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Keyboards in the Sagebrush

Brief by Central Staff

Writing – July 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ever want to write about the West, but weren’t sure where to start, or what genre to use?

Then you might want to look into “Writing the West,” a five-day conference scheduled for July 21-26 at Western State College in Gunnison.

It will cover just about every way to write about the West, from poetry and screenplays to songs and novels.

The keynote speaker will be Elmer Kelton, author of 38 Western novels, and winner of the Lone Star award for lifetime achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center.

Two Colorado Central contributors are among those running workshops: George Sibley (Writing the Environment), and Laurie Wagner Buyer (Poetry — the Land as Inspiration).

Others include Don Coldsmith (From the Pulps to the Pulitzers — Western Fiction Overview), Mike Blakely (In the Tradition — the Classic Western Novel), Ken Hodgson (Regionalism — Wild and Wooly Colorado), Dusty Richards (Outlaws & Lawmen — Bringing their Tales to Life), John Nesbitt (Writing the Western Short Story), Jim Davidson (Mining Camps — Writing the Hard-Rock West), M.J. Van Deventer (Writing for Western Media), Dan Gagliasso (The Western Film, its Evolution and Future), W.C. Jameson and Jon Chandler (Western Music — Stories of the Land), and Page Lambert (Memoir — the West Remembered).

The conference also includes a concert by Red Steagall at the I-Bar Ranch near Gunnison.

The workshop is sponsored by the college, which will offer six hours of academic credit, and the Western Writers of America,, the Bookworm Bookstore of Gunnison, American Western Magazine, and the Colorado Center for the Book.

Registration is $495 before July 1, $595 afterward, and there’s more information available from Jon Chandler at 303-469-6229,; Larry Meredith, 970-943-3035,; Corrine Brown,