Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Headlines don't sell papes; Storymakers sell papes

by Robison Wells

So, I'm a member of the LDStorymakers, and you can rest assured that I dislike the double-duty 'S' there every bit as much as you do. But do they listen to me? No. And why should they? It's not like I ever pay my dues on time.

The Storymakers are a group of forty or so LDS authors who have banded together to help each other out--there's strength in numbers. In that sense, it's not unlike Newsies: Deseret Book is Mr. Joseph Pulitzer, raising the cost of papes by one-tenth of a cent; I'm Jack "Cowboy" Kelly, singing about Santa Fe; Jeff Savage is Racetrack Higgins; and Julie "Coulter" Bellon is Crutchy. And once a year we fight The Man, perform angry dances, and shoot slingshots at newspapermen. This event is called the annual LDStorymakers Writers Conference.

The theme of this year's event is: "The Magic of Writing". I don't know if that theme will be used for anything more than posters (since I didn't see any magicians on the schedule), but there's a distinct possibility that someone is going to saw James Dashner in half. Other highlights: making grammar disappear, and pulling exposition out of a hat.

So anyway, let me say this: I hate conferences generally. I'm staunchly of the opinion that writing conferences usually serve two purposes: (1) to allow authors to self-promote and (2) to allow aspiring authors a good excuse to not be writing. But, that said, let me just say that this conference is fan-freaking-tastic, truly the exception to the rule

Here's the conference schedule, and I dare you to tell me that these classes don't sound interesting:

Friday, March 23, 2007

7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Boot Camp Registration
8:00 - 11:00 a.m. "Boot Camp, Part I" - An optional two-day, hands-on class - Bill Gardner as Captain
11:00 - 11:30 a.m. General Registration
11:30 - 12:00 noon Welcome, Introductions - Master of Ceremonies, James Dashner
12:00 - 12:50 pm Plenary Session - "Overview of LDS Market 2006 & Genres" - Rachel Ann Nunes
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Workshop Session 1 Choice of three classes:
1. "Nuts and Bolts of Writing" - Heather B. Moore
2. "Non-fiction: Books and Articles" - Eric Swedin
3. ADVANCED - "Public Speaking" - Laura Debenham
2:10 - 3:10 p.m.
Workshop Session 2 Choice of three classes:
1. "Young Adult" - Lisa Peck & Loralee Evans
2. "Romance" - Josi S. Kilpack
3. "Characterization" - Janette Rallison
3:20 - 4:20 p.m.
Workshop Session 3 Choice of three classes:
1. "Point Of View" - Candace Salima
2. "Grammar and Punctuation" - Annette Lyon
3. ADVANCED - "Finding, Using, and Staying True to Your Voice" - Tristi Pinkston
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Closing Session - Brandon Sanderson
5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Break (dinner setup)
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Dinner
Entertainment by John Bytheway - Popular Author and Speaker

Saturday March 24, 2006

7:30 - 9:00 a.m. "Boot Camp, Part II" An optional two-day, hands-on class - Bill Gardner as Captain
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. General Registration (for Saturday-only attendees)
9:15 - 9:30 a.m. Introductions - Master of Ceremonies, James Dashner
9:30 - 10:20 a.m. Plenary Session - "Making Your Manuscript More Attractive" - Shirley Bahlmann
"Writing & Publishing Myths" - Bill Gardner as MC, with Jewel Adams, Janet Jensen, Christine Kersey, LeeAnn Setzer, Carole Warburton, BJ Rowley, Allison Palmer, and Katie Parker

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Publisher Panel
11:40 - 12:50 a.m. Lunch
Contest winners will be announced at 12:30
12:50 - 2:00 p.m.
Workshop Session 4 Choice of three classes:
1. "Research: Blending Fact with Fiction" - Robison Wells
2. "Children's Books" - Sharlee Glenn
3. ADVANCED - "Agents, Queries, & Submitting Nationally" - Jeffrey S. Savage
2:10 - 3:20 p.m.
Workshop Session 5 Choice of three classes:
1. "Fantasy" - James Dashner & Julie Wright
2. "Dialogue" - Annette Lyon
3. ADVANCED - "Outlining" - Jeffrey S. Savage
3:30 - 4:40 p.m.
Workshop Session 6 Choice of three classes:
1. "Historical Fiction" - Jim Rada
2. "Poetry" - Dr. Cynthia Hallen
3. ADVANCED - "Editing Your Work" - Julie Bellon

4:50 - 5:40 p.m.
Plenary Session - "Structure, Pacing, & Flow" - Sierra St. James

5:45 - 6:00 p.m.

Closing Comments & Wrap-up - Josi S. Kilpack & Julie Wright (Conference Queens)

6:00 - 9:00 p.m. AI MIX & Mingle - Hosted by the Authors Incognito Group (click here for details)

Here's some trivia:

*Did you notice that both Jeff and Julie are teaching "advanced" sessions, and I'm not. Why? Because their classes make use of science, while my class makes use of phrenology, welteislehre, and algebra.

*If you come to my class, I will have a Powerpoint presentation featuring at least one photo of Hooters restaurant. I swear I am not making this up.

*The Bill Pullman character is played by Annette Lyon.

*Governor Theodore Roosevelt is played by Rachel Ann Nunes.

*Holy crap, have you ever looked at Newsies on IMDB? Other characters include: Boots, Mush, Kid Blink, Snipeshooter, Dutchy, Snoddy, Skittery, Bumlets, Pie Eater, and Swifty the Rake.

*Bumlets is played by Bill Gardner.

*Brandon Sanderson, who is a guest speaker, was in my original writing group when I worked on my very first novel, and he (and the rest of that group) taught me 95% of what I know about writing.

*Plenary means "complete in every respect". So, like, you know you're going to get your money's worth from the plenary sessions.

*If you attend my class, you'll most likely get to meet Bertrand, my unpaid intern.

*Seriously: Bumlets?

For more information about the conference, ask your friendly neighborhood Storymaker! (Or click here.)


At 2/06/2007 4:32 PM, Blogger Josi said...

Can I be Pie Eater? I've never seen the movie but that sounds like a much better role than Bumlet. Can this blog count as cliff notes for the movie?

At 2/06/2007 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, Rob, you really know how to rub it in, don't you? I can only dream of coming to the conference, and just to-day, I was sitting here thinking, "Geeze, I wish I could attend a course or a workshop on Welteislehre, see a picture of Hooters restaurant, and meet a character named Bumlets." And now here you are, offering all of that and more, and all I can do is watch from a distance and sigh enviously.


Melanie Goldmund

At 2/06/2007 4:47 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Yes Josi, you can be Pie Eater. And Melanie, just because you can't come, you get to be Mush.

At 2/06/2007 7:24 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

Bells, that's what I will wearing.
I never saw newsies so I have no idea about the characters

I'm looking forward to discussing your new book. Holy crap! I've got to tell you it was a surprize. I was thinking that the ring WAS the bomb. what a surprize to find out who planted it.

I hope I didn't give too much away.

At 2/06/2007 7:50 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

Does anyone want to come and pick me up for the conference? I don't want to be Mush with Melanie! :P You see, I would just come myself but I can't drive and my family doesn't like Utah for reasons I cannot explain because I don't know what their problem with Utah is. Most LDS authors life there! what better place to go for entertainment?

At 2/07/2007 12:13 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

You are just plain wacky, Rob. But you are right, the Storymaker conference is probably the best for who it caters to and what it delivers. What is Bumlet? Did I miss something? Do I have to go back and read all of your posts and/or books. I read two of your books, if that counts. Am I making a complete fool of myself?

At 2/07/2007 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soak 'em for crutchy!

At 2/08/2007 2:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that conference sounds cool. I just may have to come! Oh, wait, I'm a presenter. Yeah, I'll be there.

Seriously, though, this is a totally cool conference. I've gotten to work behind the scenes every year and we've never had one person who came say they were disappointed. Come play with us!


At 2/08/2007 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Bertrand your computer or laptop or something? I doubt anyone would actaully work for you without being paid. We never know when it comes to you, Rob, you do name mopeds Maurice. :P

At 2/09/2007 8:05 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley said...

And you can tell this is a high class organization because I've tried to get into it several times, to no avail. :)

This organization doesn't let just any Tom, Dick, or Buckley. They have standards and class.

At 2/12/2007 12:16 PM, Anonymous Julie Wright said...

Let them laugh in my face I don't care! Say a prayer! I'll be there . . . in sante fe (or provo, you know . . . whatever) I loved Newsies. I think I'll have to watch that today. The conference sounds so awesome from Rob's eyes. I'm so excited to be there! Are we really going to cut James in half? Sweet!


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