Jon Christopher Conkling is a screenwriter, writer, and university teacher. He wrote the screenplay for The Emmett Smith Story and coauthored the screenplay for the animated version of the Lord of the Rings (which was nominated for a Hugo Award). He has published articles in the Ensign, BYU Studies, and the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. He is the author of A Joseph Smith Chronology (1979) and the award-winning article on Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” His paper “The Dark Ages: The L.D.S. Church and Japan, 1924–1948” has been a source for the work of historian R. Lanier Britsch.
He has been an instructor at the American Jewish University located in Bel-Air, California, where he created courses in literature of utopia and literature of evil, taught ancient Greek and Roman literature, and was faculty advisor for several years on the student newspaper. He has taught 12th grade English and creative writing. He has also worked in the fields of advertising and public relations.
Conkling has studied at several universities, including Brigham Young University; University of California, Los Angeles; California State University, Dominguez Hills; Dartmouth College; and earned his teaching credentials at California State University, Northridge.
He is part of the performing King Family; his mother, Donna King Conkling, sang with the The King Sisters. His father, James, was a record executive, Capitol Record's first vice president, president of Columbia Records, and founder and first president of Warner Bros. Records. He also helped to found the Grammy Awards and became the Grammy's first national chairman.
Conkling is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Robin, are the parents of six children.