Monday, January 2, 2012

LTUE 2012... A Bad Beginning

Last year was my first opportunity to attend the writing conference, know as Life, The Universe and Everything, at Brigham Young University and I just have to say it was amazing. Tons of authors from multiple genres discussing topics on every aspect of writing. It was well attended and for $25, it was a screaming deal.

So this year I've been waiting for a LONG time for them to announce when the 2012 conference will be hosted. Its always been held in Febuary; usually the President's Day weekend. And their website said to plan on it then, even though nothing was set. So I scheduled time off from work in giddy anticipation (believe me, getting good time off at the Post Office is sometimes a miracle).

Imagine my surprise when I checked their website on January 2nd to see that its now being held Febuary 9-11th at Utah Valley University and they will announce who their Guest of Honor is later. To further add to the confusion, the cost will be announced later too.


I know its 2012 and all... and there's a major calendar crisis scheduled for later this year... but I couldn't help wondering a few things.

  1. Shouldn't they know who their guest of honor is by now?
  2. If the conference is always in Febuary, why weren't facilities at BYU scheduled a year in advance?
  3. A month and a half from showtime and they don't know the cost?

Is it me, or is whoever is running LTUE asleep at the wheel? Why am I feeling like the warm-up to the 2002 Olympics?


Its never a good thing when Postal Employees are disgruntled. Grumpy writers too.


  1. In all honesty, they posted the dates on their Facebook page December 10th and I missed it. No idea why their website wasn't the first to make the announcement.

    Either way, they still don't know the cost or the guest of honor. Maybe they'll know in a couple weeks...

  2. Oh wow, that sucks. I don't know a thing about where anything is at UVU! And if the price isn't decided.... it might be steep.

    Want to carpool?

  3. I've never been there before either, but hopefully the place is as decent as the facilities at BYU.

    Carpooling is a great idea! I'll have to get back with you though... I don't know if I'll be able to get that weekend off at work. If its all taken, I might be able to trade my weekend for theirs.

  4. This is what we get when BYU students are in control. I mean, no way this would have happened at the U.

    And Tony, if you decide to go postal, remember that we're friends. Right?

  5. S'okay Jordan. I'm only killing Jedi. And the odd Sith acolyte that steps outta line.

    The real sad new is that, due to rules for the USPS time-off roster, I can't change my selected time off until January 14th. I'm really hoping that weekend is still open...

  6. A new website for registration was posted on LTUE's Facebook page:

  7. Tony, I totally understand the confusion/annoyance/etc. I've helped plan LTUE before, so I'm on the planning committee's email list (even though I don't help anymore since I'm out of state at the moment), so I've been listening in on the planning.

    The answer to a lot of you "why don't they know" questions is that, for the past few years, it's been difficult to work out the symposium's relationship with BYU (over the symposium's long history, sometimes it's easier and sometimes it's more difficult). Because it's such a big event, it's hard to make the LTUE committee a club, which makes it hard to schedule space. For it to be a university-sponsored symposium, it needs to have a sponsor in some department or another, but because LTUE covers so many academic disciplines, it's hard to find one department to claim it. Without a home department, again, it's difficult to schedule space.

    This all makes it hard to plan a specific weekend (which depends on space), which makes it difficult to secure guests of honor. I assure you that the GoHs have been chosen and were invited some time ago; they just need to officially confirm their attendance before they can be announced.

    The committee has been trying to nail down sponsorship and specifics for 2012 since the months following last year's symposium. It's just been a perfect storm of one hangup after another.

    So there's my long-winded defense of LTUE. Despite all the road blocks, it always ends up being an enjoyable experience. And this year Stacy Whitman from Tu Books is coming back, and I hear tell that an (the?) acquisitions editor from Shadow Mountain is coming down as well, along with a ton of fun authors. So I hope you're able to get time off and go. I'll be jealous of everyone who makes it there.

  8. I can understand some of the difficulties with getting it set up... That said, we have people who want to come to LTUE from out of state. Not even having the date set until two months before the conference is embarrassing.

    If LTUE is going to be accepted as a legitimate writing conference, they have to hold themselves to a higher standard. At the very least, the dates/accommodations should be set up before the current year's conference so they can be announced at this year's conference.

  9. I completely understand. When I was on staff I tried to push to get the symposium permanent sponsorship somewhere so we could be more stable(which obviously didn't happen...). It's really what the conference needs. Maybe this UVU thing will work out smoothly and that can be a stable relationship. Something stable would be better for everyone.


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