The Lecture Series Was Awesome!

We had an amazing time at the UVW-Lecture Series, co-sponsored with Alpine School District. The flow of the conference was perfect with each subject informing and building off the other. While we cannot share the presentations given at the conference, we can give an overview.

Friday were heard from:
JenNielsen_color_small-300x200New York Times Best-Selling Authors, Jennifer Nielsen, was a Friday Keynote and conference opener. She set the tone by speaking on “The Publishing Process” & “The Creative Process.”

It was great to get a realistic, yet encouraging, view of what it takes to be a successful authors and how to develop ideas to the end. It was also so refreshing to hear someone with your success admit to poor writing, bad drafts, dealing with at-home distractions and the process of revision bringing forth the true art. Thank you for coming down Jennifer!

We’re crossing our fingers for The False Prince becoming a movie and are  looking forward to Book 3.

(We also appreciated the plug for our sponsor, The League of Utah Writers.)


Annette Lyon presented on the Hero’s Journey. All in attendance learned the template used throughout history in what makes stories great. It was obvious that The Hero’s Journey is  valuable in knowing where your story might be lacking, how to use it plot, etc.. Thank you Annette for your membership in UVW and what you do for us.


Heather Moore presented on Short Stories/Anthologies. It was wonderful to get practical tips and insights in how to getting publication credit, compiling anthologies with other authors and getting information about who, locally, takes short stories. Thank you Heather for you presentation and in coming to speak to us.


Julie Bellon presented on How To Write Kick-Butt Conflict Using Action & Suspense. Her energy was fun and the tips very helpful for those suspenseful and/or action packed scenes. (She even demonstrated the differences between women in fighting situations vs. men.) As an aside note, she also spoke about the difference you can make as an author. How in the process of her research she reached to soldiers, got emotionally touched and gave back. Thank you Julie for your instruction and teaching us about the difference we can make.


Julie Wright instructed us in the ways of Romance. Her topic was universal. We learned how romance applies to almost all genres and the rules for writing rewarding romances. If you weren’t there you’d should hear Julie . . . just because she’s Julie—She’s hilarious. Thank you for the long drive it took for you to come. You were so much fun and . . . we’ll let you know if we run into Tony Stark. 😀


JeffSavage-imgJ. Scott Savage was our Saturday Keynote. He spoke on Heroes & Villains and Motive in YA, MG & Early Reader. Everyone learned how to make a hero people could cheer for and villains that are truly evil and/or possibly sympathetic. Jeff’s topics blended well as they applied to large target audiences with YA – Early Reader.

Thank you Jeff for all that you do. Many people in this valley can point to you, your knowledge and instruction as guiding points for helping them succeed in their writing. Thank you again and all the best.


Platte Clark Spoke on Screenplays 101. Being an author and screenwriter we learned how to adapt our own works into screenplays, what formatting was requited and how to avoid pitfalls within the industry. It became very clear how screenwriters have to get the most out of each word. Thanks Platte for your membership in UVW and we will take you up on the offer to teach more about screenplays.


Josi Kilpack spoke on Key Ingredients In Making Mystery. Josi’s creativity was apparent, pulling from her Sadie Hoffmiller culinary series in throwing in steps such as “baking” into your writing process. The stories of her daring and risk-taking as an author to bring her culinary mystery series to light were wonderful to hear. The universal dynamics of creating mystery helped make all of us stronger in the craft. Thank you for driving down to talk to us.


Sarah Anderson spoke on Fiction That Feels Real. It was her debut in speaking after signing a contract with Curiosity Quills Press. She did a wonderful job explaining what makes fiction good fiction and how to accomplish it with reminders of what the reader is experiencing. Thank you for your membership in UVW Sarah and your service in the chapter leadership. We are lucky to have you. All the best in your future career.


*Michael Gordon talked about Story Origin. We learned why evoking emotion in the reader makes the story. He pulled physics, math, and science to explain how a reader relates to characters and conflicts. It was an engaging talk that helped people see why they write in the first place and how to be true to that “origin moment” when a story idea came which made the author sit down and write. Thanks Michael for filling in and for the service you do for the chapter.


Again it was a wonderful conference. Many could not believe the quality of the conference. Some said it was like a couple hundred dollar conference for the price of $50. The meals with Zupas were great! A special thanks to all the authors who came and made the UVW — Lecture Series a wonderful event and for Barnes and Noble selling their books at the event. The feedback continued to come in and has been wonderful. We’ll keep the tradition going. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Utah Valley Writers

*Note: The original flier has Lisa Mangum speaking, but due to back surgery she was not able to attend. Lisa, we hope you get back on your feet as soon as possible–heal well and strong. Thanks for filling in Michael.

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