Writers forum festival offers three packed days

With big names and a packed schedule, The Language of the Fantastic literary festival is set to fill and inspire readers and writers alike.

From Friday through Sunday, the festival hosted by the Western Colorado Writers Forum will offer workshops, panel discussions, a banquet, a breakfast, readings and manuscript consultations.

Here are some of the nationally recognized names connected with the festival:

Rick Bass — With the release of “All the Land to Hold Us” in August, Bass added a 30th title to his stack of fiction and nonfiction books. Originally from Texas, Bass now hails from the remote Yaak Valley in Montana, where he fights to maintain the area’s unique isolation.

Over the years, his writing has received a number of awards and recognitions including the Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Award. At the festival Bass can be found giving workshops, participating in panel discussions and giving a reading at the Saturday banquet.

Melissa Pritchard — The author of four novels — her newest, “Palmerino” comes out in January — four short story collections and a biography, Pritchard is an English professor at Arizona State University.

Several years ago, Pritchard spent time as an embedded journalist in Afghanistan, where she met 21-year-old U.S. Air Force Sr. Airman Ashton Goodman, whose death would greatly impact Pritchard. Pritchard will speak about her time in Afghanistan and Goodman during the festival’s banquet and will be involved in the festival’s other offerings as well.

Daniel Abraham — Also known by the names MLN Hanover and James S.A. Corey, Abraham has received many accolades, as he’s created and maintained a number of worlds in his science fiction, fantasy books, essays and graphic novels. Some of his latest titles are “The Tyrant’s Law” (in Abraham’s The Dagger and Coin series), “Graveyard Child” (in Hanover’s Black Sun’s Daughter series) and “Abaddon’s Gate” (in Corey’s The Expanse series). Look for his workshops during the festival.

Bella Clara Ventura — Ventura has 10 books of poetry and six novels and she’s traveled the world in her literary career. At the festival’s banquet she will read her poetry in Spanish and English, and her workshops, “Tallere en espanol” and “Conversacion con Bella Clara Ventura,” will be in Spanish.

David Rothman — Rothman is a publisher, editor, educator and poet. “The Book of Catapults” and “Part of Darkness,” two collections of poetry by Rothman, were published earlier this year. Hear his poetry at the Friday night reading and look for his workshops and panel discussions.

The festival also boasts participation by a number of area authors and poets, including Sandra Dorr, L. Luis Lopez, James Van Pelt, Wendy Videlock, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Danny Rosen, Jennifer Hancock and Rebecca Mullen.

View a full schedule of events at westerncoloradowriters.org, where registration for one event or the entire weekend can be made. Information also can be had by calling 773-4184. Banquet tickets are available at Crystal Books and Gifts, 439 Main St.

Scholarships are available for those needing financial help to attend the festival. Those interested need to email Sandra Dorr at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by Tuesday with a paragraph about their situation, what they can pay and what workshops or events they would like to attend.


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