Conference to discuss LDS writing

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    By Gina Groeger

    Latter-day Saint writers will gather this weekend at UVSC to discuss God and writing.

    Chris Bigelow, magazine editor for the Association of Mormon Letters, said this conference was put together as a venue for LDS topics.

    “Mormon issues don’t get brought up in any other conferences,” Bigelow said.

    This conference will have seminars and presentations with question and answer periods, Bigelow said.

    Marilyn Brown, President of the Association of Mormon Letters, said various panels will discuss topics such as poetry, writing family histories, writing scripts for film and theater and historical fiction.

    Brown said the title of her panel is: “Is it okay to write about God?”

    The main presenters at this conference are Margaret Young and Darius Gray who have written a book on the history of black people called “One More River to Cross,” Brown said.

    A portion of Young and Gray’s play, “I am Jane,” will also be performed at the conference, Brown said. The play is based on an LDS black pioneer woman.

    Dean Hughes, author of the “Children of Promise” series and approximately 70 other books, will also present at the conference, Brown said.

    One of the topics the conference will cover is faith and fantasy. The Harry Potter phenomenon will be discussed and Dave Wolverton, a nationally-acclaimed local fantasy and science fiction author, will be presenting, Brown said.

    Eric Snider, writer for the Daily Herald and former BYU student, said he was asked to participate in a panel discussion regarding the criticism of LDS culture without criticizing the church.

    Some people are bothered by criticism of the LDS culture because they see it as criticizing the LDS church leaders when it does not, Snider said.

    Between 80 and 100 people are expected to attend, Brown said.

    The conference will be held at Utah Valley State College for two reasons, Brown said.

    Brown said UVSC functions as good middle ground between BYU and the University of Utah

    Another reason is most LDS writers live in the Utah Valley area and UVSC is closer to home, Brown said.

    The conference will start in UVSC’s ballroom at 9 a.m. and will go until about 5 p.m. with a sit down dinner for lunch, Brown said.

    Entrance to the conference will cost $35 and the lunch will cost $10.

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