Wyoming Arts Council

Creative Writing Fellowships

2019 Creative Writing Fellowship recipient in Fiction, David Romtvedt, shares his work at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference.

Creative Writing Fellowships

Creative Writing fellowships are $3,000 unrestricted awards of merit, based on a writer’s body of work, and honoring Wyoming’s literary artists whose work reflects serious and exceptional writing. One fellowship is awarded in each category of Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Fiction, for a total of three fellowships. Applications are juried by noted authors, literary agents, or writing professionals from outside the state. Jurors may award honorable mentions. Recipients of the Creative Writing fellowships share their work at one of the three Wyoming literary conferences. Applications are currently closed. Check back in spring 2023 for the next round of applications.

Creative Writing – Poetry |Kate Northrop 

Kate Northrop’s recent collections are cuntstruck (C & R Press) and Homewrecker (forthcoming, New Letters, Fall/Winter issue 2022). 

New poems can be found at terrain.org and blackbird.vcu.edu.  She lives in Laramie.


Nonfiction |David Zoby

Photo Courtesy: Kate O’Hara.

Dave Zoby is a freelance writer from Casper. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Sun Magazine, The Missouri Review, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and many others. His first book, Fire on the Beach (Scribner) tells the lost history of Richard Etheridge and his crew of African-American lifesavers on the storm-swept coast of North Carolina. Recently, Dave published “The People’s River”, for Patagonia’s online magazine, The Cleanest Line. In 2014, Dave won this same award in the poetry category.

Creative Writing – Fiction| Francesca King

Francesca King was born in London, England. After completing her MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, she moved to the U.S. to pursue an MFA at the University of Wyoming. She now resides in Laramie with her husband and two cats. Francesca’s first unpublished novel, “The Cello Hospital,” was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize in 2017. Her second novel, “Hiddenland,” was shortlisted for the 2021 Bath Novel Award, and is represented by Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates. An early draft of “Hiddenland” was developed with the support of the University of Wyoming, who generously funded two trips to Iceland and a place on the Arctic Circle Residency.


EJ Levy | Fiction

EJ Levy’s novel, The Cape Doctor (Little Brown, 2021), was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and one of Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of Summer 2021; editions are forthcoming in French, Spanish, and Italian. Her story collection, Love, In Theory, won a Flannery O’Connor Award and GLCA New Writers Award for Fiction and was published in French by Editions Rivages; Kirkus named it a Best Indie Book of 2013. Levy’s anthology, Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers, won a Lambda Award. Her work has received many honors, including a Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in The Paris Review, Best American Essays, The New York Times, Orion, and twice been named among Distinguished Stories in Best American Short Stories. She is an Associate Professor in the MFA Program at Colorado State University.

Florence Williams | Creative Nonfiction

Florence Williams is a journalist, author, and podcaster. She is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, National Geographic, and others. She is the author of three books, including The Nature Fix and, most recently, Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey, which was turned into a genre-bending enhanced audiobook in addition to print. 

Michelle Ortera | Poetry

Michelle Otero served as the Poet Laureate of Albuquerque from 2018-2020. She is the author of the essay collection Malinche’s Daughter, the poetry collection Bosque, and the forthcoming Vessels: A Memoir of Borders (FlowerSong Press, 2022). She is co-editor of 22 Poems and a Prayer for El Paso, a tribute to victims of the 2019 El Paso shooting and winner of a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award.

She is a member of Macondo Writer’s Workshop. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, on the Modern Love Podcast, NPR’s Code Switch, and in New Mexico Magazine, Shenandoah, and The Best of Brevity Anthology. She is a member of Macondo Writers Workshop. Originally from Deming, New Mexico, she holds a B.A. in History from Harvard College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College.


Neltje Blanchan and Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Awards 

The Frank Nelson Doubleday Award of $1,000 is given for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script written by a woman writer. The Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award, $1,000, is given annually for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script which is informed by a relationship with the natural world. 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. Applications are currently closed. Applications for the next round will open in January 2023.

2022 Award Recipients

Hollie Sambrooks | Laramie | Frank Nelson Doubleday Award

Hollie Sambrooks moved to Wyoming in 2001 from the farmlands of Australia. She loves to travel and being in a new place often inspires her sporadic writing. Hollie writes down the things that haunt her and the things that she cannot bear to forget, and she finds that a touch of magical realism can be more truthful to the heart of a story than fact. She lives in Laramie with her husband and daughter.


Brandon McQuade | Gillette | Neltje Blanchan Award

Brandon McQuade is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick (BA) and Trinity College Dublin (M.Phil). He is the founding editor of

Duck Head Journal, an online, non-profit quarterly publication. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Dreich, Red Eft Review, 34 Orchard, Vita Brevis and Eunoia Review. McQuade’s debut chapbook, Bleeding Heart, was published by Kelsay Books (2021), and his debut collection, Mango Seed, was recently published by Scurfpea Publishing. He lives in Gillette, Wyoming with his wife and their children.



Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship

The Wyoming Arts Council, with generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund announces the Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship. Open to writers and journalists, this fellowship seeks to intersect science, education, current events, and conservation to effectively communicate the Greater Yellowstone’s natural history and singular importance to society through creative and exceptional writing and subject communication.

This annual prestigious fellowship of $3,500 will be 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. Established and recognized authors are being sought, but emerging and mid-career writers are also encouraged to apply. Applications are currently closed. Applications for the next round will open in January 2023.

2022 Award Recipient

Katie Christiansen | Evergreen, CO

Katie Shepherd Christiansen is an artist, naturalist, and conservationist. Katie is editor and illustrator of the book The Artist’s Field Guide to Yellowstone (2021), which she created in partnership with fifty local artists and writers. Since 2016, she has served as Artist-in-Residence at the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative (Jackson, WY). Her intricate wildlife portraits, nature writing, and hand-painted maps appear in books, galleries, journals, and on natural area interpretive resources across the Yellowstone region, including Bozeman’s Story Mill Community Park, Jackson’s Astoria Hot Springs Conservancy, and in Paradise Valley’s West Creek Ranch.

She is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts funding, and through her organization, Coyote Art & Ecology, has collaborated with various local, national, and international organizations including Trust for Public Land, City of Bozeman, Gallatin Watershed Council, Ucross Foundation, Jackson Hole Public Art, Astoria Park Conservancy, Teton Conservation District, the Town of Jackson, and National Geographic. Katie is a contributing columnist to Mountain Journal and illustrates books including the recently released Atlas of Conflict Resolution: A Montana Field-Guide to Sharing Ranching Landscapes with Wildlife by Dr. Hannah Jaicks. She holds a master’s degree from Yale’s School of the Environment, where she studied as a Wyss Conservation Scholar focusing her research on Yellowstone’s biophysical, cultural, and political contexts.

Katie’s knowledge of natural systems and sense for beauty lend to her artwork’s fine attention to detail. Katie’s work in conservation spans science, policy, management, communications, grassroots organizing, community building, outreach, and education. Her work is inspired by her time spent in nature across the intermountain West, her childhood in Northern Michigan, and her time now as the mother of two young children.

Katie’s newest endeavor, The Greater Yellowstone Seasonal Almanac, is a practical guide to help to reconnect local people to the land, to wild communities, and to each other by bringing to life the cyclical, concurrent happenings of our ecosystem in word and illustration. The project is supported by the Raynes Wildlife Fund (Jackson, WY) and the Layser Memorial Fund, administered by the Wyoming Arts Council.

Previous Creative Writing Fellowship Recipients
  • Fiscal Year 1987 (awarded 1986)
    Tilly Warnock; Laramie, Len Sherwin; Douglas, Kirk Keller; Moran, Mary Alice Gunderson; Casper. Jurors: Mark Harelik, William Kloefkorn and Marilyn Krysl.
  • FY 88 (awarded 1987)
    Sandra Dorr; Story, Mark Jenkins; Laramie, John Nesbitt; Torrington, Tim Sandlin; Jackson. Jurors: Joy Harjo, Nancy Mairs and Bill Ransom.
  • FY 89 (awarded 1988)
    B.J. Buckley, Arvada; David Mouat, Worland; Mark Spragg, Wapiti; Geoff Peterson; Green River. Jurors: Marvin Bell, Terry McMillan and Kim Stafford.
  • FY 90 (awarded 1989)
    Rick Kempa, Rock Springs; Jennifer McMullin, Casper; Barbara Smith, Rock Springs; Dan Whipple, Casper. Jurors: Ray Gonzalez, Diane Wakoski and Jerome Washington.
  • FY 91 (awarded 1990)
    Vicki Lindner, Laramie; Michael Riley, Cody; Geoff O’Gara, Lander (only three winners in FY 91). Jurors: David Lee, Russell Martin and Mary LaChapelle.
  • FY 92 (awarded 1991)
    C.J. Box, Cheyenne; Len Edgerly, Casper; Dainis Hazners, Story; Julia Hoagland, Powell. Jurors: Denise Chavez, Don Snow and Michael Martone.
  • FY 93 (awarded 1992)
    Leslie (Bridewell) McMillan, Rock Springs; Scott Hagel, Cody; Mark Jenkins, Laramie; Page Lambert, Sundance. Jurors: Starkey Flythe, Jr., Linda Hasselstrom and David Milofsky.
  • FY 94 (awarded 1993)
    Tim McGee, Worland; Hannah Hinchman, Dubois; Rodney Mahaffey, Casper; and Lawrence Sullenger, Story. Jurors: Simon Ortiz, Scott Walker and Wanda Coleman.
  • FY 95 (awarded 1994)
    Janell Hanson, Laramie; Craig Johnson, Ucross; Marie J. Carvalho, Rock Springs; Stephanie Buehler, Sheridan. Jurors: Dagoberto Gilb, Gregg Levoy and Robert Greer.
  • FY 96 (awarded 1995)
    C.L. Rawlins, Laramie; Suzanne Tyler, Jackson; Jane Wohl, Sheridan; Ron Franscell, Gillette. Jurors: Peggy Shumaker, Michael Katakis and Melissa Pritchard.
  • FY 97 (awarded 1996)
    Laura Bell, Shell; Bob McKee, Douglas; Diane LeBlanc, Laramie; David Romtvedt, Buffalo. Jurors: Ron Carlson, Elizabeth Woody and E. Ethelbert Miller.
  • FY 98 (awarded 1997)
    Dainis Hazners, Story; Jon Billman, Kemmerer; Julia Hoagland, Powell; Maija Rhee Devine, Laramie. Jurors: Mary Crow; Kevin McIlvoy; and Jewell Parker Rhodes.
  • FY 99 (awarded 1998)
    Carol Deering, Riverton; Christy Stillwell, Laramie; William Hoagland, Powell; Lisa Vice, Thermopolis. Jurors: Agha Shahid Ali, Jonis Agee and Kent Nelson.
  • FY 00 (awarded 1999)
    Mark Spragg, Cody; Alyson Hagy, Laramie; Sam Western, Sheridan; Martha Clark Cummings, Thermopolis. Jurors: Sandra Alcosser, Mark Amerika and Stephanie von Hirschberg.
  • FY 01 (awarded 2000)
    Robert Druchniak, Evanston; Charles Levendosky, Casper; Stefani Farris, Laramie; Geoff Peterson, Green River. Jurors: Lewis Nordan, Judyth Hill and Gary Ferguson.
  • FY 02 (awarded 2001)
    Rodney Gene Mahaffey, Casper; Paisley Rekdal, Laramie; Chavawn Kelley, Laramie; Bo Moore, Green River. Jurors: M.L. Liebler, Bill Tremblay and Sharman Apt Russell.
  • FY 03 (awarded 2002)
    Diane Panozzo, Tie Siding; Ted Kerasote, Jackson; Ann McCutchan, Laramie; Connie Wieneke, Wilson. Jurors: Robert Priest, Lisa D. Chavez and Bob Fox.
  • FY 04 (poetry – awarded 2003)
    W. Dale Nelson, Laramie; Page Lambert, Sundance; and Michael Harkin, Laramie. Judge: Virgil Suarez.
  • FY 05 (creative nonfiction – awarded 2004)
    Heather LaVonne Jensen, Cheyenne; Laura Bell, Cody; and Vicki Lindner, Casper. Judge: Elmaz Abinader
  • FY 06 (fiction – awarded 2005)
    John English, Casper; Alyson Hagy, Laramie; Geneen Marie Haugen, Kelly. Judge: James Sallis
  • FY 07 (poetry – awarded 2006)
    Jane Wohl, Sheridan; Myra L. Peak, Green River; and Jeffe Kennedy, Laramie. Judge: Rosemary Daniell
  • FY 08 (creative nonfiction – awarded 2007)
    John Sutton of Sheridan, John D. Nesbitt of Torrington, Chavawn Kelley of Laramie. Judge: Nick Flynn
  • FY 09 (fiction – awarded 2008)
    Kevin Holdsworth, Green River; Doug Reitinger, Sheridan; and Valerie Pexton, Laramie. Judge: Laura Pritchett.
  • FY 10 (poetry — awarded 2009)
    Sam Renken, Laramie; Lori Van Pelt, Saratoga; and David Zoby, Casper. Judge: Greg Pape.
  • FY 11 (creative nonfiction – awarded 2010)
    Joel Burdess, Casper; Jayme Feary, Jackson; and Pam Galbreath, Laramie. Judge: Lee Gutkind.
  • FY 12 (fiction – awarded 2011)
    Kathy Bjornestad, Sundance; Samuel Western, Sheridan; Stefani Farris, Lander. Judge: Pam Houston.
  • FY 13 (poetry — awarded 2012)
    Claudia Mauro, Jackson; Matt Daly, Jackson; W. Dale Nelson, Laramie. Judge: Brian Turner
  • FY 14 (creative nonfiction — awarded 2013)
    Chad Hanson, Casper; Mary Beth Baptiste, Laramie; Heather Jensen, Cheyenne. Judge: Connie May Fowler
  • FY 15 (fiction — awarded 2014)
    Shawn Klomparens, Jackson; Estella Soto, Laramie. Judge: Meg Pokrass
  • FY 16 (poetry — awarded 2015)
    Carol Deering, Riverton; Constance Brewer, Gillette; Kathleen Smith, Gillette. Judge: Rebecca Foust.
  • FY17 (awarded FY16)
    Stephen S. Lottridge, Jackson (Creative Nonfiction); Connie Wieneke, Wilson (Poetry);  Michael Sudmeier, Wilson (Fiction). Judges: Creative Nonfiction – Dave Madden, Fiction – Ted Thompson, Poetry – Laurie Saurborn
  • FY18 (awarded FY17)Cara Rodriguez, Casper (Poetry); Ben Wener, Cody (Fiction); Carly Fraysier, Clearmont (Creative Nonfiction). Judges: Poetry – Bill Tremblay, Fiction – Kelly Luce, Justin St. Germain (Creative Nonfiction)
  • FY19 (awarded FY18): David Romtvedt, Portland (Fiction); Kate O’Hara, Kansas (Creative Nonfiction); Catherine Reeves, Casper Judges: Poetry – Cecily Parks, Creative Nonfiction – Mike Scalise, Fiction – Andrew Altschul
  • FY 20 (awarded FY19) Jason Stenar Clark, Laramie (Poetry ) Chad Hanson, Casper (Creative Nonfiction) Erin Jones, Laramie (Fiction) Judges: Poetry – Ethelbert Miller, Creative Nonfiction – Rachel Reiderer, Fiction – Arna Bontemps Hemenway
  • FY 21 (awarded FY20) Betsy Bernfeld, Wilson (Poetry), Susan Marsh, Jackson (Fiction), Shreve Stockton, Ten Sleep (Creative Nonfiction), Judges: Poetry – Kathryn Savage, Fiction – Mesha Maren, Creative Nonfiction – Marie Mockett
  • FY 22 (awarded FY21) Lori Howe, Laramie (Poetry), Taylor Gordon, Laramie (Fiction), Tina Welling, Jackson (Creative Nonfiction), Judges: Poetry – Jessica Jacobs, Fiction – Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Creative Nonfiction – Kailyn McCord


Previous Layser Fellowship Recipients

2021 | Hannah Habermann | Jackson, WY

2020 | Sarah Keller | Bozeman, MT

2019 | Melodie Edwards | Laramie, WY


Previous Blanchan and Doubleday Award Recipients

Since 1989, 50 talented writers have received Blanchan/Doubleday awards:

Stefani Farris, Dakota Richardson, Linda Baker, sid sibo, Liberty Lausterer, Lyndi Waters, Jayme Feary, Erin Jones, Geoffrey O’Gara, Betsy Orient Bernfeld, Hannah Hinchman, David Mouat, Sheila Roberts, Scott Hagel, Holly Skinner, C.L. Rawlins, Marcia Saum, Dainis Hazners, Barbara Gilbert, William Hoagland, Diane LeBlanc, Tina Willis, Maija Rhee Devine, Mary Beth Baptiste, Julene Bair, Chavawn Kelley, Geneen Marie Haugen, Janell Hanson, Mark Spragg, Karol Griffin, Stefani Farris, Laura Bell, Darcy Lipp-Acord, Jack Clinton, Tina Welling, Susan Marsh, Myra L. Peak, Marcia Hensley, Jeffe Kennedy, Melodie Edwards, Bo Moore, Barbara Smith, Alisan Peters, Lou O. Madison, Christine B. Nelson, W. Dale Nelson, Nina S. McConigley, Patricia Frolander, Edith Cook, George Vlastos, Christine Fadden, Yvette Ward-Horner, Matt Daly and Marylee White.

Grant Information

Deadline: Varies
Amount: $3,000 and $1,000
Contact: Kimberly Mittelstadt