Welcome, New Officers

The members have spoken. We welcome Jamie Moesser as president, Jessica Allred as vice president, Karen Pierotti as secretary, and Michelle Stoddard as treasurer. Thank you to all who nominated, volunteered, and voted. I also want to thank the previous leadership, Laura Henriksen, Jacob Blocker, and Karen Pierotti for all their hard work and dedication to improve UVW. Please take the time to thank them and to welcome the new presidency.

Jamie Moesser – President

JAMIE MOESSER used to write at and She occasionally writes for She writes. ALOT. Professionally, she is an editor, and event manager at Brigham Young University. Personally, she writes fiction…among other things. Jamie has written all her life, in one form or another. She has a B.A. in Journalism and Masters of Public and Nonprofit Administration from the University of Utah, during which she excelled at writing research papers. She also has a 10-year career in grant writing, fundraising, and administering programs for nonprofits. She has been writing in social media for the past couple of years at Mom It Forward and more recently at Recovering Workaholic.

She is active in many hobbies, including reading, fishing, dirt biking, camping, video gaming, scrapbooking, geocaching, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and others. She is also very active in school community, having served as a PTA board member, science fair planner, fall carnival planner, and Reflections literary judge. She is currently writing a book in the young adult science fiction genre. She is a wife, and mother to two boys, ages twelve and seven.

Jessica Allred – Vice President

JESSICA E. ALLRED is a card carrying member of the readers-turned-writers club, with a long history of sneaking books into school, church, and family functions. Born and raised in Utah, a mix of books, movies, and frequent camping trips developed into a love for fantasy and adventure. Occasionally distracted by her gigantic family, trashy reality TV shows, and sushi, she goes back to the mountains when she needs to refresh her inspiration.

Karen Pierotti – Secretary

KAREN EDWARDS PIEROTTI was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but, as her father was in the Royal Air Force, lived in multiple places in the UK, and in Gibraltar, Spain for a couple of years. She joined the LDS church in Lugano, Switzerland where she was working for a Swiss travel agent. Karen met her husband at a BYU ward (so what else is new!), and they have four children. She has been a widow for 23 years. She worked at BYU for 29 years in various secretarial/administrative positions and after receiving an MA in rhetoric, taught 1st year writing for about 10 years. She has been a family history consultant for many years and began writing family histories. Her interest in family history found her auditing a creative writing class. The class was on writing a novel and so she thought, Why not? and embarked on writing a historical novel. Writing fiction was more serendipity than design. She let the novel sit for a couple of years until she began coming to the UVW meetings and completed the first draft of the novel through taking part in NaNoWriMo. Getting good feedback and meeting people at UVW has been encouraging in the new venture of writing creative fiction. She’s learned a lot from many UVW members. Now retired, she has more time to write when she’s not flitting off to the UK to visit family, and Richmond, Seattle, Friday Harbor (San Juan Island), and Salt Lake City to visit children and grandchildren.

Michelle Stoddard – Treasurer

MICHELLE STODDARD loves a good story no matter what its genre. Writing everything from historical mystery to nerd-culture comedy, she enjoys the different styles and challenges each genre presents.

She is currently editing her novel Secrets and Steel, a 17th century historical adventure series about an English spy and swordsman . . . who isn’t actually a man.

Get to know more about Michelle by reading this interview.

It’s that time of year again

June is only a day away, and that means elections for the new Utah Valley Writers leadership. Today is the last day to nominate members to the positions of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. In the next couple of weeks, we will vote on those who agree to run.

The leaders volunteer their time and effort to make sure the group runs smoothly. They listen to the members’ needs and strive to meet those. They contact possible presenters, schedule critique and educational meetings, and budget the funds to best help the members.

Those are the minimal duties the leaders provide, but like any job, the more you put in, the more you get out. As president, I learned how to divide those basic duties, so we could focus on improving the quality of UVW and bringing additional features aimed at meeting the members’ needs. My vice president, secretary, and treasurer have been invaluable this last year. UVW would not be as it is now without their energy, vision, and organization.

The new leaders will bring their own talents and passion to the forefront as they guide UVW. The group is stronger because of their diversity, and I look forward to helping them achieve their goals in serving the membership.

As per tradition, we will host a family BBQ to introduce the newly elected officers.

June 15 at 6:30PM
Windsor Park, Orem (west pavilion)
200 W 1270 N
Click here for a map
RSVP through the nomination/voting survey
Please bring a side/dessert/drink to share. We will provide burgers and fixings. You may bring your own meat/veggies for us to grill if you do not want a burger.

*If you have not received an email about nominating the new leaders, please contact us. It may be our mistake, or your dues are not current.

Some Advice to Prepare for Writers’ Conferences Like Storymakers

On the eve of LDS Storymakers Conference 2017, let me provide a few quick tips regarding how to prepare for it and other similar conferences, a couple of reasons not to stress about going to such conferences. I’m not an amateur at participating in writers’ conferences, but I’m not an expert on any of these subjects, so please add your suggestions to this post’s comments if you have anything to add!

Preparing for Storymakers

  • Plan your schedule–and your route–out ahead of time. This will alleviate those panicked runs from the first floor of the convention center to the third to the second trying. The Storymakers app makes this easy.
  • If you’re having a hard time deciding which classes to attend, or see multiple classes at the same time slot, I suggest either
    • asking for help deciding in the Facebook Storymakers group
    • if you’re part of a critique team or writers’ club, ask if any of the other members would like to “divide and conquer”
    • watch the Facebook Storymakers group after the conference. Sometimes, certain presenters will make their slides, handouts, or notes available there.
  • Relax

It can be tempting to stress about a conference, particularly if you are pitching to an agent. For the most part, you shouldn’t stress because, as J. Scott Savage so eloquently said: “This is a writers’ conference. This is a readers’ conference…and it’s a family reunion.” No matter what stage of writing you’re at, there will be people there like you to relate with. But, if you still want to stress, check out these posts and tips on pitching and other conference stress-inducers:

Pitching Pointers

What are your conferences of choice, and what’s your best advice for preparing for them?