Storymakers and Whitney Awards—Oh My!

This weekend is probably my favorite weekend of the entire year! It’s the LDStoryMakers Conference and the Whitney Awards banquet!!!!!!!!

Yes, they deserve all those exclamation points—and more!

Seriously. I’ve been going to Storymakers for years in my alter ego persona. I’ve missed a few—and that always makes me sad—but I’ve really loved watching it grow and change to become what it is today. I love the supportive atmosphere and the great fun. I always come home inspired to write more.

Click here to see a few photos of me at the conference in previous years.

And then there are the Whitney Awards! I simply can’t imagine the Oscars being more fun. (Unless, of course, I got a seat next to Robert Downey Jr.)

Click here for photos of me at the 2011 Whitney Awards Banquet.

I’ll be posting some pictures of this year’s outfit later this week.

But today, let’s talk about the finalists. Here are the finalists for two of the Whitney categories.

Young Adult—General

After Hello Finding June The Space Between Us The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back V is for Virgin
Lisa Mangum Shannen Crane Camp Jessica Martinez Sariah Wilson Kelly Oram

Middle Grade

Case File 13: Zombie Kid Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero Freakling Palace of Stone The False Prince
J. Scott Savage Matt Peterson* Lana Krumwiede* Shannon Hale Jennifer A. Nielsen


In the comments, tell us:

• How many of these 10 finalists have you read?

• Which ones did you really, really love?

• And if you had to pick just one from each category—like, if you were at the bookstore and you only had enough money to buy ONE book—which is your winner and WHY?

Remember, these comments enter you to win one of the books featured in sidebar!

LDSP at Last Year’s Whitney Awards

Following the LDStorymakers Conference, there will be the annual Whitney Awards presentation. This is a red-carpet event and everyone dresses up in their finest.

Here are a few photos of me from last year’s Whitney Awards Gala.

Annette Lyon, winner for Best General Fiction, and Me


Me with that slightly popular sci-fi/fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson. He won for Best Speculative Fiction, and tied for Best Novel of the Year.


Me, Jeff Savage (awesome Middle Grade Fantasy writer), and Stephanie Black, winner for Best Mystery/Suspense


Julie Wright, winner for Best Romance, and Me


Me and Stephanie Black, winner for Best Mystery Suspense (we took another photo because Jeff was blocking my award...)


Marion Jenson, Robison Wells, Erin, and Me—having a group hug


The women from LDSWBR—Mindy Holt, Me, Sheila Staley, and Shandra Cottam


(All photos stolen with permission from Stephanie Black at


More Photos from Past Storymaker Conferences…

Since the Storymakers Conference isn’t all about me, here are more photos from the past few conferences that I gleaned from the Interwebs.

Stolen from

 A nice writerly-looking man, Jaclyn M. Hawkes, Jessica Day George


Stolen from

A Nice Woman, James Dashner, Another Nice Woman


Stolen from

 David J West, Tamara Hart Heiner, Melissa J Cunningham, Mary Gray


Stolen from

Deirdra Eden Coppel and J Scott Savage (the author formerly known as Jeff)


Contributed by Jennie Hansen @

 Susan Law Corpany Curtis, Janette Rallison, Sarah M Eden


Stolen from

 Gregg Luke, James Dashner, Traci Hunter Abramson, Abel Keogh


Stolen from

David J West showing off his sword handling skillz


P.S. If you recognize some of the people I don’t, please post their names in the comments. Thanks.

Who’s Going to Storymakers?

The LDStorymakers Conference is this weekend! I am so excited I can hardly stand myself. I have to say that as far as writing conferences go, this is one of the best. It’s well organized, has great presenters, and the atmosphere is positive and supportive. I have so much fun at these conferences. I love it!

Unfortunately, if you haven’t already registered, it’s too late. (Sorry.) But there are zillions of writers conferences going on this summer, so I’m sure if you’re determined you can find one.

But back to Storymakers. To get us in the mood, I’m dedicating the rest of this week to getting us excited. And what better way to ramp up the enthusiasm than to reminisce about past Storymakers conferences.

Here are a few snapshots from previous years of me with just a few of my favorite peeps.

These are some of the long-timers at Storymakers.
Rachel Nunes, Tristi Pinkston, BJ Rowley, Me,
Julie Wright, Jaime Theler, Crystal Liechty, and Jeff Savage

The Walnut Springs Gang
Front Row: Tristi Pinkston, Theresa Sneed, Betsy Love
Middle Row: Rhonda Hinrichsen, LC Lewis, Amy Orton
Back Row: Linda Mulleneaux, Me

Here is a bunch of us. I think it’s the Authors Incognito group.
I’m the one with the red arrow.

This is me with Howard Tayler. He’s hilarious.
If you get a chance, go to his class. He doesn’t always stay on point,
but he has lots of good information.

And here I am with Whitney Award Winning author, Dan Wells.
Also in the pic are Bron Bahlmann (when is that next book coming out, Bron?)
and James Dashner (umm, I think he might have written a book or two…)
and a future author, I suppose?

More photos to come!


*Photos provided by Tristi Pinkston and LDStorymakers.
**Special thanks to my lovely assistant for collecting and “polishing” them.
***Photos were chosen based on compatibility with me. 🙂