Wyoming Writers Inc is looking to fund student and Native American Writers

The Wyoming Writers Conference is held annually. It awards scholarships each year to Wyoming writer applicants. Every year, the number of scholarships change, depending on available funding. Award recipients are provided a conference tuition and a year’s membership to the organization. The scholarships began in 1977 by published author Emmie Mygatt, who moved to the Big Horn Basin in the late 1960’s.

IMG_3939 (2)This year the conference had many applicants who applied toward the numerous scholarships, with six scholarships awarded to selected Wyoming writers. This year Wyoming Writers Inc offered a Native American scholarship and a student scholarship, which both had no applicants apply. Outgoing President of the association, Cindy Jackelen, stated, “We would like more students and Native American writers to apply toward our scholarships next year.” The scholarship committee reviews applications on a financial needs basis and provides scholarships to those who the conference would benefit the most.

Wyoming Writers Inc accepts donations throughout the year to assist toward future scholarships; the association feels that there is a need in doing so.  The scholarship opening date for the 2019 Wyoming Writers Conference to be held in Laramie, Wyoming is scheduled to open for interested candidates in January of 2019.

This year’s Emmie Mygatt Award went to two selected candidates; Riverton resident Carol Deering who in 2013 was Wyoming Writers President and Chris Williams of Green River who has served as the organization’s president in 2007/08 & 2014/15. She has assisted in drafting and shaping the bylaws of the organization. Following both their presidencies, they have continued to assist and move the organization forward.

Kathy Bjornestad, Wyoming Writers Chairperson of the awards committee stated as she announced and handed out this year’s awards, “As the conference ends and we all go home, let us not forget that we should be supporting each other and celebrating our accomplishments by nominating people and organizations for next year’s awards.”

To donate to the organization or to nominate and apply toward next year’s scholarships, Wyoming Writers, Inc. may by contacted via the website at: https://www.wyowriters.org/.


Around Town Native American Art Exhibition Review by Darrah Perez

IMG_0177 (2)Kiowa Native, Shawn Ware is a photographer who lives on the Wind River Indian Reservation. He says his art depicts the future back to the past to now. What does that even mean? Ware said, referring to his photography, “This is going to be here, hundreds of years, after I am gone.” He told the story of the dreamcatcher that he created; the same one displayed at The Around Town Native American Exhibition where we met him.

Created in 2011, Shawn Ware wanted to make something that resembled the remembrances of all lost along the Oregon Trail. Ware said, “The dreams Americans have is to go west and there were more Indians who had lost their life on that trail then non-Natives did.” He created the dreamcatcher using a large iron wheel, the wheel he said represents the wheel of the wagons that crossed over the Oregon Trail. The horseshoes he used in creating the large dreamcatcher, represents movement. He said, “They represent movement from one place to another. And our dream, was to be left alone.”

Native American Photographer, Shawn Ware said that his mother is the one who got him hooked on pictures. She had a trunk full of photographs and together they would sit as she would tell him who each person was and where the picture was taken. Until, it came a point in her life where she couldn’t remember who the people in the photographs were. Ware said, “Luckily she had wrote on the back of the pictures to remember who they were.”

Not only is Ware a Photographer, and Artist, but he is also a poet, and craftsman who makes War Bonnets for Veterans. The reason he makes them, he said, is because he wants something to be passed on from generation to generation that ties the future back to the past to now, so people will remember a veteran Warrior or whoever was in the service. He concluded the conversation by saying, “That is why I do what I do.”


Quinlin Hernandez has been a drum maker for five years and has been singing since the age of five. He says he enjoys entering art each year into the Around Town Native American Art Show.  Hernandez said, “I appreciate the fact that they recognize Native Americans in the Native American Art Show, it lets everyone know what kind of art everyone does around here.”

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Hernandez lives in Crowheart, Wyoming and is an Eastern Shoshone, Chippewa-Cree. He enjoys singing with his grandfather, Wayland Bonatsie; together with other members of Northern Arapaho/Eastern Shoshone/Northern Cheyenne they represent a drum group called: The Big Wind Singers. Quinlin Hernandez is a craftsman who makes parfleche American Indian Art, beadwork, and drums. The Big Wind Singers opened with songs for the Around Town Native American Art Show held on November 2, 6-8p.m.

Another Native American Artist; Michael Chingman is becoming quite popular for his teepee picture with the 2017 eclipse background. He took the picture during the recent eclipse on August 21, 2017, and since then he says, “It actually went all over the nation and Indian Country.” He said after that, it had him looking through his other pictures to appreciate others he had taken; he edited them and got them copied in time to submit them into The Around Town Native American Art Exhibition. On another note, Chingman said, “I got contacted about the eclipse picture and the Smithsonian is interested in archiving it or even displaying it.”


All of Michael Chingman’s photography have been taken from his cell phone and Stacy Stebner who is the Executive Director of the Lander Art Center said they would be setting up a Go Fund Me page to get Michael a professional camera which will be shared upon the Lander Art Center website @ www.landerartcenter.com. Stebner said, twenty-two Native American Artists have current artwork on Display at the Lander Art Center, but only until mid-December, with the last day for viewing of artwork on December 15th.

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A former student at Central Wyoming College, Darrah Perez is working toward a Communications and Psychology Degree. A Wyoming Public Radio freelance reporter, and a published author; Darrah Perez writes from the core of her heart to the core of other hearts.


Even Wyoming Poet Laureate Rose Hill was at the 2016 Wyoming Writer’s Conference this weekend by Darrah J. Perez

Rose Hill

This weekend the 2016 Wyoming Writer’s Conference attracted many Authors from the towns of Wyoming, and even as far as Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas.

Keynote Speaker Joseph Marshall III, a Lakota Author from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota shared with the attendees a great message, “It doesn’t matter who you write for, as long as us writer’s write with passion, we have a purpose,” he said.

A beautiful message that spoke to all those who heard him.

Some of the participants were attending for the first time, and some had been coming for years.

It was a great way to meet other writers, make lasting friendships, and hold dear memories. Some of the presenters included, award winning Author Pamela Fagan Hutchins who shared with the participants the keys of non-traditional publishing and what works best for her. Author Lori Howe shared the Art of Storytelling in Poetry form and the Art of poetry ending. Author John Calderazzo shared many tips in the expertise in the non-fiction genre.

With many Authors and Poets from all genres, the conference was well liked by many. “I haven’t been to one of these conferences in years,” said one attendee, “I forgot how fun and connecting they were.”

The 3-day conference was held at the Wind River Hotel & Casino.

Next year’s conference will be posted upon the Wyoming Writer’s website when decided by the board where to have it.  http://www.wyowriters.org/

2016 has been marked down as a success for the Wyoming Writer’s Conference, with some Authors travelling back home today, some going to other events, and some sticking around Fremont County for a day or so.  


Believing in the POWER of FAITH by Darrah J. PEREZ .written on May 30th, 2015.

The POWER of Faith is so important in everyday living. To wake up and have appreciation for life is very important. Seeing the beauty in another day granted, whether the sky is blue or gray, no matter the weather. Clouds, rain, snow, and the best; a beautiful sunshine, take no day for granted.

I wake up each morning with a cup of water in hand and pray to the direction that the sun rises. I Thank the Creator for another majestic day. I pray for my loved ones. I pray for healing and protection. I pray for the righteousness of mankind, animal life, plant life, and everything of this Earth. I pour out my prayers to the Creator and when I feel the peaceful surrounding and serenity, I then pour a little water out of my cup onto the ground as my form of respect to the Creator. I then drink the rest, to absorb the prayers I pray every morning.

I always have faith and believe that my prayers are heard and that when the Creator feels fit to answer them, HE will….ALL IN HIS OWN TIME. For I know, I didn’t keep my wants and wishes inside my being, but instead released them into the universe, where the Creator, the divine angels, and the spirit protectors can then manifest a grand destiny and direction for my life.

Patience is the key to having faith. For with patience, the light within us stays illuminated and remains bright. To see and know when prayers are answered is a wonderful thing. For you know instantly when answers are granted, because within your being you feel grateful and ALWAYS the emotions of being blessed with positive effects are so grand, tears form in the wellness of both eyes. It is then you know that the Creator is listening and watching. It is then you know that you are not alone, no matter how sometimes it is felt that we are completely abandoned, lost and lonely.

The POWER of PRAYER, the POWER of FAITH, and the POWER of HOPE, are a massive combination that Can & Will very well bring out joyful abundance.

It is just up, to each one of US, to ask and not keep silent for what it is, OUR VERY SOULS DESIRE.

For those who don’t pray. And who don’t believe. And who have lost FAITH/HOPE. Try again.

TRY AGAIN and REMEMBER that everything happens for a reason. Everything is meant for us to learn and grow, and become stronger to one day help others become the best at what they are meant to be.

PRAYER is POWER. Prayer opens doorways that non-prayers cannot.

The doorways to abundance.

The doorways to a peaceful, calming, soothing life, filled with FAITH, HOPE & never-ending LOVE.

My Burning Desire

   My burning desire really took off when I was given the decision about what was more important to me. The decision of, was my employer most important in my life, or was poetry reading at a poetry event that I had written an amazing poem titled, “Women Making Life Happen” more important. The day before the event, I told my employer that working for her was not my dream job, and that my passion lied within inspiring and uplifting others. I quit that same day that I told her this.
I was upset, confused, and unsure at the moment, not sure if I was making the right choice.
The day of the event, I dressed in my best to impress, and went in there with my head held high, and read my 3 poems like a true champ. The applause of the audience made me feel spectacular.
And from that day forward, I vowed to get my self-help poetry book complete. The book that I had begun writing years earlier before, but just never had the time or energy to finish it. I wrote endlessly days upon days, anywhere from short stories, new poems, and typing up older poems and short stories. I joined writers groups and was even made an admin. for a site on Facebook called Writers of The Storm. I read poems upon poems giving feedback to all the members of the group. I learned of a site called
http://www.worldpoetryopenmic.net/ and called in a few times to share many poems to the live air.

   In my mind, in my heart, and in my soul, I had this burning desire to be heard. To get my work recognized and acknowledged by people near and far. I submitted a 10,000 word short story to a contest in freeditorial.com in hopes of winning to fulfill my burning desire of taking my gift to its next step. I entered my simulated photography combined with my best poems into a local art show in hopes of winning as well. I entered another contest submitting another short story in hopes of it being selected for publication within an anthology book. I submitted an article to a site called Write for Healing and it was selected for the May 5th publication. It was a great feeling and a start to what was yet to come. My self-help poetry book is complete and ready now for publication. Through all this I have much appreciation and feel very well accomplished.
I have inspired many of my close friends and now write full-time guided in what it is I am meant to do in this life.
Writing, sharing, and helping others through my life’s journey is my destined purpose. The accomplished feeling is felt deep within.
A friend who knows of my journey, shared a message about a program called The Quantum Leap Program with me, and as I read the story attached, tears welled up in my eyes, as I thought of my own journey of how sometimes I too felt at times, that this writer’s journey is rough and very frustrating. But the story attached was also to me a sign and encouragement to keep going because my rewards were yet to come.
I knew this was the Creators way of telling me, “I know it has been hard, but you’re almost there. KEEP GOING.”
My friend sharing this with me, was very well meant for me. I know that and can definitely feel that is was meant for me to come across it, whether I am selected as an applicant or not. For it is my mission to be heard ONE way or another. And I won’t stop even after succeeding.