Thanks to the generous support of the CDC Foundation, the Wyoming Arts Council (WAC) is initiating a call for Wyoming-based artists and artist collectives who are interested in creating innovative work that will harness the power of the arts to engage audiences and participants of all ages in overcoming COVID-19 and influenza vaccine hesitancy within the state. Artists of all mediums (to include, but not limited to: visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literary arts, folk and traditional arts) are encouraged to apply. Four selected artists or artist collectives will receive $10,000 each to create a selection of work. WAC will work with a local marketing firm to create a statewide marketing campaign featuring the work.

Depending on the artistic medium of each recipient, recipients will either create an original work or a portfolio of work addressing the COVID pandemic and encouraging community vaccine uptake. Projects from artists that explore their lived-experience with COVID-19, including illness, family member illness, loss of family members or community members, experience receiving the vaccine, and more will be prioritized. The goal of the created work should be to encourage others to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Created artwork must be non-partisan in nature. We encourage artists to tell personal stories of their own experiences during the pandemic through their work. Work by selected artists must be completed by early summer 2022. Exact dates to be determined.

Please contact Josh Chrysler at 307-256-2010 or joshua.chrysler@wyo.gov if you have any questions regarding your eligibility for this call or if you need a paper application.

All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm MST on February 22, 2022.

Funding for this effort is made possible through a subaward from the CDC Foundation and is part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) financial assistance award totaling $2,500,000.00 with 100 percent funding from CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government.


Criteria:

Projects will be evaluated and selected based on whether the application demonstrates:

  • A clear goal of encouraging COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake
  • A unique and evocative approach to achieving the goals outlined in the project description

WAC will also take into consideration a diversity of artistic mediums and geographic representation when selecting finalists for this project.


Eligibility:

  • Grant funds can be distributed to 501(c)3 organizations, fiscally sponsored projects, or an individual who is 18 years or older.
  • If applying as an individual, you 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 be a Wyoming resident, living in the state for at least 10 months of the year.


All applications will be reviewed by a panel of WAC staff and board members based on the criteria listed above. Finalists will receive a stipend to submit a more detailed proposal. All applicants will be notified of their application status by March 2022.

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 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship is supported with generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund. 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, Goose Wing Ranger Station, 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.    

Applicants are encouraged to submit project proposals that both address the above goals and recognize or deal with current or ongoing issues.

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.
  • 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.
  • Provide proposed publication information—e.g. was or will be published: name, title, date, anthology, journal, book, web address, etc. 
  • 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.
  • Provide a no more than 1500 word written response describing how the award will be applied to accomplish your goals and that of the Fellowship. As a recipient, you will be expected to produce or complete a tangible product or result within one year—e.g., completion of a book, a publishable paper, a webinar, speaker series or program. Describe how and what you intend to accomplish of the above. Describe intended audience(s) and how you propose to reach those audiences. 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.
  • Provide publication or distribution information—e.g. was or will be published: name, title, date, anthology, journal, book, web address, etc. 
  • Works must have been created within the past 5 years.
  • Provide a no more than 1500 word written response describing how the award will be applied to accomplish your goals and that of the Fellowship. As a recipient, you will be expected to produce or complete a tangible product or result within one year—e.g., completion of a book, a publishable paper, a webinar, speaker series or program. Describe how and what you intend to accomplish of the above. Describe intended audience(s) and how you propose to reach those audiences. 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.         
    • 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 will be expected to produce or complete a  tangible product or result within one year which incorporates the goals of this Fellowship—e.g., completion of a book, a publishable paper, a webinar, speaker series or program. 
  • 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 give seminars, presentations, or webinars  on their work within the Greater Yellowstone area.
  • 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 Jurors

Christine Peterson has covered wildlife, the environment and outdoor recreation in Wyoming and across the West for more than a decade, first at the Casper Star-Tribune then as a freelance journalist. She has since written about grizzly bears, wolves, elk and insects for National Geographic, water law and persistence hunting for Outdoor Life and chronic wasting disease and landlocked public land for High Country News. Her byline has also appeared in The Guardian, Bugle and the Cool Green Science web magazine. She is a regular contributor to the Casper Star-Tribune and Wyofile and is a contributing writer for Outdoor Life. She's the president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and has won numerous regional and national awards. When she's not reporting or writing from her home in Laramie, she's wandering the West with her husband, five-year-old daughter and greying yellow Labrador.


An award-winning writer and plant ecologist, Susan J. Tweit began her career in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, studying grizzly bear habitat—which included collecting and dissecting large piles of bear poop, mapping historic wildfires, and researching big sagebrush. Tweit began writing after realizing that she loved telling the stories behind the data as much as collecting the data. She's written thirteen non-fiction books ranging from memoir and nature writing to kids and travel, along with hundreds of magazine articles, columns, and essays. Tweit's work has been honored with the Foreword Book of the Year, Colorado Book Award, the EDDIE for magazine writing, Downing Journalism Award, and many other awards. Her “WildLives” nature commentaries were a popular weekly feature on public radio for over a decade. She searches for stories in the Rocky Mountain region, wherever big sagebrush perfumes the air. When Tweit is not writing, she's most often outside eradicating invasive weeds as part of her passion for re-storying this earth. Her thirteenth book, the memoir Bless the Birds: Living With Love in a Time of Dying, was published just before Earth Day in 2021.



The Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award, $1,000, is given annually for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script 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 2022 Neltje Blanchan Writing Award

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 2021 (or previous year) creative writing fellowship.
  • You may not have received a 2022 (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).


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 using a 12-point standard font, with no more than one poem per page.
  • Fiction and creative nonfiction, maximum length: 25 pages. Type double-spaced using a 12-point standard font. 
  • 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 the competition once only, by midnight MT on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.


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 by April 15, 2022.
  • 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 bio 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, 2022, 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.


The Juror

Debra Magpie Earling is the author of Perma Red and The Lost Journals of Sacajewea. which will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2023. An earlier version of the latter, written in verse, was produced as an artist book during the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. She has received both a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She retired from the University of Montana where she was named professor emeritus in 2021. She is Bitterroot Salish.
 

The Frank Nelson Doubleday Writing 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 2022 Frank Nelson Doubleday Writing Award

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 2021 (or previous year) creative writing fellowship.
  • You may not have received a 2022 (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).
  • 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 using a 12-point standard font, with no more than one poem per page.
  • Fiction and creative nonfiction, maximum length: 25 pages. Type double-spaced using a 12-point standard font. 
  • 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 the competition once only, by midnight MT on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.


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 by April 15, 2022.
  • 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 bio 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, 2022, 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.


The Juror

Debra Magpie Earling is the author of Perma Red and The Lost Journals of Sacajewea. which will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2023. An earlier version of the latter, written in verse, was produced as an artist book during the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. She has received both a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She retired from the University of Montana where she was named professor emeritus in 2021. She is Bitterroot Salish.

Wyoming Arts Council