Featured News | May 7, 2019
Liberty Lausterer of Laramie and Lyndi Waters of Kaycee are the recipients of the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2019 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards.
Lausterer won the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award for her entry, “Liberty: A Spiritual Memoir,” and Waters received the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award for her entry, “In the Key of Green Tractor.”
An honorable mention for the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award was given to Sidney Woods of Afton, and an honorable mention for the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award was given to Lynn Carlson from Cheyenne.
The Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award are made possible through the generosity of a private donor. The Blanchan award is given for the best writing that is informed by a relationship with the natural world; the Doubleday award is given for the best writing by a woman writer. Both awards are designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers.
Liberty Lausterer used to be a pastor. She received her Master of Divinity from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California and served congregations in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. She’s preached to thousands in Ethiopia and prayed with southern holy-rollers who stockpiled canned goods and bottled water in preparation for the end times. After a decade in ministry, Liberty discovered the gospel she proclaimed from the pulpit was no longer good news. Eden was a lie and Eve an archetype for freedom. Since moving to Laramie, she has written a spiritual memoir that offers a modern-day retelling of Eve’s story. Now she writes and hikes in search of the sacred feminine. Her husband and two cats are her faithful companions.
After growing up in California, Lyndi Waters toured the U.S. and Canada trick riding at PRCA rodeos before moving to Wyoming in 1976. She has a degree in nursing, and recently finished an unpublished chapbook of poems titled, “In the Key of Green Tractor.” Lyndi is a Pushcart Prize nominee, winner of the 2018 Eugene V. Shea National Poetry Contest, and was awarded third place in the 2019 Shea contest. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in anthologies and literary journals such as, “Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers” (Sastrugi Press, 2016), “Troubadour” (Picaroon Poetry Press, U.K., 2017), “The Owen Wister Review,” “Gyroscope Review,” “Unbroken Journal,” “The New Verse News,” and others. Lyndi lives in Kaycee with a few chickens, and an old bulldog who has a wicked skin condition and loves avocado.
The juror for this year was Belle Boggs. Boggs is the author of “The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood” and “Mattaponi Queen,” a collection of linked stories set along Virginia’s Mattaponi River. “The Art of Waiting” was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and was named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, the Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, and O, the Oprah Magazine. “Mattaponi Queen” won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts,the N.C. Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. She teaches in the MFA program at N.C. State University.
The Blanchan and Doubleday awards program is an annual competition administered by the Wyoming Arts Council. For more information about the awards visit the Arts Council website wyomingartscouncil.org or call 307-777-7473.