The Wyoming Arts Council offers fellowship opportunities for Wyoming creative writers.
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. Poets, fiction writers, essayists, and script writers who have published no more than one book in each genre and who are not students or faculty members are invited to apply by submitting manuscripts and an entry form by the deadline.
Belle 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 North Carolina Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. She teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.
The Wyoming Arts Council, with generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund announces the Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship. This new fellowship is a national call open to writers and journalists and 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.
Applications are accepted online via Submittable at https://wyomingartscouncil.submittable.com/submit. The application deadline is March 15, 2019.
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.
In addition, the fellowship recipient may elect to also receive a one to two week housing residency at one of the prearranged different locations within the greater Yellowstone region, including, but not limited to, for example, the AMK Ranch, National Elk Refuge, or Taft-Nickolson Center. Such residency will be based on availability and will be negotiated with the fellowship recipient.
The fellowship recipient will be expected to create or complete a relevant publishable or produced work and may be requested or encouraged to make public presentations. Any works and presentations will appropriately acknowledge or credit the support of the Pattie and Earle Layser Greater Yellowstone Fellowship and the Wyoming Arts Council.
Celebrated journalist, Todd Wilkinson, who is also the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative’s Writer in Residence and the founder and publisher of online MountainJournal.org, will serve as the primary juror for the inaugural. 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.
A complete list of eligibility requirements and additional information can be found on the Arts Council website at www.wyomingartscouncil.org. For more information, contact the Arts Council at 307-777-7742.
WHAT IS A CREATIVE WRITING FELLOWSHIP?
Creative Writing fellowships are awards of merit, based on a writer’s body of work, and honoring Wyoming’s literary artists whose work reflects serious and exceptional writing. The format of the 2018 fellowships is as follows: one fellowship will be 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 will share their work at a Wyoming literary conference.
Fiction – David Romtvedt was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in southern Arizona. He received a BA in American Studies from Reed College and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a graduate fellow in Folklore and Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked as a carpenter, tree planter, truck driver, bookstore clerk, assembly line operative, letter carrier, blueberry picker, ranch hand, musician, and college professor.
His most recent books are the poetry collection “Dilemmas of the Angels” (Louisiana State University Press, 2017) and the novel “Zelestina Urza in Outer Space” (University of Nevada Center for Basque Studies, 2015). Past books include, “Buffalotarrak: An Anthology of the Basques of Buffalo, Wyoming,” “Windmill: Essays from Four Mile Ranch,” two books of fiction—”Crossing Wyoming” and “Free and Compulsory for All”—and the poetry collections “Some Church,” “Certainty,” “How Many Horses,” “Moon,” and “A Flower Whose Name I Do Not Know” which was selected for the National Poetry Series. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry, NEA trinational fellowship in music and poetry, the Pushcart Prize, and the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award, Romtvedt served for seven years as Poet Laureate of Wyoming.
With the Fireants, Romtvedt performs dance music of the Americas and has released three recordings, “Bury my Clothes,” “Ants on Ice,” and “It’s Hot (about three weeks a year).” With Ospa, he has recorded “Hori da (That’s It!),” traditional and contemporary Basque music.
Romtvedt has served as the Centrum Foundation’s folk arts manager and been a staff musician at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Pinewoods Family Week, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Sierra Swing, and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Creative Nonfiction – Kate O’Hara was born in Dodge City, Kansas. Yes, there was a basement; yes there was asbestos. She studied philosophy and history at KU in Lawrence and moved to Wyoming in 2004. Kate is a painter, writer, and a yoga teacher. She likes to spend her free time walking around looking for animals, and she’s been to Alaska twice (she met Buck Wilde)! She likes to swim in the ocean and at the lake. She rescued a dragonfly from a puddle once and then he came back to visit her and brought a swarm with him–that whole summer the dragonflies surrounded her. Kate also rescued a bunch of bumble bees once from a similar shallow body of water by letting them climb into her curls like little life preservers. She’s collected some cool rocks and bones and likes to make carrot salad. She was raised by an atheist feminist in the middle of Kansas so, yes, she’s lonely.
Poetry – Catherine Reeves was born in Casper, but now lives in Cheyenne with her husband and two children. She earned an MA at the University of Wyoming, with a focus on American Poetry and Gender Studies. She has taught English and served as the Language Arts Consultant for the Wyoming Department of Education. In the fall, she will study law at the University of Wyoming. You may find her poetry in “The PennReview,” “Rust+Moth,” “Rise Up Review” and “By&By Poetry.”
Honorable mentions were given to Chad Hanson of Casper in Poetry, Jen Kocher of Newcastle in the Fiction category, Elise Schmelzer of Casper and Kevin Grange of Jackson in Creative Nonfiction.
Submissions are juried anonymously by jurors from outside the state. The jurors for this year’s Creative Writing Fellowships were Cecily Parks (Poetry), Andrew Altschul (Fiction), and Mike Scalise (Creative Nonfiction).
List of Previous Blanchan and Doubleday Award Recipients
Since 1989, 46 talented writers have received Blanchan/Doubleday awards: 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.