Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Committee

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Sometimes the perk of being a writer is being on committees. So far this year I am on three committees. (I know, that's probably a lot, but they're fun!)

I am on the planning committee for The Book Academy—A Conference for Writers and Readers (I even came up with the name The Book Academy, which I liked since we’re all learning about books and writing and the conference is being held at the university). But the really fun part of being on this committee is being on there with amazing people like Lisa Mangum, Kimberly Ralphs, and Kelly Smurthwaite. It always surprises me how much we get done at our planning meetings because we have so much fun and the time just flies by.

I’m so excited with what we’ve been able to accomplish and who our keynote speakers are (Brandon Sanderson and Maria Covey Cole) and who our presenters are. (We snagged Stephanie Black to teach about villains, and she is one of the master villain makers in LDS fiction, in my opinion. Our own Robison Wells is teaching a class on humor, I’m teaching one on editing, and J. Scott Savage is teaching all about characters and nuts and bolts. We also have authors like Anita Stansfield, James Dashner, Annette Lyon, H.B Moore, and Rachel Ann Nunes, just to name a few.)

I think one of the classes I don’t want to miss, though, is Lisa Mangum’s class about the other side of the desk involving submissions to her. She said she had a top three weirdest submissions story to tell and I don’t want to miss that. There are a lot of great classes being offered, that’s for sure, including marketing classes by Kelly Smurthwaite and Patrick Muir, book club classes by Chrislyn Barnes Woolston, and a self-publishing class by Marnie Pehrson. Can you see why I’m excited? If you are interested in registering you can go here and they also have a Facebook page. It’s only $40 if you register before Sept. 10 and that includes your lunch. What a deal!

The second committee that I’m on this year is the StoryMakers Conference Committee. It will be held on April 23 & 24, 2010 at the Provo Marriott. I love this conference because of all the opportunities you have to network with publishing professionals and the pitch sessions to agents. Plus, the food is good, the classes are exceptional and I get to see a lot of old friends. It’s still in the planning stages for the 2010 conference, obviously, but I can tell you there are some very exciting agents and presenters coming to the conference. Very exciting. Not that I was involved in getting any of them to come, though. My job on the committee is coordinating the First Chapters contest and I love that. I helped with it last year and must have done an okay job with it, so I get to be involved with it again this year. So if you have any first chapters you’ve been polishing and think they’re good enough to win awesome prizes, be sure to submit them when the time comes. There will be more information coming up on this conference in the next few months and you can check here for updates.

The third committee that I’m involved with is the Whitney Awards committee and if you haven’t read and nominated any outstanding books yet this year, well, get going! Click here for more information.

Conferences and committees are a lot of fun. They just are. And I’ve met people I never would have met otherwise. I highly recommend making the effort to go to conferences and be involved. The writing community can be as small or as big as you let it be, and I guarantee you can make connections, improve your craft, and have a lot of fun. So if you can come to either one of the conferences, or be involved in the Whitney process, you should do it. And come find me! I would love to see you all.


At 8/20/2009 4:36 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...


You are amazing! I don't know how you do all of this. I mean, your baby is how old? And you have how many kids?

I do envy the connections you're able to make though. It almost makes me wish I lived in Utah. :)

At 8/20/2009 5:18 PM, Blogger Tamara Hart Heiner said...

almost. But not quite. (Loving Arkansas and thinking some committees need to be back east.)

At 8/20/2009 6:43 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Traci, you're so sweet. I wish you lived in Utah, too, it would be fun to see you more!

Tamara, I agree, the more committees the better! ;)

At 8/20/2009 8:23 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you, Julie! That means a lot to me. I'm excited to see all of you! (Nervous about my class, though . . .)

At 8/22/2009 8:17 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Julie, I'm tired just reading about everything you have to do. I wish I could go and enjoy these events - I'm sure they'll be awesome!


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