea of stars still fills the night sky. Her parents met while working at NASA, so it only makes sense that she would inherit their love of space. Before Kayla was an author, she spent her time making both music and lattes—now, she spends her days with her family surrounded by a thousand ideas waiting to be written, black coffee in beautiful mugs, a friendly pair of cats, and on the tennis courts. Her first novel is The Sandcastle Empire, which was optioned for film and has been translated into ten languages, with six more translations currently in the works; her latest read, This Splintered Silence, is a standalone mystery set on a space station. Find her on Instagram (@authorkaylaolson), Twitter (@olsonkayla), Facebook (authorkaylaolson) or her website (www.kaylaolson.com). View her books on Amazon here.

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Tex Thompson: Author, WORD Organizer, Cat Mom

Juice-Box Hero: Squeezing Plot From Character (9:30 AM) — They say there are only six plots. Maybe seven. But there are a million characters—and a great one can make an author's career. If you have an AMAZING character (or ten), but are struggling to sustain their storylines—or if your intricate, masterfully crafted plot feels a bit flat on personality—have no fear. Come on out and discover how to distill a story that readers will remember from characters they'll never forget. Bring your enthusiasm and all your burning questions!

Arianne "Tex" Thompson was once described as "an explosion of 52 enthusiastic kittens all trying to go in the same direction, but instead latching onto everything at once." In addition to writing the Children of the Drought epic fantasy Western series, Tex is the founder and chief instigator for WORD - Writers Organizations 'Round Dallas. When she's not leading the charge at home in Dallas, Tex brings her particular brand of "red-penthusiasm" to conferences, conventions, and workshops all over the country. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and friend her on Facebook.

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Marie Korman: Writer, Book Hoarder, Daria Fangirl

How to Maintain Your Writing Momentum & Motivation (10:30 AM) — The #1 way to fail at writing is to not finish. Many writers find it difficult to gain traction on their book. The motivation for writing can begin to wane, especially on larger projects. Page length and word count quickly become the nemesis. To cross the finish line, writers need to understand how to create and maintain their writing momentum and motivation. Knowing how to maximize your productivity, create accountability, and learning what inspires YOU are key factors in achieving success. In this class, participants will receive the tips, tricks, and tools needed to maintain the writing momentum and motivation necessary to finish their book.

Marie Korman is a freelance writer, editor, and publishing consultant. She holds an undergraduate degree in Humanities/Film from Arizona State University and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from South Texas College of Law. Marie began her career in writing originally as a journalist penning entertainment articles for local Houston newspapers. These days she splits her time between creating editorial content for her clients and assisting other writers with bringing their works to market. Fan of the animated MTV character Daria, she is a mom, pet lover, book hoarder, and fierce defender of the Oxford comma. When she isn’t racing to meet an editorial deadline or reviewing manuscripts, she can be found guzzling coffee in the café of her local bookstore. Visit her website, follow on Facebook, follow on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn.

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Mistie Cogdill: Novelist, Texan, Drama Queen

The Write Stuff: Author Resources (2:00 PM) — An interactive workshop where writers discuss their favorite resources for both craft and marketing. Which books, podcasts, websites, and Facebook and Instagram groups have the best material? How do I use social media search features and hashtags? Which writer tools yield the best results? We’ll wade through the plethora of information to give you the best of the best. 

Mistie Cogdill is a writer, certified teacher, workshop instructor, and rural arts-advocate. Her debut novel, In the Right Time, the first book in a time-travel romance series, will be released in January 2020. With a background in theatre, Mistie has always been exceptional at creating drama, a skill that carries over brilliantly in her writing. She’s also a life-long voracious reader, who’s a little obsessed with books. Mistie graduated from Wayland Baptist University where she studied English. She’s a native Texan, where she lives with her husband, three teenage daughters, and two spoiled fur-babies. Follow Mistie on Twitter, on Instagram, or on Facebook.


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Shayla Raquel: Author, Marketer, Squirrel Advocate

Best Book Launch Ever (10:30 AM) — Are you ready to have the best book launch ever? Shayla Raquel guides you through her one-of-a-kind plan to launch Amazon bestsellers for her indie authors. You'll learn how to build a launch team to use social media as a lifeline to your readers to pitch to influencers and book bloggers to use your email list and preorder incentives to increase sales to plan an out-of-the-park online launch party to tell the world about your book without feeling salesy to stay on top of things after the launch and a few more marketing strategies! So are you ready to have the best book launch ever?

An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 400 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and The Suicide Tree. In her not-so-free time, she acts as organizer for the Yukon Writers’ Society, volunteers at the Oklahoma County Jail, and obsesses over squirrels. She lives in Oklahoma with her dogs, Chanel, Wednesday, and Baker.

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Shari Bower: Writer, Poet, Crazy Cat Lady

Be Courageous and Write Your Memoir (2:00 PM) — Everyone has a story. Not everyone has the courage to write it. In this breakout session, Shari will show you what exactly a memoir is and what it isn’t and why you should write one. She will share the most important elements to include in a memoir, what not to leave out, and how to keep your readers turning the page and losing sleep because they just can’t put down your book. You will learn how to paint a picture of your story rather than just tell it so your readers will feel like they are there, watching the events happen and feeling the emotions of the moment.

Shari Bower, a recent widow, mom of two daughters, and Mimi to three granddaughters and a grandson, retired in 2015. Her plans were to finish the book she started thirty years before, when she wrote poetry in a North Texas courtroom during her husband’s murder trial for a crime he didn’t commit. Writing poems turned into journals, then blogs, as her family traversed the legal system, trying to exonerate her innocent husband of the death penalty that hung over their heads. After her husband’s execution in June 2015, Shari began to pen her memoir of juggling life, surviving Texas suburbia, and Texas’s death row. Shari is now in the final edits of her first, soon-to-be published memoir, revealing how an innocent family man spent thirty-one years fighting for justice and the family who stood by him.


The Schedule*

9:00 AM — Introductions & Information

9:15 AM — Writer Olympics Points System + Game


  • Tex Thompson — Juice-Box Hero: Squeezing Plot from Character

  • Kayla Olson — YA Fiction


  • Shayla Raquel — Best Book Launch Ever

  • Marie Korman — How to Maintain Your Writing Momentum & Motivation

11:30 PM — Testimony + Game

12:00 PM — Lunch + Game

1:15 PM — Keynote Speaker Kayla Olson: For the Love of Writing


  • Mistie Cogdill — The Write Stuff: Author Resources

  • Shari Bower — Be Courageous and Write Your Memoir

3:00 PM — Break + Game

3:30 PM — Writing Exercises with Gary Medina

4:30 PM — Break + Winners Announced + Giveaways

5:00 PM — Closing Remarks

Meet us for dinner after the conference at The Lokal in Yukon.
*More information to come

The Venue


Yukon Church
Yukon, Oklahoma

11715 NW 10th Street, Yukon, OK 73099

We will be meeting at the Yukon Church in Yukon, Oklahoma. Breakout sessions will take place on the second floor, but our keynote will be speaking in the auditorium. We will have signs everywhere to help you find your way. Registration is in the main lobby.


The Prizes


You get a prize, and you get a prize! Everyone gets a prize!

While every attendee will leave with a goodie bag, only three will leave with our bronze, silver, and gold prizes. During the conference, you'll be competing in different writerly games. First, second, and third place winners take home amazing prizes. Stay tuned to see them!


The Food




Writer Olympics 2019
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Writer Olympics 2019
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NOTE: The YWS is a registered nonprofit. All ticket sales are used to keep our biweekly workshops, write-ins, and special events FREE! There are only three conferences a year we charge for, and we have no member dues. Thank you!