Editor’s Note: This conference was held before LDS Publishing Professionals Association (LDSPPA) changed its name to LDS Publishing and Media Association (LDSPMA).

Authors, editors, designers, and publishers met at the BYU Conference Center for the LDS Publishing Professionals Association’s (LDSPPA) second annual conference on September 23 and 24, 2016.

The conference theme was “Flooding the World with Light and Truth.” The conference featured sessions taught by thirty industry leaders in freelancing, editing, marketing, illustrating, networking, and writing. We note just a few of the amazing addresses here:

  • A keynote address to aspiring authors by popular speaker and author Brad Wilcox
  • Inspirational messages on flooding the world with truth by Brent L. Top and Camille Fronk Olson of BYU Religious Education
  • A keynote address by Brandon Mull, author of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Beyonders and Fablehaven series
  • A session on writing for Church magazines taught by Val Johnson, former managing editor of the Ensign and Liahona, and by Josh Perkey of the New Era
  • Practical writing tips from Jeff McClellan, Peter Gardner, and Andrea Christensen of BYU Magazine
  • Advice on marketing and editing from Patrick Dunshee and Suzy Bills of The Joseph Smith Papers
  • A workshop by writer David Doering, a founder of the conference Life, the Universe, & Everything and the BYU student journal Leading Edge
  • A lunch to munch and mingle with publishers such as Deseret Book, Gibbs Smith, Berrett-Koehler, Covenant, Cedar Fort, and Jolly Fish
  • A presentation by the CEO of Berrett-Koehler, Steve Piersanti, on “The Ten Awful Truths about Book Publishing—and What to Do about Them”
  • Tips on search engine optimization by Brandon Doyle, CEO and Founder of Wallaroo Media
  • Advice on how to write for more diverse audiences in a panel by Adam Miller, Rachel Hunt Steenblik, Laura Hales, and Loyd Ericson

Author Brandon Mull at the LDSPPA conference at BYU on Saturday, Sep. 24. His speech encouraged people to follow their passions.

Mull, one such industry leader, traced the spiritual journey of his writing pursuit. “Sometimes there’s stuff you want so bad, and you almost don’t dare wish for it, you want it so bad,” Mull said. He spoke about “following your passion. “As a writer, I get to spin straw into gold,” Mull said. Mull advised authors and publishers to “remember who you are.” Mull added, “With the power to create comes the power to create all sorts of things.” He said his audience should stay true to themselves and create content that brings light and goodness into the world, harking back to the theme of “Flooding the World with Light and Truth.”

The conference theme grew out of the remarks of President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, who invited LDS publishers at a February 2016 Deseret Book Gala to share light and truth with the world to prepare the way for the Lord’s return. The LDSPPA conference provided practical tips for aspiring authors, marketers, and illustrators to share their messages with the world.

“We’re so grateful for the many talented speakers who donated their time and energy to making this event a huge success,” said conference organizer Devan Jensen. “We hope attendees feel inspired to share their own messages of hope and light with a troubled world.”

For more information about future conferences and about LDSPMA, visit ldspma.org

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