Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Don't-Miss Writing Conference

Coming in only two weeks is a terrific opportunity for aspiring LDS writers: The LDStorymaker Writers Conference! The Conference is Friday & Saturday, March 23 & 24 at Provo's Library at Academy Square.

I’m a huge fan of conferences in general—they’re a great way to polish your writing skills, network with other writers, make new friends, learn more about the business end of the industry, and get feedback on your work. I always come away from conferences with my creative batteries charged, feeling refreshed and eager to get to the keyboard.

This is the LDStorymakers’ fourth annual conference, and I’ve been privileged to be part of it every year. It’s one of the best conferences in Utah, with a wide variety of ability levels and topics to fit any writer.

Back by popular demand this year is Writer’s Boot Camp, a two-day, heavy-duty hands-on workshop where your work is critiqued by published authors and conference attendees. It was a huge success and wildy popular last year, and looks to be growing even bigger this time. I’ll be a Boot Camp instructor/sergeant again this year. I’m also teaching two classes.

The first is on dialogue, something I feel passionate about. If you write good dialogue, your story really comes to life. Write bad dialogue, and your story is about as flat as cardboard. You always hear "show not tell." Good dialogue is one of the best ways to SHOW.

My other class is on a topic many writers shy away from learning about, but it’s absolutely critical you know this stuff if you want to being taken seriously: grammar and punctuation. When you submit a manuscript, you want the editor to notice your story, not your misplaced modifier, not the awkward punctuation or the incorrect spelling. Editors are looking for a reason to reject you; don’t give them one! If you are unsure what a comma splice is or how in the heck to use lay/lie correctly, this the class for you.

The 2-day conference is filled with terrific workshops from lots of great published LDS writers. Among them is Brandon Sanderson, who publishes young adult fantasy nationally; Janette Rallison, author of many national humorous young adult novels; and Rachel Ann Nunes, one of the top-selling LDS romance authors of all time. Entertainment will be provided by popular speaker John Bytheway.

If you’re interested, take a peek at the LDStorymaker website. The early bird registration deadline has passed, but the conference is still a bargain. Don’t miss out.

I hope to see you there!

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