LUW Fall Conference, Sept 12–13, 2014
Davis Conference Center
1651 North 700 West
Layton, UT 84041
Registration Options: CLICK HERE
MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS—Featured Presenter
Michaelbrent Collings is a bestselling novelist, produced screenwriter and WGA member, martial artist, and has a killer backhand on the badminton court (’cause he’s macho like that).
He published his first “paying” work—a short story for a local paper—at the age of 15. He won numerous awards and scholarships for creative writing while at college, and subsequently became the person who had more screenplays advance to quarterfinals and semifinals in the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship screenwriting competition in a single year than anyone else in the history of the competition.
His first produced script, Barricade, was made into a movie starring Eric McCormack of TV’s Will & Grace and Perception, and was released in 2012. Michaelbrent also wrote the screenplay for Darkroom, a movie starring Kaylee DeFer (Gossip Girl, Red State) and Elisabeth Rohm (Angel, Law & Order, Heroes), which was released in 2013.
As a novelist, Michaelbrent has written numerous bestsellers, including The Colony Saga, Apparition, The Haunted, The Billy Saga, The Loon, Rising Fears, and others. In addition, he has also written dozens of non-fiction articles which have appeared in periodicals on several continents.
Michaelbrent is also a member of the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and the HWA (Horror Writers of America). In addition to selling, optioning, and doing rewrites on screenplays for major Hollywood production companies, he is currently developing several movies and television shows.
He hopes someday to develop superpowers, or, if that is out of the question, then at least to get a cool robot arm.
Michaelbrent has a wife and several kids, all of whom are much better looking than he is (though he admits that’s a low bar to set), and also cooler than he is.
Michaelbrent is a frequent guest speaker at genre and literary conventions, high schools, church groups, and anywhere else that wants to talk about writing. Michaelbrent also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MichaelbrentCollings and can be followed on Twitter @mbcollings. You can follow him for cool news, updates, and advance notice of sales. You will also be kept safe when the Glorious Revolution begins!
MICHAEL R. COLLINGS—Featured Presenter
Michael R. Collings is a novelist, poet, essayist, short-story writer, editor, and literary scholar whose studies include book-length appraisals of Stephen King and Orson Scott Card—in total, he has published over 100 books and chapbooks. He is retired, following a thirty-year career teaching literature, composition, and creative writing at Pepperdine University and elsewhere. He currently serves as Senior Publications Editor for JournalStone Publication and reviewer for Hellnotes.com and Dark Discoveries.
He is a frequent guest at conferences and symposia, including serving as a Special Guest at the 2014 SLC ComiCon FanXperience and Academic Guest of Honor at the World Horror Conventions in 2008 and 2012. He has participated in the annual “Life, the Universe, and Everything” Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy for nearly thirty years.
His books include The Art and Craft of Poetry; Chain of Evil—The JournalStone Guide to Writing Darkness (forthcoming); Orson Scott Card—Penetrating to the Gentle Heart; The Nephiad—An Epic Poem in XII Books; The Slab—A Novel of Horror, and the official annotated bibliographies for Stephen King (Horror Plum’d), Orson Scott Card (Storyteller) and Peter Straub (Hauntings). His books have been finalists for the Bram Stoker Award (Horror Writers Association).
BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU—Featured Presenter
Bradley P. Beaulieu began writing his first fantasy novel in college, but in the way of these things, it was set aside as life intervened. As time went on, though, Brad realized that his love of writing and telling tales wasn’t going to just slink quietly into the night. The drive to write came back full force in the early 2000s, at which point Brad dedicated himself to the craft, writing several novels and learning under the guidance of writers like Nancy Kress, Joe Haldeman, Tim Powers, Holly Black, Michael Swanwick, Kij Johnson, and many more.
Brad and his novels have garnered many accolades and most anticipated lists, including two Hotties–the Debut of the Year and Best New Voice–on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, a Gemmell Morningstar Award nomination for The Winds of Khalakovo.
In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. His story, “In the Eyes of the Empress’s Cat,” was voted a Notable Story of 2006 in the Million Writers Award.
Brad continues to work on his next projects, including The Song of the Shattered Sands, an Arabian Nights epic fantasy, and Tales of the Bryndlholt, a Norse-inspired middle grade series. He also runs the highly successful science fiction and fantasy podcast, Speculate, which can be found at speculatesf.com.
ALEXANDER GORDON SMITH—Featured Presenter
Alexander Gordon Smith is best known as the author of the Escape From Furnace Series, made up of Lockdown, Solitary, Death Sentence, Fugitives, and Execution.
His new series, The Fury, has just been released in the UK and comes out in the States in 2013.
He also wrote The Inventors—which was runner-up in the national Wow Factor Award—and The Inventors and the City of Stolen Souls, both of which were co-authored by his eleven-year-old brother Jamie.
He is the author of two creative writing handbooks, Inspired Creative Writing and Writing Bestselling Children’s Books, a number of screenplays that are currently in development, several non-fiction books and hundreds of short stories and articles.
Gordon is the founder of Egg Box Publishing, an independent, non-profit imprint designed to publish and promote talented new writers and poets, and is the co-owner of Fear Driven Films, a production company filming its first feature in 2013.
He is also the founder of Inkling Studios, a brand new venture which specialises in creating books, films, television programmes and computer games for children and young adults. He actively encourages people of all ages to read and write, and runs creative writing talks and workshops across the world. In 2009 he was named by the Courvoisier Future 500 as one of the most promising young entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom.
He is called Gordon, rather than Alexander, because his Mum and Dad liked the name Gordon but didn't want his initials to spell GAS, so called him by his middle name.
JOHNNY WORTHEN—Featured Presenter
Johnny Worthen grew up in the high desert snows and warm summer winds of the Wasatch Mountains. He graduated with a B.A. in English, minor in Classics and a Master's in American Studies from the University of Utah. After a series of businesses and adventures, including years abroad and running his own bakery, Johnny found himself drawn to the only thing he ever wanted to do—write. And write he does. Well versed in modern literary criticism and cultural studies, Johnny writes upmarket multi-genre fiction – thriller, horror, young adult, comedy and mystery so far. “I write what I like to read,” he says. “That guarantees me at least one fan and a hectic job for my publicist.”
Johnny has written many books and sold a bunch of them. His new young adult/paranormal trilogy The Unseen has just been begun with the release of Eleanor. His debut occult thriller, Beatrysel is available now along with it’s companion novelette Dr. Stuart’s Heart. Johnny’s short story, “The Point” appears in the dark fiction anthology Little Visible Delight. In 2015 Johnny will unleash an unlikely slacker detective upon the world named Tony Flaner in a new series beginning with The Finger Trap.
Johnny is a common sight at conventions and writing conferences including Comic Con, Wordharvest, and our own League of Utah Writers. Traditionally published, Johnny is a blue-collar hard working “hands on” author with the scars to prove it. He thrives in crowds and gives good meeting.Johnny is a member or the Horror Writer’s Association and the new Utah Fantasy Authors. He’s a Freemason too, if you’re wondering.
When not pounding on his keyboard, attending conferences, Johnny Worthen can be found with his wife and two boys in Sandy, Utah wearing extraordinarily colorful shirts.
Check him out at www.johnnyworthen.com for more details.
JILL VANDERWOOD—Featured Presenter
Jill Ammon Vanderwood is the 2008 Writer of the Year for the League of Utah Writers. She is the author of six books. Her books have won several awards, including the Gold and Silver Quill from the League, Gold and Silver from the National Indie Excellence Awards, Gold from the USA Book News Best Books Awards and The Teen Development Awards and Silver from the National Mom’s Choice Awards.
Jill is best known for her books, What’s It Like, Living Green? Kids Teaching Kids, by the Way They Live and Drugs Make You Un-Smarter, co-authored with her teenage granddaughter, Savanna Peterson. She has taught marketing and self-publishing workshops for the League of Utah Writers Conference three different years and served as the Publication Chair and the Writer of the Year Chair.
Her latest book is called Shaking Behind the Microphone, Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking. It wasn’t until she was a grandmother with a published book that she decided it was time to work on her own fear of public speaking. She has since spoken for the League, church groups, school assemblies, 8th grade health classes, Boys and girls clubs, Girl Scout Troops, and drug rehabs. Jill has appeared on numerous radio shows, including KSL Drive Time, Fox 13 Good Day Utah, Channel 4 News, and she has been interviewed for both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune.
As a children’s literary agent with Mansion Street Literary Management, Michelle Witte brings with her a wealth of experience within publishing industry, from the idea and writing stages to editing, design and production, and to bookselling and publicity.
Previously, she worked as an editor with nonfiction publisher Gibbs Smith and as a copy editor and reporter with the Deseret Morning News. She is the author of The Craptastic Guide to Pseudo-Swearing (Running Press, 2012) and The Faker’s Guide to the Classics (Lyons Press, 2013). She lives in Utah.
Lisa Mangum has worked in the publishing department of Deseret Book since 1997. She is currently the Managing Editor for the Shadow Mountain imprint and has worked with several New York Times best-selling authors, including Ally Condie, James Dashner, and Jason F. Wright. While fiction is her first love, she also has experience working with nonfiction projects (memoir, educational, cookbooks, etc.) and some children’s picture books.
She loves finding that “diamond in the rough” in the slush pile, and she is particularly skilled in the developmental editing part of the process. Lisa is also the author of four national best-selling YA novels (The Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello). She graduated with honors from the University of Utah, and currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy.
EMMA PARKER—Fiction Acquisitions Editor
Emma is the Acquisitions Editor over the fiction department with Cedar Fort Publishing in Springville. She has traded the sunny shores of her hometown in Huntington Beach, CA for the thin air and extreme weather in Salt Lake (for the time being) and lives there with her awesome but opposite husband (he's a finance guy). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and creative writing. Emma loves to read and write (and thank heavens for that or she would have to consider a new career), exercise, play sports, cheer on her favorite teams, and do anything in water (the larger the body of water the better).
Chantelle Aimée Osman is the author of numerous flash fiction and short stories, as well as a forthcoming novella from Stark Raving Press. She has served as editor for anthologies featuring award-winning authors and judge for short story and screenplay contests nationwide, including the Phoenix Film Festival. She is the creator of Anthony Award-nominated Sirens of Suspense website (www.sirensofsuspense.com - @suspensesirens), a blog on all things mystery. In her former life she was an attorney, and worked as head of business affairs and development for various production companies in Hollywood. She now works as a freelance editor and book cover designer through her company A Twist of Karma Entertainment, LLC, (www.twistofkarma.com - @twistofkarma) and teaches writing across the country.
Bruce Allred began reading science fiction when his mother, desperate to get him reading in grade school, introduced him to Isaac Asimov. For the last 50 years he has been reading and enjoying science and fantasy fiction in all its forms. Living in the Intermountain West allows for hiking, camping and rock climbing with family and friends. He enjoys the wonders and majesty of the outdoors from the deserts of Arizona and Southern Utah to the peaks of Idaho, Wyoming and Northern Utah.
Bruce writes a blog specifically targeted for writers and those interested in finance and economic concepts and principles. He attempts to provide background materials on financial and economic principals, theories, hypothesis, ideas and concepts that will be useful in developing story lines, plots, back story, world building and other concepts and background data. You can find his blog at www.allredbh.blogspot.com or email with thoughts, ideas and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheree Alsop is the mother of a beautiful, talented daughter and amazing twin sons who fill every day with joy and laughter. She is married to her best friend, Michael, the light of her life and her soulmate who shares her dreams and inspires her by reading the first drafts and giving much appreciated critiques. Cheree is currently working as an independent author and mother. She enjoys reading, riding her motorcycle on warm nights, playing with her twins while planning her next book, and rocking out as the bass player in her husband’s band, Alien Landslide.
Cheree and Michael live in Utah where they rock out, enjoy the outdoors, plan great adventures, and never stop dreaming.
Check out Cheree’s books at www.chereealsop.com.
Shanna Beaman is the mother of two successful teens and is the author of two inspiring books. Her first is titled “The Woman’s Guide to Living Your Dreams.” Her second book is for teens and is titled “On Ramp to Your Future.”
Shanna is a professional trainer and a success strategist. She is also the creator of the Utah Publicity Summit and the Aspiring Author’s Summit. Shanna has extensive experience in many facets of leadership, management and business. She directed the start-up for two businesses and served as COO for a thriving shipping firm for 11 years.
Shanna enjoys volunteering her time. She has served as a mentor for students in the Utah Valley University’s Leadership Program, as Chair on the UCAS School Community Council, and now serves as the Precinct Secretary in her community.Shanna is happily married and balances life between family and work. Her passion is to share the knowledge she has acquired throughout her life. She encourages others to take action on their dreams through goal setting, daily motivation, time management and planning.
Writing tutor at the University of Utah. Lover of trope subversion and elegant rule dissection. First-world-fantasy-anarchist. Writes contemporary, punk, sometimes morbid, dark, weird, and super-happy-sunshine-bright. Good for craft discussion over sushi.
Reads anything resembling “literary fantasy.” Adoration to R. Zelazney, L. Grossman, C. Mieville, T. Pratchett, D. Adams, C. Lewis, U. LeGuinn, and a few Brandons. Husband, father. Works quiet nights at local rehab. Recovering speed addict (not the drug, but actual honest to goodness ball-bearing, adrenaline, die-if-you-fall, “don’t you dare go out without a helmet,” distance times time, kind) Likes hockey too. Gets angry. Retweets, shares, favorites, (rarely) follows, upvotes, and keeps ~50 Chrome tabs open at all times. Hates math. Incessant gamer. Sanbox & Steam. MTG. Also TES and ESO. (ask, will friend) Into post rock, lo-fi, EDM, prog-house, most anything-tronica, neo-folk, chiptune, and 2nd wave emo. (ask at your own risk) Favorites: The Smashing Pumpkins & Shiny Toy Guns.
Nathan Croft also keeps his first person present tense to a minimum. (I swear)
Neil grew up in Smithfield, Utah, and currently holds a General Class license amateur radio license. He was a material handler for over ten years while obtaining a BA from Utah State University. He has been a freelance writer for most of that time and has been published in a variety of magazines over the years.
Neil worked for Utah State University for twelve years with the Junior Engineering program. He enjoys writing, Frisbee (disc) golf and bonfires. He is the father of five children and lives in Logan Utah. Look for his work at Smashwords.com and Hubpages.com
Peggy Eddleman is the author of the middle grade action / adventure books Sky Jumpers (a Beehive Book Nominee) and the forthcoming The Forbidden Flats, both with Random House. She lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains with her husband and their three kids. She enjoys painting (especially wall murals), playing games with her family (especially laser tag), and of course, reading. You can visit Peggy online at peggyeddleman.com.
Paul Genesse is the author of The Golden Cord—the bestselling fantasy novel his publisher Five Star Books ever had, The Dragon Hunters, and The Secret Empire, the first three books in his Iron Dragon Series. He has sold over a dozen short stories, which appear in various DAW anthologies, and elsewhere. He is also the editor of the five volumes in the demon-themed Crimson Pact shared multiverse anthology series. He works full time as a cardiac nurse, but has worked as a copy editor, computer game consultant, and naturally he enjoys speaking at conventions, and doing school visits. He is a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, and loves The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. Friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Paul_Genesse, or explore paulgenesse.com.
Angela Hartley spent much of her childhood being shuffled from house to house with only a book for companionship. The magic she found in the written word saved her in many ways, transporting her into worlds far more enjoyable than the one she resided in. Literature became a passion and the idea of writing carried her through years of uncertainty.
Following her father’s tragic death in 2005, she decided it was time to let go of the past and pursue her dreams. With the love and support of her family, she built a world of her own full of procreating angels and demon rock stars.
Her debut new adult horror novel, Copper Descent was released on Amazon May 2014. Angela currently resides in Midway, Utah with her three children and husband. www.angelahartley.blogspot.com
Christine Nielson Haggerty grew up in rural Utah with three brothers, a sister, several chickens, a goat, and an outhouse. She always loved the escape of fantasy and the art of writing, and her passion for life is to craft stories of strength and survival.
With that passion, Christine taught high school language arts for several years, encouraging her students’ perfection of language. Now she appreciates her background in classic literature and history as she draws on the past to write about the present and the future. Her first series, The Plague Legacy, is about a boy battling his own past and future to save the human race.
Her other interests are karate, drawing, reading, and hosting killer barbecues.
Margot Hovley is the author of Sudden Darkness and Glimmering Light (The End Begins series) published through Covenant Communications. She’s also a part of two anthologies published by Covenant, and has won numerous awards for her writing, including a 1st place in a national short story contest. Teaching writers of all ages is one of her joys. She was raised in rural Washington State, where she worked as a girl pig herder and champion produce box-maker. She now lives and plays in Utah with her big family. When she’s not storytelling, she’s hanging out with family, teaching music to the somewhat-willing, and playing sports. She loves hiking, traveling, and concocting adventures.
Kathryn Jones and Douglas Jones
Kathryn has been a published writer since 1987. She started as a newspaper reporter, published her first novel in 2002, attended college in her 40s, and opened the doors to Idea Creations Press in 2012. She has published six books to date. Kathryn offers opportunities for authors to do the same using her publishing services.
Douglas is an experienced book guru. Since Kathryn’s first book he has assisted in marketing and publishing. Doug is expert at book covers, layout, web design, social media and enjoys helping clients create their own book masterpiece.
Fay A. Klingler
Fay A. Klingler, author and illustrator, is an award-winning creative and technical writer, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker. Her expertise includes successful patterns for life, betrayal recovery, and effective grandparenting. Fay has experience in traditional publishing as well as indie-publishing. She loves to read, write, teach, and watch her grandchildren at play (not necessarily in that order).
The Klinglers have twelve children and thirty-five grandchildren in their blended family. They reside in Draper, Utah.
Visit her website: www.fayklingler.com.
Lehua Parker is originally from Hawaii and a graduate of The Kamehameha Schools and Brigham Young University. In addition to writing award-winning short fiction, poetry, and plays, she is the author of the Pacific literature MG/YA series the Niuhi Shark Saga published by Jolly Fish Press. One Boy, No Water and One Shark, No Swim are currently available. Book 3, One Truth, No Lie will be published in 2015. You can find Lehua online at www.LehuaParker.com.