Wyoming Arts Council

Announcing the recipient of the 2020 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing & Journalism Fellowship

Sarah Keller of Bozeman, Mont. is the recipient of the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2020 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing & Journalism Fellowship for her entry, “Out of Fire and Ice: Climate change is showing archaeologists that the high Northern Rockies were once much more crowded than they imagined.”

Honorable mentions were given to Linda Baker of Pinedale, Wyo., Hannah Habermann of Jackson, Wyo., Michael Koshmrl of Jackson, Wyo., Kristen Pope of Victor, Idaho, and Cassidy Randall of Missoula, Mont.

The Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing & Journalism Fellowship is made possible through generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund. This annual prestigious fellowship of $3,500 is awarded to a creative writer (poetry, fiction, nonfiction), or those in the field of journalism (writer, photojournalist, videographer, documentary filmmaker, online or print media) who demonstrate serious inquiry and dedication to the Greater Yellowstone region through their work. Over the next year, Keller will create or complete a relevant publishable or produced work and have the opportunity for a housing residency in the greater Yellowstone region. 

Sarah Keller is a Montana-based writer who covers people and nature through the lenses of science, conservation, hunting, and natural resource management. Adaptation, ingenuity, and resilience in the face of change are major themes in her work. She has reported on topics such as how wolverines will weather climate change, mountaineers helping to learn how our bodies work under stress, the science behind wildlife habitat conservation, and ecologists helping alpine forests survive. 

Her writing has appeared in “High Country News,” “Biographic,” “Ensia,” Smithsonian.com, “MeatEater,” “VICE News,” “New Scientist,” “Adventure Journal,” and “The Center for Public Integrity.” Keller has an academic background in ecology and climate science, with a master’s degree in Earth Science from the University of New Mexico. She is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz Science Communication program. When not writing, Keller is dedicated to procuring food through hunting, foraging and gardening, and is an avid backcountry skier and cyclist.

The jurors this year were Susan Marsh and Todd Wilkinson. Susan lives in Jackson, Wyo. With degrees in geology and landscape architecture and a lifelong interest in creative writing, she has combined her interests into a body of work that explores the relationship of humans to the wild. Her work has appeared in journals that include “Orion,” “North American Review,” and “Fourth Genre,” and in many anthologies. Her books include the award-winning novel “War Creek” and non-fiction books, “A Hunger for High Country,” “Cache Creek: A Trailside Guide to Jackson Hole’s Backyard Wilderness,” and “Saving Wyoming’s Hoback,” winner of the Wallace Stegner Prize in Environmental Humanities. She writes a column “Back to Nature” for “Mountain Journal.”

Todd is the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative’s Writer in Residence and is the founder and publisher of online MountainJournal.org. Known for his stories and analyses about issues shaping the Greater Yellowstone, Todd’s award-winning works have been featured in publications ranging from “National Geographic” to the “Washington Post.” He is also the author of books on subjects as diverse as the life of “eco-capitalist” Ted Turner and “Grizzly 399,” a famous Greater Yellowstone bear.

For more information about the fellowship contact Taylor Craig at 307-274-6673 or taylor.craig@wyo.gov.

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