BYU Publishing Fair


Liz Carlton was a freshman at BYU when she first attended the annual BYU Publishing Fair. There, she met Sheri Dew and representatives from Deseret Book, who made her realize that she had a story to tell. Carlton’s book, “Surviving Columbine,” told the compelling story of how she and three friends experienced and recovered from the Columbine High School shooting. The book was published by Deseret Book and sold 2,000 copies in one week, quickly followed by two more runs of 20,000 copies each.The book was published thanks to the BYU Publishing Fair.

“Surviving Columbine” was one bestselling book that got its start at the BYU Publishing Fair.

Carlton and others found their voices at the annual BYU Publishing Fair, which will be held in the Wilkinson Student Center Garden Court March 6 this year.

The event is a casual opportunity for students to meet with a variety of local publishers, and students are even encouraged to bring their work and ask questions.

“The idea of this thing is to allow students on campus first-hand interaction to see about internships and how to get published,” said Richard Ang, international placement director at the Career Services Office, which hosts the event.

Twelve publishers will have tables set up in the Garden Court 12–5 p.m.

“We even provide cookies,” Ang said.

Colleen Whitley, one of two English professors in charge of organizing the event told students not to think that published work is an impossible dream.

“It’s not only possible,” Whitley said, “but if you’re going to spread the gospel, it’s what you have to do.”

Whitley also urged students to attend the panel on publishing that will be held in the library auditorium Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.

“It’s a great chance for people to come and get some ideas before they even come to the fair,” Whitley said.

Students who cannot attend the panel can go to the Y Publish website, which features practical resources about who to approach at the fair and what to expect during the publishing process.

Publishers in attendance will include Deseret Book, Cedar Fort, Covenant Communications, LDS Church magazines and Jolly Fish, a new company that works with several venues including e-publishing.

“Deseret Book told us, ‘We always have at least one really good book every year,'” Whitley said.

The Publishing Fair has been held annually since 2002, and English professors Colleen Whitley and Deirdre Paulsen have organized it. Since they are retiring soon, Ang fears this could be the last year for the Publishing Fair. However, for at least one more year, students like Liz Carlton can come see if they have a story to tell.

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