Conferences, Workshops, Conventions, and Events for Utah Writers
I’m pleased to hear that my friends who attended LTUE had a wonderful experience and are hungry for more opportunities just like it, where they can sit in on writing panels or get workshop-style feedback. While LTUE is unique in many ways, there are other events where you can follow your favorite local authors on panels and learn more about the craft and business of writing in Utah. Here are a few that I recommend looking into:
Salt Lake Comic Con/FanXperience is broader in scope with panel topics and activities ranging from cosplay, to fandom, to movies. While the feel of a fan convention is very different from that of a writing conference, there have always been quite a few panels on writing and creativity (I suspect I’ll be on a few): http://saltlakecomiccon.com
Write Here in Ephraim is an inexpensive workshop style conference about the same price as LTUE coming up in April (April 22-23): http://writehereinephraim.com
For those interested in learning more about writing horror, the World Horror Convention, a professional writing conference with panels, workshops, pitch sessions, and more very cool stuff, will be in Provo at the end of April as well (April 28-May 1): http://www.whc2016.org/home.html
For those interested in writing children’s, middle grade, or YA fiction, there is the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference (June 13-17): http://www.wifyr.com
LDS Storymakers is another workshop style writing conference (they fill up fast and may be out of room for this year–but check again next year): http://ldstorymakersconference.com
Superstars Writing Seminar has also passed for this year, but their 2016 MP3s are available, and there’s always next year: http://superstarswriting.com
Some authors like David Farland and Orson Scott Card also offer individual workshops: https://mystorydoctor.com/live-workshops-2/ (David Farland’s workshops)
Following Pioneer Book, local libraries, or your favorite local authors and publishers on social media is a good way to learn about free events where authors may read from their books, give presentations on things related to craft or stories they’ve published, and answer questions. (The Utah Horror Writers Association may be doing some presentations at the Provo Library in the month leading up to World Horror Con). These can also be decent networking opportunities.
Joining a writing organization, like the HWA or the LUW (League of Utah Writers), or participating in NaNoWriMo can help you find resources to get mentoring or find writing groups to join. (Check out LUW’s Spring Into Books event coming May 28th: https://luwoc.com/2016/02/04/spring-into-books-2016/)
For students, BYU and UVU have writing clubs and take volunteers to read through slush submissions to their speculative fiction magazines. They can help you find resources and teach you how to give and receive feedback on fiction. (www.leadingedgemagazine.com, https://www.facebook.com/warp.weave.uvu)
Outside of Utah, there’s the SFWA conference, numerous comic conventions, and the Clarion science fiction and fantasy workshop to name some good things to look into. http://clarion.ucsd.edu
This should give budding Utah authors some great places to go learn more and get their creative juices flowing.