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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Things I learned from #Storymakers15

I'm going to just come right out and say it. I've never been to a writing conference. I wrote my first book "The Breakup Artist" thinking it would never see the light of day and until it was published by Cedar Fort and Jolene Perry wrote me an e-mail where she introduced herself, I didn't have any idea there was such a thing as a writing community.

Even after writing more and more books and even after meeting more authors in Utah and making more friends, I still didn't quite understand what a writing community was. Once I joined a critique group I heard a lot about the Utah writing community, but I don't know that I really understood it.

It wasn't until these past three days that I spent at the LDS Storymakers Conference that I realized that this place doesn't have a writing community, it has a WRITING COMMUNITY.



So here's what I learned in those three glorious days.

Don't go into a Publication Primer group you're supposed to lead telling yourself "I'm SO not qualified to do this", because your group will inevitably be awesome.

Authors can get DOWN

Everyone needs that one friend who will sit at the back of the class with them and make Pretty Little Liars references.

Critique groups might be even more awesome/weird than X-Men

 Always watch your back, because Charlie Pulsipher might suddenly run at you like a dinosaur

 Don't bother trying to look fancy. You'll just be an exhausted, psychotic mess by the end of all of this

Always keep your cool when you're about to meet James Dashner, and try not to say things like, "I've now touched someone who's touched Dylan O'Brien" because that just comes off as creepy 

 If you're going to take a group picture, make sure you treat it like a Pitch Perfect poster

Read other people's books. Because they're fantastic

Don't creepily take a picture of someone you spot buying your book... because you'll find out later that they were in your Pub Primer group and you'll have to come clean.

 Always listen to Mindy Holt. She is the Oracle of all awesomeness

Weasel your way into the boys club if you can (I'm looking at you Frank Cole, Tyler Whitesides, James Dashner, Charlie Pulsipher, and others)

Sign someone's arm, because it'll make you feel like a rockstar

Take epic pictures, just because you can

And track down agents you thought looked like a certain character from a TV show and take pictures with them, because there's no faster way to kill your career :)

Although I mostly pranced around and took pictures, I actually did learn valuable things that I probably should have learned before releasing 9 books into the world. Mostly querying and pitching.... things.... But I did learn that I can describe Parrish as:

What would happen if Tim Burton turned Scooby Doo into a twisted love story.

Oh how I love that story. Can't wait until October when you guys can love that little weirdo as much as I do.

So there you have it.

Storymakers firmly has my vote.

Until next time,

<3 p="">


  1. It was awesome! So nice to meet you!

  2. Really wished that I was there with you for your first time. Glad you had fun.

  3. I'm tripping out on how many times I appear in your photos. AND I'M LOVING IT ALL THE SAME! So glad we met, became friends and have each other to laugh with now. I'm glad you're on board with a WRITING COMMUNITY, and I'm only sad we didn't meet sooner.

    I can't believe you've already blogged this. I'm uber jealous. I got home about 3 hours ago, and can't hardly function, let alone blog. That could be becasue I didn't get to bed until 4 am. If you'd come hung out with us, you'd have been able to learn that writers can not only get down, be crazy, and embraced other writers, but that they can run on 3 hours of sleep and talk into the wee hours of the night/morning about passive voice, showing and telling, pitching, embarrassing moments that belong in books, and how to write effective kissing scenes.

    At least, that's what my crowd was doing while you got your beauty sleep. WHich clearly is paying off. I have bags that are so dark and big I look like I've applied my blush poorly, and in the wrong color.

    Seriouslty, though. You should've heard Charlie's stories!

    1. I'm so sad that I couldn't stay! Especially after hearing this! But I'm glad you documented it for me :) Now I'll janE to bug Charlie about his stories!

  4. Man, your party pictures are the best I've seen. I love them! Can I get them? I'm going to DM you my email. This was such a fun post!

    1. Of course I'll send them! Thank YOU for the awesome parties! :)

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  6. What a fun writeup! Hilarious, and I loved the photos! It was fun to relive the conference as I read through. I can't believe Storymakers ended over a week ago. Is it next May yet???