2015 Conference in Cheyenne is One To Remember!

Thank you to all who joined us at 
our 41st Annual Wyoming Writers Conference is in Cheyenne June 5-7, 2015.

Our 42nd Annual Conference will be held 
in Riverton, at the Wind River Casino, June 3, 4, 5, 2016.

Tom Spence
for the Board of Directors of Wyoming Writers, Inc.

On Saturday afternoon, June 6, most of those in attendance at the Wyoming Writers, Inc.’s 2015 Conference missed the running of the Belmont Stakes and the first Triple Crown winner (American Pharoah) since 1978. Oh well. Love racing, love horses if you will (and I do), so I caught the replay. 

On the other hand, the Conference could not be tape-looped, so the once in a lifetime experience of a wonderful slate of presenters, classes, open mics, pitching, schmoozing—almost universally praised in the evaluations—has come and gone. 

Laura Pritchett, did classes in the novel: shaping, kneading, what—and what not—to say. Kent Nelson worked over short fiction: getting started, page crits, writing craft. Aaron Abeyta, talked and taught poetry: plumbing the story past the poet to rediscover the real poet and then the real poem. Editors of fiction (Tiffany Schofield), non-fiction (Patrick Thomas), and historical Western non-fiction (Meghan Saar) gave the conferees a wide range of choices.

At the banquet on Saturday, a moving and powerful key-note speech by Aaron Abeyta left the room silent, blinking, and “throat-lumpy” with introspection.

Friday p. m., critique tables, and evening open mic sessions were well attended, productive, and enjoyable.

We did some business, and elected and inducted new Board members: Marjane Ambler (Atlantic City), Jocelyn Moore (Pinedale), Abbie Taylor (Sheridan); confirmed returning board members under new designations: Chris Williams (Past President), Tom Spence (President), Chris Ellsworth (Vice President), and Margaret Smith-Braniff (returning as Secretary). Brie Blasi will continue as treasurer, ex-officio. We heaped profuse and well-earned thanks on the outgoing president Chris Williams, Conference Chair, Susan Mark, promotions and awards organizers Lynn and Mike Carlson, and our host’s staff. Modesty prevents me from describing how we chowed down shamelessly.

Full disclosure: the attendance was less than we had hoped for. We gave it our best shot in the wake of the festivities of the 125th Statehood Anniversary, and the Vietnam Vets Welcoming along I-25. Those events, or the weather, or the syzygy in the heavens, or a failure to propitiate the muses (and other excuses) are a very partial explanation.

But, the wise fellow who said: “The fault is not in our stars…, but in ourselves,” explained a lot. And another wise fellow who lives down the road from me has a point: “You can hoist a flag, but you cannot guarantee anyone will salute.” Still, those who came attested that the Conference was an extraordinary and enjoyable experience.

Now, we’re paying bills, writing thank you notes, and taking a breath or two. Were already at work on the Conference in Riverton, Wind River Casino, June 3, 4, 5, 2016. Put it on your calendar now! Do not be shy with input, ideas, suggestions, or volunteered time. It’s your organization.


WAC_CMYK_Vert-01 The Wyoming Writers Inc. 2015 conference was supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.