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Posted 15 Oct 2001   For week ended October 05, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 01Oct01

By Kent Larsen

'New Era' to Drop Fiction

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The New Era, the youth magazine published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will no longer publish fiction, ending a practice of carrying stories in each issue that has launched the careers of many LDS authors. A date for the change to only non-fiction hasn't yet been set, but the decision to make the change has been made.

The magazine's publication of fiction has started the careers of many LDS authors, including prominent LDS youth author Jack Weyland. Weyland, a BYU-Idaho physics instructor, told the university's newspaper, The Scroll, that the New Era led to his writing career, "If it hadn't been for the New Era, I wouldn't have written a thing," he said.

Weyland wrote his first New Era article in 1969, and was surprised afterward when the magazine wanted him to write more. That led to writing more than 50 stories, and a second career as a popular youth novelist, author of dozens of books.

Another, anonymous, author who spoke with The Scroll expressed regret for the decision, "It makes me sad for two reasons. First, it's so difficult to find fiction that meets Church standards. Second, the New Era was a great starting place for new fiction writers. Many LDS authors got their start by writing short stories for the New Era. The best place for aspiring fiction authors is no longer available," he said. "A few years from now, you may see the quantity and the quality of LDS fiction writers drop off. The New Era was also very good to work with. It is a writer-friendly publication, and not many of those exist."

But Richard M. Romney, director of the Curriculum Planning and Editorial Division of the LDS Church told The Scroll that fiction really wasn't the mission of the magazine. "The major role of the Church magazines has always been to carry the words of the Latter-day Prophets to the members of the Church worldwide." He said that aspiring writers should, "take advantage of other opportunities to publish fiction, such as in Church university publications and other wholesome periodicals."


'New Era' to write only non-fiction articles
BYU-Idaho Scroll 2Oct01 A1
By Kelly Smurthwaite: Scroll Staff


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