LTUE is coming! LTUE is coming!

I don’t know if it’s just the January “blahs” or what’s going on, but I have to admit my motivation to write lately has been less than stellar. I’m just not that excited about writing for some reason, even to the point of consider quitting.

That’s why I’m so glad that Life, The Universe, and Everything, the Science Fiction and Fantasy symposium, is less than a month away. I know not everyone here at the Think Tank lives close enough to go, and not everyone can get away, but if you can, you should consider it.

LTUE, as it’s known for short, literally saved my fourth novel. I was half-way in and just about to give up and toss the whole thing–when I could get myself to work on it at all. The very first day of LTUE something someone said in one of the panels clicked, and completely changed the way I saw my novel. I was able to go back, revise what I had, and finish the novel with renewed enthusiasm.

Now I will admit that after having gone for four years now some of the panels and presentations are starting to sound repetitious, and it’s getting harder to find something new, but even then it’s worth the trip, if for only one reason:


For three days you’re enclosed in a writers’ paradise. Everywhere you turn there is someone who knows exactly what you’re going through, who understands the work-life-writing balancing act we go through, and how you’re supposed to function as a responsible member of society when your muse won’t leave you alone! You get to meet some great people, and they’re willing to share advice or commiserate. Some are only a few steps ahead on the progression to “professional writer” and can offer some excellent advice and connections.

This year the forum will be presenting two guests of honor; Kevin J. Anderson and Shannon Hale. Special guests include Rebecca Moesta, Stacy Whitman, Michelle Witte, and the cast of Writing Excuses (Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. (See here for a full list of guests and panelists)

Events include Kaffeeklatches with some of your favorite writers, a mass book signing, opportunities to pitch your work to editors and agents–or just get their feedback on your proposals, an art gallery, and a myriad of evening activities.

So am I going to LTUE this year? Heck, I’ll be driving the bus! (Literally! My daughter and a bunch of her friends are coming with me, so if you want to carpool from the Sandy UT area, let me know! I still have a seat or two left!)

Thom Stratton

About Thom Stratton

Thom is a Utah transplant, works for a regional bank, and spends his lunch hours working on his latest novel. His wife, three kids, and four pets find him amusing and somewhat useful, so they keep him around.