Wyoming Arts Council

Scholarships available for 35th annual Wyoming Writers, Inc., conference in Casper

Wyoming Writers, Inc., holds its 35th annual conference June 5-7 in Casper. Featured presenter is Nebraska poet Ted Kooser, who served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006.

One little-known aspect of this statewide writers organization is its community outreach. Members mentor other members and youth throughout the state. The organization also offers scholarships to the conference. Here’s some background on this scholarship program, taken from the WW Inc. web site:

The Memorial Scholarship fund doesn’t get much publicity, but it is an important component of Wyoming Writers, Inc. Emmie Mygatt started the Fund in 1977 with a $500 donation. Emmie was a published author when she moved to Big Horn from the east coast in the late ’60s. She taught a creative writing class at Sheridan College that was so popular the members continued meeting after the class ended, a group that evolved into the Sheridan Range Writers. Emmie envisioned a state-wide writers’ organization and encouraged her group to start one, which they did in June, 1974—Wyoming Writers, Inc.

Emmie believed writers could live anywhere. She helped fledgling writers to believe it as well, assisted writers in learning their craft, and encouraged writers to help each other. She bestowed the original donation with the admonition it be “joyously” spent for an unusual opportunity approved by all.” With Emmie’s blessing, the WW, Inc. board created the Emmie Mygatt Memorial Scholarship Fund. For clarity, the name was shortened in June, 1994.

Each year the number and dollar amounts of the scholarships change depending on donations received and interest rates realized. Donations to the Fund can be made at any time by anyone. Most, but not all, donations are memorials. The principal of the Fund is never touched; the interest accrued is used to give scholarships to writers to attend our annual conference. The scholarship covers conference registration and membership dues for one year to WW, Inc. Although WW, Inc. members receive first preference, non-members may also apply.

If you or someone you know would benefit from a scholarship to the 2009 Wyoming Writer’s Inc. Conference, please write:
Nancy D. Wall
78 Fordham
Pocatello, ID 83201
or email:
wallnanc(AT) isu (DOT) edu
Applications much be received by April 20, 2009.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by May 10, before the early bird conference
registration is due.

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