Virtual Young Authors Conference Subscription

New content each month (October-May):

3 Writing Sessions

Two recorded and one live session led by published authors and writing instructors. Sessions will run approximately 30-45 minutes including writing activity.

October presenters: May Lee-Yang, Marie Olofsdotter, and Geoff Herbach.

Live Q&A

Q&A with local writers that is topic-specific (for example, developing characters, sports writing, dialogue, the writing life). October Q&A: May Lee-Yang.

Weekly Author Blog

The weekly blog will consist of videos created by members of the Minnesota writing community sharing their creative writing passions, tips and tricks, highlighting new and bestselling YA and children titles, and more. October blog posts will feature: Abby Cooper and the Red Balloon Bookshop.

Book Club Resource by Desdamona

You know her as the open mic emcee at YAC, Spoken Word Artist and performer, Desdamona! Each month (October-May), Des will select a MG or YA title and create a recorded virtual book club resource for teachers and parents. This resource is a 10-15 minute recorded video. Desdamona will model what a virtual book club meeting could look like. Videos will feature questions related to theme and characters, as well as writing prompts and conversation starters.

October: Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
Blended by Sharon Draper

Online Exhibition of Student Writing

A place for you to share your talent, share what you learned during your virtual sessions and read the stories your fellow students have written!

Virtual Open Mic

In addition to the book club resource, Des will also moderate an open mic each month. Students can join from home, school, or wherever you are distance learning. 

2020-2021 Theme: Words Have Power

Words and stories hold tremendous power: they spark imagination, inspire confidence, help heal, honor family, show gratitude, demonstrate kindness, and share truth.

October sessions featuring:

Marie Olofsdotter

Marie Olofsdotter

Poetry: Weave Your Words Into Power

Joy Harjo, the U.S. poet laureate writes, “Remember the dance language is, that life is.” To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom.’ Creativity is a powerful force, using tools like metaphor and anaphora, we’ll weave our words into poems full of power.

Marie Olofsdotter is a Swedish artist who lives in Minneapolis where she writes poetry, creates picture books, paints and works in mixed media. Her accolades include a Minnesota Book Award, a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry and grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Marie’s work as a teaching artist has inspired young and old alike to be creative for over 25 years.

May Lee-Yang

May Lee-Yang

Scavenging for Poems

Words are so powerful that they can have several life cycles. In this workshop, we will learn and create erasure poetry, a process of scavenging for poems in pre-written words.

May Lee-Yang writes poems, stories, and plays. Her plays have been produced at Theater Mu, Intermedia Arts, and other places. One of her poems was recently published onto sidewalks in St. Paul. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota.

Geoff Herbach

Killer Concrete Details

In this fiction session, we will work to get rid of general language and build a wicked character and a great scene out of the assortment of odd, personal objects and particular emotions the character has and feels. This is the basis of painting a picture in your readers’ mind, a major part of great story writing.

Geoff Herbach is the author of a bunch of books, including Stupid Fast and Hooper. He has received the Cybil’s Award for best YA fiction, the Minnesota Book Award, and Outstanding Book by a Wisconsin author. He teaches creative writing and chairs the English Department at Minnesota State, Mankato.


  • Full-year subscription (October-May)
    • $30/student for Metro ECSU member schools/districts
    • $50/student for non-member schools/districts
    • $55/individual student/household registered by parents/guardians
  • Two-month subscription (must be consecutive months)
    • $15/student for Metro ECSU member schools/districts
    • $30/student for non-member schools/districts
    • $35/individual student/household registered by parents/guardians

To learn if your school/district is a member, view the Metro ECSU 2020-2021 Membership List.


For more information about how your students can participate or if you are interested in presenting, contact Colleen Feller at 612-638-1511.

Links to Password-Protected Monthly Content









SBC Logo black and white

© 2020 Success Beyond the Classroom

Phone: (612) 638 – 1500

2 Pine Tree Drive Suite 101
Arden Hills, MN 55112

SBC is located in the lower level of Bethel University’s Anderson Center.