The League of Utah Writers annual conference was held in Logan this weekend (August 28-29), and my friend, Annette, and I drove up together. We had a great time. The classes were fun, interesting, and informative, the food was delicious, and I got to pitch my new book. I talked to other authors, handed out my card for Double Play, and collected a bunch of business cards and bookmarks for books I am looking forward to reading. Dean Wesley Smith was the keynote speaker at the conference banquet, and he encouraged us all to have fun while we launch into the changing world of writing and publishing. I learned all about how to craft a fight scene and make magic believable from the enthusiastic Maxwell Alexander Drake, how to write humor from Owen Egerton, all about self-publishing (a very informative class) from Cindy Hogan, and putting conflict in fiction from the vibrant and entertaining Johnny Worthen, who has a new book coming out soon. The panel discussions were interesting. In Scott Forman’s class on writing horror, I outlined a new horror story that I am eager to write. One of the most thought provoking classes was Between the Lines: Conceit and Thesis, by the brilliant Chadd VanZanten, who also won the top prize of Writer of the Year. In our down time Annette and I had a wonderful time talking about life and writing, and we made a lot of new friends too. Most exciting of all, I won first place for my short story, A Little Magic, in the Short Genre Fiction category. That was amazing. I really appreciate Amanda Yardley Luzzader and all those who worked with her to make this conference a success.