by Deren Hansen
Except when they do. Sometimes if you build it, they do come.
Life, The Universe, and Everything (LTUE) 31
will meet on February 14 – 16, 2013 in Provo, Utah. The symposium
organized thirty-one years ago by a BYU professor has grown into one of
the largest writing conferences in the Intermountain West.
Provo? Utah? There’s nothing there but snow, salt, and a peculiar religious tradition, right?
Utah boasts a surprising — some would say disproportionate — number of
writers. And LTUE is only one of nearly a dozen writing conferences held
in Utah. It’s hard to say whether the number of writers grew because of
the conferences, or the conferences because of the writers, but we have
a vibrant, vital writing community out here in what many would say is
the middle of nowhere.
Because no one took any notice
of the fact that portions of Utah look remarkably like Tatooine or that
their Western home was far away from the bright center of the
publishing universe. Instead, they devoted themselves to what they loved:
they wrote and they found like-minded people who wanted to get together
periodically and talk about writing. They didn’t worry (too much) about
what was going on elsewhere or, more importantly, what anyone else
Sometimes the best way to succeed is to forget about the
established order, pursue your fascination, and simply invite others to
share what you’ve discovered.
For those of you in the area, I will be sharing two presentations at LTUE 31: “Verisimilitude: How Illusions, Confidence Games, and Skillful Lying Can Improve Your Fiction,” (Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm) and “Weaving a Complex Narrative: How to Write Like J.R.R. Tolkien in Three Easy Steps,”
(Friday, February 15, 2013 at 11:00 am). I’ll also be holding forth on
various panels about anachronisms, archetypes, and anthropology. (And if
you’re a real glutton for punishment, stop me in the hallway.)
Deren Hansen is the author of the Dunlith Hill Writers Guides. Learn more at dunlithhill.com.