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. The Wyoming Arts Council is now accepting applications for the Creative Writing Fellowships. Applications must be submitted online through Submittable where full details and eligibility requirements can be found. The deadline to apply is June 10, 2021.
Fiction – Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Kali Fajardo-Anstine is the author of Sabrina & Corina (One World, 2019), finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Bingham Prize, The Story Prize, The Saroyan International Prize, and winner of an American Book Award and Reading the West Award. Fajardo-Anstine is the 2019 recipient of the Denver Mayor’s Award for Global Impact in the Arts.
Her writing has appeared in print and online at Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, O, the Oprah Magazine, The American Scholar, Boston Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Idaho Review, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. Kali has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Tin House, and Hedgebrook. She holds an MFA from the University of Wyoming and is from Denver, Colorado.
Creative Nonfiction – Kailyn McCord
Kailyn McCord writes fiction and nonfiction in Oakland, California, her hometown by way of Oregon, Alaska, and New Orleans. Her work has been shortlisted at Glimmer Train and The Faulkner Society, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Literary Hub, Brevity, The Believer, The Cincinnati Review, The Master’s Review, and Alta Magazine, among others. She holds a BA from Reed College and an MFA from the University of New Orleans, where she was the editor of Bayou Magazine. With support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Ucross Foundation, Montana’s Open AIR, and the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, Kailyn has is at work on new short fiction, and a nonfiction book about fire in California.
Poetry – Jessica Jacobs
Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books), one of Library Journal’s Best Poetry Books of the Year and winner of the Devil’s Kitchen and Goldie Awards. Her debut collection, Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, won the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock-climbing instructor, bartender, and professor, and now serves as the Chapbook Editor for Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, with whom she co-authored Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire (Spruce Books/PenguinRandomHouse).
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. Check back in January 2022 for the next cycle.
Stefani Farris | Doubleday Memorial Writing Award
Stefani Farris’s manuscript of short stories, Grown Children, was a finalist for the Iowa Award for Short Fiction and a two-time semifinalist for The Journal’s Non/Fiction Prize. Stefani has been a resident of the Ucross Foundation (2018, 2008) and the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska (2005). Her work appears in Gray’s Sporting Journal, the Colorado Review, Zyzzyva, Epiphany, Passages North, and elsewhere. Stefani holds an MFA in fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, and she studied creative writing as an undergraduate at the University of Wyoming. She is also the grateful past recipient of two Wyoming Arts Council literature fellowships (2000, 2011). She lives with her family in Lander, where she works for the Equality State Policy Center and is finishing a novel.
Dakota Richardson | Blanchan Memorial Writing Award
Dakota grew up in the woods of Connecticut and spent much of his time running small boats across the surrounding seascapes of New England. He began working as a salt water fishing guide during the summer months, while attending school in the Berkshire Mountains and then in Manhattan at New York University. After graduating, Dakota packed up his truck and moved to Jackson, Wyoming. There he began work as a fly fishing guide on the Snake River and as a snowmobile guide during the winter. The backcountry of Wyoming has informed all aspects of Dakota’s life; as a fisherman, hunter, and outdoorsman. Dakota finds no better perfection than that of the open land and wild forests through which he can float, climb, ride, and revere.
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. Check back in January 2022 for the next cycle.
Hannah Habermann is a writer, educator and activist focused on the social and environmental conflicts playing out in a rapidly-changing American West. She is honored to receive the Pattie Layser Fellowship and is looking forward to using the grant to explore stories focused on a just energy transition and Indigenous conservation efforts in Wyoming.
She is the co-creator and producer of the podcast Yonder Lies: Unpacking the Myths of Jackson Hole, a collaboration with KHOL 89.1, the Jackson Hole Historical Society, and the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative. Yonder Lies has explored issues of wildlife management, social justice, and the housing crisis in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Hannah is currently the Community Outreach and Communications Manager for the Jackson Hole Climate Action Collective, and also works as a climbing and hiking instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School. In 2020, Hannah was the communications manager for the historic Grey Bull for Congress campaign. She has written for the Jackson Hole News & Guide and holds a degree in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing from Middlebury College.Previous Layser Fellowship Recipients
2019 | Melodie Edwards | Laramie, WY
2020 | Sarah Keller | Bozeman, MTous Creative Writing Fellowship Recipients
List of Previous Creative Writing Fellowship Recipients
Since 1989, 50 talented writers have received Blanchan/Doubleday awards: 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.