Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Resistance is Futile

by Robison Wells

I'd like to make an announcement, and I'd like to clear up a few myths. The announcement: if you are a published author, you're hereby invited to join the LDStorymakers.

If you haven't been paying attention, here's a quick explanation of the LDStorymakers: it's a group of LDS authors who get together and chat and hold an annual writers conference. The purpose of the group is to increase the quality and quantity of LDS fiction available, by both helping writers and increasing readership and literacy. And that's about it.

However, the LDStorymakers group has evolved over the years, and it has gone through many different forms. Because of that, there's a lot of lingering, erroneous ideas about what the Storymakers are. I'm going to try to clear those things up right now:

MYTH: The LDStorymakers is a group of lousy writers who are bitter and outcast from the rest of the LDS publishing world.
FACT: Yes, Jeff Savage is an LDStorymaker. We're thinking of kicking him out.

Haha! I kid. No, the LDStorymakers is far from a group of crappy outcasts, as evidenced by our long list of credits. There are authors from nearly every single LDS publisher, including Deseret Book, Covenant, Cedar Fort, Granite, Spring Creek, and more. Several of the authors are nationally published or have national agents. A few of the authors are successful enough (both nationally and in the local market) to be full time writers.

MYTH: The LDStorymakers is actually a publishing co-op in disguise.
FACT: Yes, the Storymakers HAD a publishing wing, and in the past years published eleven books. However, as of this month, the publishing arm of LDStorymakers has been dissolved. This was done for several reasons, some of which are outlined in a blog Tristi Pinkston wrote last week.

Just between you and me (and the rest of the internet), I was one of the ones arguing to abolish the publishing arm. The Storymakers has great potential to be the definitive LDS writers guild, and the publishing co-op was doing nothing to help us. I understand that many people are sad to see it go, but I think it signifies an important shift in our direction; we're now striving for professionalism and legitimacy, and we're willing to do what it takes to acheive that. I'm very happy.

MYTH: The LDStorymakers is a silly name.
FACT: Yes, this one is true. And what's with the double-purpose 's'?

MYTH: The LDStorymakers are run by a clique of friends who kinda do whatever they want.
FACT: The proletariat has rebelled against the factory owners, and now the Storymakers hold annual elections for the management committee. This is yet another example of the Storymakers changing from a small, informal group into a larger professional organization.

MYTH: Publishers look down on the Storymakers and their silly little group.
FACT: Deseret Book's acquisitions editor, Lisa Mangum, had this to say about LDStorymakers (and those who attended the Writers Conference): "Here are the writers who are devoted to their craft, who are willing to work hard and be persistent, who understand the business of writing and of publishing. Here are the writers who are going to revolutionize the LDS writing world."

MYTH: It's difficult to become a member of LDStorymakers.
FACT: This used to be kinda true, but it's not anymore. Here are the eligibility requirements:
1) You must be a member if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and in good standing.
2) You must have one book published with a reputable publisher in the last three years. (i.e. no self-publishing, vanity press, etc.)
3) You can't work for a publisher.

And that's about it. For all the fine print (of which there is very little) go to the Storymakers' group page. As a matter of fact, you could sign up at that very site, right now, today.

MYTH: Robison Wells foolishly volunteered an idea, and now is in charge of an groundbreaking new project which you'll all be very excited about when it's announced in the near future.
FACT: This cannot be confirmed at this time.

Seriously, though: I'm painfully aware of the past negative perceptions of LDStorymakers (some deserved and some not), but I'm here to say that this group is fantastic. Many of the authors involved have declared that much of their success is due to being part of the Storymakers. Some of my very best friends in the writing world are members--people I wouldn't have met otherwise. I have never regretted my decision to join, and I encourage you all do so, post haste!

(And seriously, we'll try to kick Jeff out. We know that's why you've been reluctant to join.)


At 5/08/2007 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never heard any negative comments.

I attended the conference and was very impressed with the abundance of information, the professionalism, and the genuine kindness of everyone involved. It was a great experience for me and taught me a lot.

I think you did an excellent job with the conference. I have the utmost respect for the members of LDStorymakers (even Jeff).

Rebecca Talley

At 5/08/2007 2:51 PM, Blogger Josi said...

It's not a silly name--I don't understand why Rob has such a problem with it LDS Storymakers--but as one word LDStorymaker, cause that's what we are. Rob's a little OCD--but it isn't contagious.

Also, we have several lists these days to meet the individual needs of each author--news, chat, writing info, critique--it's all ala carte.

And since much of what we do is online--those funky smells that Jeff and Rob say aren't their fault but coincidentally exist in their presence--they are not internet soluble, so you'll never know...until you meet them in person and we just can't do anything about that, sorry.

At 5/08/2007 3:30 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

"LDStorymakers" sounds like we're a bunch of little elves, sitting in a workshop with hammers and nails, making stories.

At 5/08/2007 3:55 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Speak for yourself! I *am* a little elf!

At 5/08/2007 4:41 PM, Blogger Josi said...

Keebler elves are some of my very best freinds. I'm still not getting the problem, maybe it sounds too feminine for you, huh?

At 5/08/2007 4:45 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Just a little cutesy, that's all.

At 5/08/2007 5:29 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I am cute! What's your point?

At 5/08/2007 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I thought you were a little fairy!

At 5/08/2007 6:24 PM, Anonymous Fellfrosch said...

Joking self-defense aside, LDStorymakers is both a silly and poorly spelled name. Though it does have a hint of originality: many people tell stories, and write stories, and share stories, but you are the first people in the history of the world to make stories. So, you know, originality or linguistic misappropriation--take your pick.

At 5/08/2007 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say as a completely unbiased author, that Jeff Savage is a writing god. I would never ever consider joining a group he wasn't a part of. Not to mention that he is incredibly handsome and charismatic.

Jef er um, I mean Sally Johnson

At 5/08/2007 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I so totally agree.

At 5/09/2007 4:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I'm not a published author, I like the name. the dual purpose s is standard for logos. as far as the maker part of it. If you envision a person making peace he is a peacemaker, if you can envision someone working hard at building a new world he is a world maker. who cares if you are telling a story, or writing a story, or building a world with your story. If your story brings peace into the heart of many people in the world . . . well . . . you see the point.

Come sit for a while and help me make a story for you.

I agree that Storymakers are a great group of people, and I am looking forward to the future with many more readers, encouraged by LDStorymakers.

Keith Fisher

At 5/09/2007 10:57 AM, Anonymous Fellfrosch said...

If I envision someone building a new world, doesn't that make him a world builder?

At 5/09/2007 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try thinking out of the box instead of picking nits.



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