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“Life, the Universe & Everything” is happening again at BYU

The 29th annual science fiction and fantasy symposium known as “Life, the Universe & Everything” is returning to BYU Feb. 17-19. For the uninitiated, this is a collection of panel presentations, lectures, workshops and readings by professional authors and artists for aspiring authors, artists and fans.

There will be several writing lectures, art displays and art lessons using different techniques. Some topics included are writing action, advice for new writers, marketing your work, drawing humanoids, camera techniques for drawing, and creating maps and webcomics. UVU alum, Jess Smart Smiley, will be on the panel “Digital vs. Traditional Tools in Art” given at 5pm on Thursday.

Some of the symposium’s writing lessons are geared towards writing religious science fiction, using scriptures in fiction and writing for an LDS audience. English majors and art majors here at UVU who attend will find useful information and meet the local network of professionals in their fields.

James Dashner, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Maze Runner” trilogy, “The 13th Reality” series, and “The Jimmy Fincher Saga” is a guest of honor. Steve Keele, popular artist spanning several mediums and with credits spanning over thirty years which are too numerous to even name, is another. Dashner and Keele will be giving the main addresses, and guest speakers from various writing and artistic professions include David Farland, Tracy Hickman, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Jessica Day George, Howard Tayler, Stacy Whitman and Lisa Mangum.

Due to the need to accommodate more people than the small classrooms of previous years could effectively hold, the symposium will be held at the BYU Conference Center. Entrance is free with any student ID, and the cost for non-students is $20 for the whole event or $10 per day. Volunteers are welcome, and it can be a great way to get to know people. Saturday is geared mainly towards those wanting to know how to most effectively teach science fiction, fantasy and writing in the classroom. Information including guest bios, art and writing contests, a detailed schedule of the many events and how to pre-register is available at www.ltue.org

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