The Wyoming Arts Council uses Submittable to accept applications for the annual Creative Writing Fellowships, the annual Performing Arts Fellowships, and the Frank Nelson Doubleday and Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Awards. Please visit the Arts Council website for additional information about fellowships. 

New this year!  

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 importance to society through creative and exceptional writing and communication. 

We cannot overlook the importance of wild country as a source of inspiration, to which we give expression in writing, in poetry, drawing and painting, in mountaineering, or in just being there. — Olaus Murie

About the 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.

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.

Goals

  1. Showcase writing and/or communication informed by an empathetic and knowledgeable relationship with the natural world; 
  2. Contribute to the understanding of the uniqueness of the Greater Yellowstone’s wild places and their intersection with and importance to our contemporary culture and world view; 
  3. Communicate the importance and value for finding common ground solutions for potential and critical ecological issues within the Greater Yellowstone region;
  4. Demonstrate a potential to effectively meld science, conservation, natural history, aesthetics, and art in a nontechnical manner, communicating significantly, eloquently, and convincingly, about the importance of nature, the natural world, wildlife and wild places, and the value of open spaces and public lands, within the Greater Yellowstone, and as a result, also for Wyoming and society in general.    

Eligibility

  • This is a national fellowship open to U.S. citizens or legal residents.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age at time of application.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have legal resident status (proof of U.S. citizenship and/or resident status may be required).
  • May not be affiliated with the Wyoming Arts Council either as a board member or staff member, including their families, whether full-time, part-time or contractual.
  • May not be an employee of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.
  • Can only receive a total of two Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowships in your lifetime.
  • Can receive one Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship within a 5 year period.
  • You may enter the fellowship competition only once by the deadline.

Selection Criteria

  • Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of jurors selected by the Wyoming Arts Council. Jurors may be writers, publishers, or other notable experts in the field.
  • Submissions will be juried anonymously.
  • Jurors will evaluate submissions based on:
  1. The quality of the overall application.
  2. Quality and significance of the work sample(s) submitted.
  3. Applicant’s demonstrated publication history, future focus, knowledge of issues and expertise with the Greater Yellowstone region.
  4. Demonstrated quality and significance of the applicant’s previous publications or productions for the Greater Yellowstone region.
  5. Contemporary relevance of the applicant’s proposed project.

Submission Guidelines – Creative Writing

  • You may submit up to 20 pages of text, typed, single-spaced using a 12-point standard font; or short sample video/film excerpts or examples (see Journalism below).
  • Writing may have been previously published, but must be submitted in manuscript form – please don’t submit/attach reprints.
  • Pages must be numbered; include title of work and page number on each page.
  • For a book excerpt, you may provide a synopsis, but it must be included in the 20-page limit.
  • You may submit more than one piece, as long as you don’t exceed the 20-page limit.
  • Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript or production.
  • If you submit more than the allowable page limits, extra pages will be removed.
  • Upload a resume that lists previous publications or productions, including any upcoming publications or works.
  • Sample work must have been created within the past 5 years.
  • All application material must be combined into one document and uploaded.
  • Include a statement not to exceed a one page document describing how the award will be applied to accomplish your goals.
  • Provide proposed publication information—e.g. was or will be published: name, title, date, anthology, journal, book, web address, etc. 
    • Describe intended readership.
    • Describe how your work addresses the goals of the fellowship.
    • Describe how the proposed work addresses and contributes to the public education, identification, appreciation, and protection of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem’s natural features.

Submission Guidelines – Journalism and other Communication Media

  • If submitting writing samples only, follow the guidelines for Creative Writing.
  • If submitting audio, video, or images you may submit up to 6 work samples. (.jpg, .tiff, .png, MP3, MP4, WAV, MOV, or WMV file formats accepted)
  • Upload a resume that includes previous publications or produced work, including any upcoming productions.
  • Works must have been created within the past 5 years.
  • Your name must not appear anywhere on the application or production.
  • Provide a one page document describing how the award will be applied to accomplish your goals and that of the Fellowship.
  • Provide publication or distribution information—e.g. was or will be published: name, title, date, anthology, journal, book, web address, etc. 
    • Describe intended audience(s) and how you propose to reach those audiences.
    • Describe how your work addresses the goals of the fellowship.  
    • See also Submission Guidelines for Creative Writing above.

If you win the Fellowship

  • You’ll receive $3,500 up front.
  • The funding must be used toward creating a publishable or produced work. 
  • You’ll sign a contract that verifies you’re eligible to receive this award.
  • You must supply a short bio and a photograph for publicity.
  • The Wyoming Arts Council will retain a copy of submitted materials for possible use in excerpts for promotional purposes and Arts Council publications (print and electronic).
  • You will retain all rights to the work you submit with your application and the work you produce.
  • You must fill out a final report following the fellowship, which asks questions about how this award helped you and what you accomplished during the year you received it.
  • You may be requested and/or encouraged to make public presentation(s).
  • You must acknowledge or credit financial support in your work and presentations to the Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship and the Wyoming Arts Council. 

This Year's Juror

Celebrated journalist Todd Wilkinson, based in Bozeman, Montana, will serve as the primary juror for the inaugural. Known for his stories and analysis about issues shaping the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, his work has appeared in publications ranging from National Geographic to The Guardian, Washington Post. He also is the author of books on subjects as diverse as scientific whistleblowers, the life of "eco-capitalist" Ted Turner, and Jackson Hole Grizzly 399, a famous bear in the Greater Yellowstone. Wilkinson is the founder of Mountain Journal (mountainjournal.org ), a public interest journalism site exploring the intersection between humans and nature in Greater Yellowstone and the larger West. 

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. 

This award is 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.

Guidelines for the 2019 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age at time of application.
  • Must not be a full-time student pursuing high school, college, or university art-related degrees.
  • Must not be full-time college faculty.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have legal resident status (evidence of U.S. citizenship, resident status and state residency may be required).
  • May not be affiliated with the Wyoming Arts Council either as a board member or staff member, including their families, whether full-time, part-time or contractual.
  • May not be an employee of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.
  • Must have been domiciled within the state borders for a total of 20 months in the previous two years.
  • Must remain a Wyoming resident for at least one year after award, living in the state for at least 10 months of the year.
  • Must not have received a Blanchan or Doubleday award in the last four years. You may apply for these awards if you received a 2018 (or previous year) creative writing fellowship.
  • You may not have received a 2019 (or current year) Arts Council creative writing fellowship.
  • You may enter if you have never published a book, if you’ve published only one full-length book of fiction, poetry or nonfiction, or if you have published no more than one book of poetry, one of fiction, and one of nonfiction (self-publication excluded).
  •  For the Doubleday category, you must be a woman.  

Manuscript guidelines:

  • Submit work in one genre only.
  • Writing may have been previously published. 
  • Manuscript must be consecutively page-numbered. Include title of work and page numbers on each page.
  • Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • If you submit more than the allowed page limits (see below), extra pages will be removed; you will not be notified.
  • If novel or play/film synopses are part of the manuscript (this is often helpful to the juror), include them in the total page number count.

Length requirements:

  • Poetry, maximum length: 10 pages. Type single-spaced, with no more than one poem per page.
  • Fiction and creative nonfiction, maximum length: 25 pages. Type double-spaced. 
  • Drama and screenplays, maximum length: 25 pages. Must be typed and presented in the standard, industry-accepted format for the type of script submitted.

Submission procedures:

  • You may enter each competition once only, by midnight on March 11, 2019.

After you submit your application:

  • Your name and credentials are not available to juror; all manuscripts are identified by number. Juror will not critique individual manuscripts.

If you win an award:

  • Winners will be notified after April 3, 2019.
  • You’ll receive $1,000. At the discretion of the juror, no award may be given.
  • You’ll sign a contract which verifies that you’re eligible to receive this award.
  • You must remain a Wyoming resident for at least one year after award, living in the state for at least 10 months of the year.
  • You’ll need to supply a resume and photograph for publicity, and the Arts Council will ask permission to publish some of your work in its publications.
  • You’ll retain the right of publication to the work you produce during the award period.
  • You must fill out a final report, due August 30, 2019, which asks questions about how this award helped you and what you accomplished during the year. There are no requirements regarding work you complete during the award period or how you use the funds.
  • You may receive an additional stipend to travel in the state to read your work.

Blanchan and Doubleday Juror

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 Frank Nelson Doubleday Award of $1,000 is given for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script written by a woman writer.

This award is 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.

Guidelines for the 2019 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age at time of application.
  • Must not be a full-time student pursuing high school, college, or university art-related degrees.
  • Must not be full-time college faculty.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have legal resident status (evidence of U.S. citizenship, resident status and state residency may be required).
  • May not be affiliated with the Wyoming Arts Council either as a board member or staff member, including their families, whether full-time, part-time or contractual.
  • May not be an employee of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.
  • Must have been domiciled within the state borders for a total of 20 months in the previous two years.
  • Must remain a Wyoming resident for at least one year after award, living in the state for at least 10 months of the year.
  • Must not have received a Blanchan or Doubleday award in the last four years. You may apply for these awards if you received a 2018 (or previous year) creative writing fellowship.
  • You may not have received a 2019 (or current year) Arts Council creative writing fellowship.
  • You may enter if you have never published a book, if you’ve published only one full-length book of fiction, poetry or nonfiction, or if you have published no more than one book of poetry, one of fiction, and one of nonfiction (self-publication excluded).
  • For the Doubleday category, you must be a woman. 

Manuscript guidelines:

  • Submit work in one genre only.
  • Writing may have been previously published. 
  • Manuscript must be consecutively page-numbered. Include title of work and page numbers on each page.
  • Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • If you submit more than the allowed page limits (see below), extra pages will be removed; you will not be notified.
  • If novel or play/film synopses are part of the manuscript (this is often helpful to the juror), include them in the total page number count.

Length requirements:

  • Poetry, maximum length: 10 pages. Type single-spaced, with no more than one poem per page.
  • Fiction and creative nonfiction, maximum length: 25 pages. Type double-spaced. 
  • Drama and screenplays, maximum length: 25 pages. Must be typed and presented in the standard, industry-accepted format for the type of script submitted.

Submission procedures:

  • You may enter each competition once only, by midnight on March 9, 2018.

After you submit your application:

  • Your name and credentials are not available to juror; all manuscripts are identified by number. Juror will not critique individual manuscripts.

If you win an award:

  • Winners will be notified after April 3, 2019.
  • You’ll receive $1,000. At the discretion of the juror, no award may be given.
  • You’ll sign a contract which verifies that you’re eligible to receive this award.
  •  You must remain a Wyoming resident for at least one year after award, living in the state for at least 10 months of the year. 
  • You’ll need to supply a resume and photograph for publicity, and the Arts Council will ask permission to publish some of your work in its publications.
  • You’ll retain the right of publication to the work you produce during the award period.
  • You must fill out a final report, due August 30, 2019, which asks questions about how this award helped you and what you accomplished during the year. There are no requirements regarding work you complete during the award period or how you use the funds.
  • You may receive an additional stipend to travel in the state to read your work.

Blanchan and Doubleday Juror

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.

Wyoming Arts Council