Sawyer Lucas-Griffin, Sara McWhirter, and Seth Taylor have all been awarded scholarships to the 27th Jackson Hole Writers Conference. Sawyer, who will be a senior in the fall at JHHS, received the Catherine McKenzie Scholarship, and Sara McWhirter, a student at Journeys Schools, received a conference scholarship. The third scholarship goes to Seth Taylor, a graduating senior from C-V Schools, but a resident of Sheridan, Wyoming. In May Seth won the Word Duels, a joint “poetry slam” hosted by JHW, The Center and poet Matt Daly.

We are proud of these young writers and look forward to writing with them at the conference next week.

We love supporting writers and hope you will take this opportunity to meet and listen to Anne Fadiman at the Teton County Library on Monday, July 9 from 6-7 p.m. Co-sponsored by Jackson Hole Writers.

Anne Fadiman, a former winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, will read from and answer questions about her newest book, The Wine Lover’s Daughter. In this memoir, Fadiman examines–with all her characteristic wit and feeling–her relationship with her late father, Clifton Fadiman, a well-known literary critic, editor, and radio host whose greatest loves were books and wine. The Wine Lover’s Daughter is a poignant exploration of love, ambition, family, class, and the pleasures of the palate. The Washington Post has called it “wonderfully engaging”; The New York Times “illuminating and nuanced”; Library Journal “a fascinating book with something to interest anyone, and a pure reading pleasure.”

In Sara McWhirter’s request for a scholarship, she easily convinced us that she was a good fit. Last year she fully participated in every workshop she attended which always makes us at the conference happy.

“The Writers Conference, when I attended last year, was the most distilled and powerful poetry education I’ve ever had. I had never had an experience like that, and I value it very highly. In addition, the advice from editors and publishers was essential, and I plan on using what I learned last year throughout my burgeoning writing career. However, I’m still hungry to learn more. I want to continue my creative momentum, and another year of the JH Writers Conference would allow me to do that. I don’t exactly have the resources to pay for full access to the Conference, and a scholarship would give me that access without the strain. I truly would appreciate a scholarship- I cherished every moment of the Conference last year, and I hope to be able to do the same this year. Thank you!”

We look forward to writing again with Sara, who is finishing up her sophomore year at Journeys School. She also will be competing in the second annual Word Duels on May 1 at The Center.


More details to come, but Lori Howe, editor of Clerestory Poetry Journal, has offered to put together a third special issue of her on-line ezine for conference participants only.

In the past this has meant, 10 pieces of nonfiction, 10 pieces of fiction, and 10 pieces of poetry were selected by Lori. More details to come, but we at JHWC appreciate this opportunity to have our registrants’ work published.

Lori will be at the conference, so grab her for a chat. There will be fliers at the conference as well with the nuts and bolts of submitting. She will have very specific instructions. The deadline has usually been a couple of weeks after the conference.


Academy  Award winning screenwriter Michael Arndt will be a featured speaker and workshop leader at the 2018 conference. Every year we have playwrights and screenplay writers asking about this type of writing. We are excited to have him join us this year.

Arndt received one Oscar for his original screenplay, Little Miss Sunshine, and a second Oscar for his adaptation for Toy Story 3. Under his own name he wrote the 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and under the pen name, Michael deBruyn, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Oblivion. In all he has written seven screenplays since 2006.

We look forward to having him talk about what it takes to write a successful screen play and working in Hollywood.

© Can Stock Photo / Morphart

Every writer gets stuck, especially when pulling her or his novel out of that hole. Join Deborah Turrell Atkinson and Lise McLendon, long time JHWC faculty, for a preconference novel workshop that will help you to get that novel off your computer and off to an agent or a publisher.

If you feel as if you have lost your way with your novel, this could be the best recipe to cook up some new energy in that novel. Be prepared to write and to delve into the mechanics of what works and what isn’t.

This six-hour workshop is set for Wednesday, June 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the conference room at the Center for the Arts. It includes a box lunch. Preregistration by May 27. You don’t have to attend the conference to attend this workshop.

You can register for $150 by going to the Register OnLine button on the home page of this site. You can use the Contact Us button to get more information. Space is limited to 12 so this is a very intimate, hands-on workshop.

–Connie Wieneke

Emily Rose Powers graduates this May with an MFA from the University of Wyoming, where she has been under the mentorship and tutelage of novelists Brad Watson and Alyson Hagy.

“Emily is first rate,” Hagy emailed us. “Talented, bright, social, mature…with interests in the arts and sciences. I’d take her anywhere. She gets high marks from everyone down here.”

After Emily expressed great enthusiasm for this year’s guest and resident faculty, we had to say yes, come. When she was twenty, Emily says she read Peter Heller’s first novel, The Dog Stars. “Five years later, I still recommend it to others,” she wrote in her application. “From sentence level cadence and beauty to his vision of larger scale plot and character development, I have learned a lot about writing.”

She also cited Jon Pineda (poet, novelist and memoir writer) and writer/editor Mark Hummel as great draws. “I have begun to move into hybrid work and I think that both … are beyond equipped to discuss and inform this new stage of writing for me in profound ways.”

–Connie Wieneke


Meet the Chef for this year’s conference barbecue: Traci McClintic-Hargrave.

Traci has been on the board of the Jackson Hole Writers, the force behind the conference, for two years. But when she dons her other hat, she is catering and planning events. Traci has more than fifteen years of experience in the culinary industry. She has catered for film crews, magazine shoots, on back-country horse packing excursions for private clients, and for guests at her own restaurant. So we are grateful that she is taking on the conference barbecue, which will be a barbecue. See menu below.

Her passion for cooking led Traci to pursue a formal degree in the culinary arts. In 2015 she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu International, receiving certificates in pastry and cuisine from schools in Canada, New Zealand, and England. Her culinary skills have been honed by Chefs from around the world. In 2016, she launched her own catering and event planning company in Jackson, Wyoming, providing services that reflect years of training and experience in the hospitality industry.

Final Conference Night Barbecue

Pulled Pork BBQ (Sauce on Side)
Herb Rubbed Chicken Thighs
Artisan Dinner Rolls (Assorted)
BBQ Baked Beans
Southwestern Roasted Corn Salad
Kale and Cabbage Slaw
Potato Salad
Mixed Green Salad
Strawberry Shortcake Parfait
If that doesn’t make you want to come to the conference…. The barbecue has always comes with your conference registration. If you bring a guest, it’s another $20.
Thanks, Traci, for taking this on.
–Connie Wieneke


Catherine McKenzie Young Writer Scholarship

Long-time JHWC resident faculty and best-selling author Catherine McKenzie is providing a full scholarship to an area high school student; this will include three one-on-one manuscript critiques as well.

“I’m sponsoring this scholarship because I’ve been extremely fortunate in my writing career and have benefited from feedback and support from other authors,” she emailed from her home in Canada. “It would have been a wonderful experience for me to have attended something like the JHWC when I was young, and I’d like to give that opportunity to a deserving student.”

Read about Catherine at her website. Her next book, The Good Liar, will be released in April. She will be critiquing manuscripts during the 2018 conference, June 28-30.

For this particular scholarship, applicants need to provide a five-page sample of their writing (fiction, poetry or nonfiction). Submission should be double-spaced, 12 point type and sent in either .doc format or as a PDF. Do not embed in an email; send as an attachment. Catherine will read the top five manuscripts.

In the email application, let us know why you want the scholarship, which school you attend, and what grade you are in as of June 2018.