For the most part, members of the League of Utah Writers are a practical lot. They're not out to fashion careers in the world of letters. They don't look to be lords of the language.
Most simply want to write articles that people want to read and magazines want to pay for.That's why Maureen McFadden, deputy editor at Woman's Day magazine, and agent J. Warren Frazier are such a nice fit for this year's League of Utah Writers Round-Up.
The writers conference, slated for the Provo Marriott Hotel, Sept. 11-12, will feature 15 workshops directed by well-known local writers Dean Hughes, Anita Stansfield, Clair Rees and Coke Newell.
McFadden and Frazier will also be on hand to teach and offer keynote speeches.
For information, call Sylvan Crofts at 964-0861.
As for McFadden, she's pleased to be aboard.
"They asked me what I would like to speak about," she says, "and I thought a lot about it. I think I want to be helpful to writers. Writers conferences need to be very down-to-earth and nitty-gritty. The botton line is you want to help writers sell their work, and to do that they must be professional about it."
Among McFadden's tips for better success are:
1. Ask for the "story guidelines" from a magazine before submitting work. It will save everyone time.
2. The downsizing at major magazines means many work with skeleton crews. So writers have to do more of the work themeselves. Help out by always double-spacing manuscripts and including self-addressed, stamped envelopes with submission. Avoid sending chatty e-mail messages to editors.
3. The key to getting your work published is having wonderful ideas, not meeting the right people.
"When I travel around the country I meet many free-lancers who start out in the field with no idea how to go about it," says McFadden.
The League of Utah Writers conference this year hopes to help writers lay some of that groundwork.