Greyrock Writers’ Festival at Colorado State Celebrates Literacy this Summer with Series of Public Workshops, Readings

The 2004 Greyrock Writers’ Festival, a celebration of the art and practice of writing and reading in the Rocky Mountain West, runs June 16-19 and includes receptions, a series of writing workshops and readings by some of the area’s most noted authors.

The annual event is open to aspiring or published writers and to all people interested in discussing new books, improving writing skills and sharing a love of reading and writing. The week will feature several free public readings and writing workshops, including a special children’s workshop sponsored by the Fort Collins Public Library.

Renowned author Jewell Parker Rhodes, novelist, essayist and professor of Creative Writing and American Literature at Arizona State University, will open the Greyrock Writers’ Festival at 7 p.m. June 16 at the Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive. The reading and reception are free and open to the public.

Writer and teacher Juliette Guilmette will lead "Imaginations Let Loose," a special workshop for children ages 1-6 from 2-3 p.m. June 17 at the Fort Collins Library Main Branch, 201 Peterson St. The event is free and no enrollment is required, but children are asked to come prepared to "dream on paper."

The festival also will present a literary publishing panel that offers a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the publishing process at 7 p.m. June 17 at the Fort Collins Library Main Branch. The panel, moderated by Stephanie G’Schwind, editor of the Colorado Review, will feature Jody Rein of Jody Rein Books Inc., Faith Marcovecchio of Fulcrum Publishing, Teresa Funke and Steven Church. The event is free and open to the public, and no enrollment is required.

A Friday evening reading and reception will feature local authors SueEllen Campbell and Evan Oakley, who will read selections from their works at 5:30 p.m. June 18 at the Fort Collins Harmony Library located at the intersection of Shields Street and Harmony Road. The reading, reception and book signing are free and open to the public.

A series of workshops designed to bring together readers and writers of all interests and experiences with seasoned teachers of writing and literature will be held on the Colorado State University campus and the Fort Collins Public Library Main Branch. Space for workshops is limited, registration is required and costs vary for each session.

The following workshops are open to the public and require paid enrollment and registration:

– "Theme and Variation: Series and Sequence in Poetry" by Matthew Cooperman, 9-11 a.m. June 17.

– "Conflict and Effective Plots: A Fiction Workshop" by Jewell Parker Rhodes, 2-4 p.m. June 17.

– "Write That Novel Now: A Fiction Workshop For Young Adults" by Lauren Myracle, 9-11 a.m. June 18.

– "Truth. Lies. Somewhere in Between: The Risks and Rewards of Writing Creative Nonfiction" by Steven Church, 2-4 p.m. June 18.

– "Writing Like A Wolverine: A Poetry Workshop for Young Adults" by Jack Martin, 2-4 p.m. June 18.

– "The Art of Place: A Fiction Workshop" by Laura Pritchett, 9-11 a.m. June 19.

For more information, detailed descriptions or to register for workshops, visit the Web at, send e-mail to Judea Franck at or call (970) 491-6428.

Featured author Jewell Parker Rhodes’s first novel, "Voodoo Dreams," was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Series and received a rare diamond from Kirkus Reviews and a star from Booklist (American Library Association). Rhodes’s novel, "Magic City," was selected by the Chicago Tribune as one of its favorite books of 1997. Her third book, "Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors," was published in October 1999, and "The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction" was published in January 2002.

Rhodes’s latest historical novel, "Douglass’ Women," published in October 2002, was awarded the 2003 American Book Award, 2003 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Award for Literary Excellence, the 2003 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award in Fiction and for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.

Featured panelist Jody Rein incorporated the literary agency Jody Rein Books Inc. in late 1994. Her clients’ books are published throughout the world in audio, large print, book club, CD, and digital editions, and several have been optioned for film and television. A few of Rein’s more well-known clients include W. Bruce Cameron, author of the bestseller and TV series "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter"; Dean King, whose books include the New York Times bestseller "Skeletons on the Zahara," optioned by DreamWorks; and Mark Obmascik, whose book, "The Big Year," is a New York Times bestseller and also optioned by DreamWorks in conjunction with the Ben Stiller and Curtis Hanson production companies.

Local writer SueEllen Campbell writes about the pleasures that are found in the natural world by thinking about it, learning about it and spending time in it. She has published two books of creative nonfiction, "Even Mountains Vanish: Searching for Solace in an Age of Extinction" in 2003, and "Bringing the Mountain Home" in 1996. Campbell’s current project is a cultural and natural history guide to landscapes. She teaches in Colorado State’s English Department.

Evan Oakley is an associate professor of English/Humanities at the AIMS Community College in Loveland. He is past editor of the literary journals "Phoebe" and "The Dry Creek Review." For many years, he also co-directed the annual summer literary event, Poets in the Park, held in Loveland. He is past recipient of the Colorado Council on the Arts Poetry Award, and he has published in various journals and magazines.