Every year–without fail–LTUE manages to be a bigger and better event than the previous year. 2013 has been no exception.


LTUE stands for Life, the Universe and Everything: a symposium on science fiction and fantasy, geared toward writers, artists, filmmakers and fans. This was my third year participating as a panelist, speaking on writing, drawing, making comics, and on marketing. I took more notes at the symposium than I’ll be able to get through in the next foreseeable future, and I was fortunate to have met with some of Utah’s finest creators, as well as those who had traveled from out of state for the event.



The three day event featured a wide variety of topics and presentations. I participated in eight separate panels, including: Writing for Comics, Laying Out a Comics Page, Working with Clients, Using Comics in the Classroom, Illustrating for Children and Young Adults, Marketing Your Book, Using Kickstarter to Fund Your Dream, and Digital Painting and Drawing. I made a handout with some basic information on each topic that I handed out at each class. If you weren’t able to attend LTUE and would like the handouts, I’ve posted all 8 on my new “Resources” page. I plan on going through my notes from the event and creating blog posts about some of the things we discussed in the panels. If there’s something you’d like to see discussed here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.



LTUE broke all kinds of attendance records this year! Thursday afternoon was just as crowded as last year’s Friday night session, and the place just got more and more crowded as the hours went on. The book signing featured 27 authors and illustrators, and I was fortunate to table between fantasy powerhouse James A. Owen and Archie comics illustrator Bill Galvin. I stuffed my table with balloons, candy, coloring pages, free comics, and (of course!) my graphic novel, Upside Down: A Vampire Tale.


Here’s Bill Galvin, working on a Veronica sketch for a fan:


James A. Owen signing his millionth book for the night:


Author Samuel Stubbs with copies of his book The Tale of Telsharuthe first in a trilogy of fantasy novels with an Asian twist:


It was an absolute joy to sit on panels with creators Andrea Hatch, Michaelbrent Collings, Bill Galvin, JJ Harrison, Drew Robbins, James A. Owen, Rebecca Greenwood, Nathan Shumate, and so many others. Definitely check out their sites when you get the chance  – they are all fantastic.


Did I mention that Barnes & Noble brought their inventory to LTUE? It was so cool seeing stacks of Upside Down: A Vampire Tale between James Dashner’s and Brandon Mull’s books! Even better, was getting to meet people who have my book, or who have been following my work online. There is a real community here in Utah, for writers and artists, and LTUE is an amazing way to meet up with other like-minded creators and fans.

You can bet I’ll be doing everything I can to trick them into inviting me again next year!


One Response to “LOOKING BACK AT LTUE 2013”
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  1. […] Looking Back at Ltue 2013 (jesssmartsmiley.wordpress.com) […]

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