This is a genre friendly blog

Although this blog heavily reflects my major interests in literary fiction, criticism and speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy/horror), I hope to make this a genre friendly place. Indeed, any person who is serious about Mormon literature needs to pay attention to the genres that dominant the field — romance, historical fiction, Young Adult fiction and (to a lesser extent) thrillers and mysteries.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t critically examine individual works or authors or that I will refrain from pointing out the limitations of a particular genre in representing the Mormon experience. I am, however, interested in why certain genres connect with certain segments of the Mormon audience, and I intend to treat that connection with respect. Above all, I hope to take a greater interest in these genres than I have in the past. In fact, I welcome reading suggestions.

I’m especially interested in signs that certain genres or authors are producing higher-quality or more innovative works and that publishers are becoming more sophisticated and interesting in how these works are marketed.

Have a review of or observation about Mormon genre fiction? See my submission guidelines.

Submission guidelines

Motley Vision readers are welcome, of course, to comment on individual posts by clicking on the ‘comments’ link at the bottom of each post. But there may also be times when you have something that deserves its own submission. Feel free to e-mail if you want to submit something or have a post idea, but here’s what I’m looking for:

1. Brief reviews of works of Mormon fiction, poetry, theater and film. Preference will be given to reviews of works that are new, obscure, unique, well-written or all four. That means I’m not interested in reviews of Charly or God’s Army. If in doubt, e-mail me.

2. Reports of Mormon marketing events such as film/theater premieres or author readings that are either major [i.e. big enough that the mainstream news media would report on them] or have a unique or interesting element to them. Example: An author reading/signing where the author reads and signs is not of interest. What I want to hear about is an author reading where the author leads the audience in the singing of LDS hymns or juggles flaming tennis balls or storms out halfway through because someone asks a dumb question.

3. News that impacts the field of Mormon publishing or studies — major author signings, new publishing companies, theater companies, or film studios, strategy shifts for established Mormon publishers, key management and personnel changes, changes in practices or policies regarding author/editor or author/publisher relations, new academic courses on Mormon literature, teasers of upcoming papers or presentations on Mormon literature, etc.

4. Reports of interesting, unique, quirky, evocative or unintentionally hilarious products or books, cd, or dvd promotions and ads, both print and Web.

5. Short works of Mormon criticism and theory. I’m especially interested in:
a. criticism of works that deal explicitly with the Mormon experience
b. criticism that attempts to use Mormon thought to comment on ‘gentile’ literary works
c. criticism that explores Mormon literature as a field — e.g. issues of canon formation, literary history, audience reception, institutionalization, etc.

Mechanics: Submissions should be sent in the body of an e-mail to: motleyvision at gmail dot com [that means no attachments]. Don’t forget to include links to cited or related Websites. Also remember that I’m a Web editor at my day job — I place a premium on the ability to be concise yet informative/entertaining. I will only consider anonymous or pseudonymous (that include Internet handles) submissions for news or events coverage where the use of a “real” name could create difficulties for the submitter. All others must include a byline.

About the author: William Morris

Obligatory switch to third person:

William Morris lives in Oakland, CA, with his wife and daughter. He is a Web editor, Elder’s Quorum instructor*, casual carpool rider, fair weather Giants fan and champion binky wrangler. He considers himself a “gentleman scholar,” which means that he’s too proud of his degrees in English lit and comparative lit to label himself an amateur and too lazy and unfocused to pursue a career in academia. He became enthralled with the idea of Mormon literature when he discovered two and half shelves of Mormon fiction and poetry in the library of the Berkeley LDS Institute and became the first person in decades to check out such titles as Clinton F. Larson’s “The Mantle of the Prophet” and Cracroft and Lambert’s groundbreaking Mormon literature anthology “A Believing People.” He promises to return the work that inspired the title of this blog as soon as he finishes that one essay he’s trying to write.

*After an eight year run (including three different wards), my luck ran out (or rather, I was granted an opportunity to dedicate more of time to the Lord). I’m now a member of the EQ presidency. And I’m still working on that essay. The first draft is finally finished.