Wyoming Arts Council

Creative Writing Fellowships

The Wyoming Arts Council offers two fellowship opportunities for Wyoming creative writers.

2018 Creative Writing Fellowship recipient in Creative Nonfiction, Carly Fraysier, shares her work at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference this June.

Creative Writing Fellowships


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.

2019 Creative Writing Fellowship Recipients

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 Penn Review,” “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).

2018 Blanchan and Doubleday Memorial Writing Award Recipients

Maria Lisa Eastman of Hyattville, WY
Wyoming rancher Maria Lisa Eastman hails from the suburbs of Hyattville, pop. 100. She and her husband Skip operate the Oxbow Ranch, a sometimes-for-profit hay and cattle outfit, and Rainhorse Equine Assisted Services, a verifiable non-profit, where unfortunate horses are rehabilitated to help people who have had troubles themselves. She’s been convinced from an early age that horses are her next-of-kin, and they have long been her guides. While riding colts out in the foothills of New Mexico, she began to collect and study the native grasses, and was inspired to earn a degree in range and watershed. Maria likes to think the good life she lives now was given to her by horses. Her poetry arises from the vast landscapes of northwest Wyoming, from its animals, plants, and people.

Renée Carrier of Hulett, WY 
Raised in an Air Force family, Renée Carrier began school in France and lived in five Southern states, before “migrating” to Wyoming at eighteen to attend the university, where she earned a B.A. in French. Her collection of creative, non-fiction essays, A Singular Notion, was published in 2006 by Pronghorn Press, a small press in Wyoming, under their imprint, Higher Shelf. In 2010, she edited, compiled and published, as a short run, her late father’s early aviation memoir. Devils Tower Natural History Association hired her to revise parts of The Devils Tower Climbing Handbook in 1994. The Owen Wister Review, among other anthologies, has included her work. Since January 2015, Renée has been working on a series, mainly set in the Black Hills. The Riven Country of Senga Munro is the working title of the first novel. She has completed two more, with the third presently in revision.

An honorable mention for the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award was given to Earle Layser of Alta, and an honorable mention for the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award was given to Lyndi Bell O’Laughlin from Kaycee.

Award recipients and honorable mentions are selected anonymously by jurors from outside the state. The jurors for the 2018 Blanchan and Doubleday Awards was Melissa Kwasny.

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. 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.

Previous Creative Writing Fellowship Recipients

List of Previous 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)


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.


Grant Information

Deadline: Varies
Amount: $3,000 and $1,000
Contact: Rachel Clifton
Apply Here