2020 Keynote Speaker – Lisa Mangum


Lisa Mangum has worked in publishing since 1997. Named Managing Editor for Shadow Mountain in 2014, she has worked with several New York Times best-selling authors, including Brandon Mull, Ally Condie, and Jason F. Wright. While fiction is her first love, she also has experience working with nonfiction projects. Lisa is also the author of four national best-selling YA novels (The Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello), and several short stories and novellas. She has also edited four anthologies based on magical creatures. She graduated from the University of Utah, and currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy.


2020 Friday Morning Keynote – Martine Leavitt


Martine Leavitt has published ten novels for young adults, most recently Calvin, which won the Governor General’s Award of Canada. Book of Life by Angel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year. Other titles by Leavitt include Keturah and Lord Death, a finalist for the National Book Award, Tom Finder, winner of the Mr. Christie Award, and Heck Superhero, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her novels have been published in China, Japan, Korea, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands. Currently she teaches creative writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, a short-residency MFA program. She lives in High River, Alberta.

2020 EMCEE – Jennifer A. Nielsen


New York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Nielsen, was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her family, a dog that won’t play fetch, and a cat that hallucinates. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains.

She is the author of The Ascendance trilogy, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE; the TRAITOR’S GAME series, RESISTANCE, A NIGHT DIVIDED and the historical WORDS ON FIRE.

Jennifer has won multiple awards including the Sydney Taylor Notable Book Award (RESISTANCE, 2019), multiple Whitney Awards, and several state book awards.

I went to my first Storymaker conference in 2011, hardly knowing a soul. I drove in from Arizona and arrived feeling like a wannabe (it’s still called that, right?). I wanted to be a great writer. I wanted to be the kind of person who felt comfortable in large groups of strangers. I wanted to belong.

I’m the kind of person who does better with a task, so I volunteered to be on the committee the next year, and was thrilled when I got an email assigning me to run the Thursday Publication Primer/Bootcamp. After my first year of volunteering, I had the chair at the time ask me how I felt about running the conference someday. I told her: Oh, I don’t have the personality for that. And then I kind of scurried off before she could ask me any follow-up questions. Little did I know, right?

But the thing about time and new opportunities, is that they usually lead to growth. Over the years I’ve faced my books getting rejected, having and then not having an agent, getting *so* close to meeting my goals (but not quite close enough). My family has faced illness, death, and heartbreak, mingled with birth and joy and hope. And through it all—my trials and triumphs, the Storymaker community has been there for me.

There’s a reason we call the Storymaker Conference a family reunion. We are there for each other. We understand each other. We know that life is messy and writing is messy, but that life and writing can also be amazing. And maybe we’re all wannabes in one way or another.

As we go forward this year into our 2019 conference, I am honored to have even a small part in helping and encouraging you to create more hope and beauty for a world starving for hope and beauty. Our writing has the power to change lives, as this conference and community have already changed mine.

Kaylee Baldwin

2019 Storymakers Conference Chair

Who we are: Our conference is sponsored by the Storymakers Author Guild. The guild consists of authors across all publishing platforms that are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that have met a list of publishing benchmarks and are committed to the values of our faith, but please know the conference is open to everyone.

For more information about the Storymakers Author Guild, visit the guild website by clicking on the following link: Storymakers Author Guild. You can also learn about the Whitney Awards, our awards program recognizing excellence among our authors by clicking here: The Whitney Awards.