• Montana Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments 1 comment

    MontanaNext up in our  State Writing Resources series is Montana, Big Sky Country, a.k.a. the Treasure State. The name Montana is taken from the Spanish word for mountain, montaña. So basically, the state is named Mountain. Montana’s motto is “Oro y Plata,” again Spanish, meaning “Gold and Silver.” And yet Hispanics make up only 3% of Montana’s population, as per the 2010 census.

    Montana writing boasts names such as Rick Bass (known well in Texas), Maile Meloy and Ivan Doig. Mystery author James Lee Burke studied and lives in Montana. Christopher Paolini, the guy who wrote the Inheritance Cycle books, lives in Paradise Valley, where Thomas McGuane once had a ranch and Richard Brautigan wrote some fine work. Norman McLean, a Montanan, wrote A River Runs Through It, which became popular after its film adaptation. And screenwriter Holly Sorensen, who received a famous fax from Hunter S. Thompson reading “Okay, you lazy bitch,” was born and raised in Montana.

    Presented in no particular order, here are ten Montana writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you live in Big Sky Country or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at.

    1) CutBank Magazine

    Founded in 1973, Cutbank publishes two print issues a year of poetry, fiction and literary nonfiction by established writers and new voices.

    2) Whitefish Review

    A new literary journal based in Whitefish, Montana that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography and interviews, with a slant toward mountain culture.

    3) Oval Magazine

    The Oval is the undergraduate literary magazine of the University of Montana. It provides an outlet for new and young artists to express themselves, their ideas and passions to the world through the medium of print.

    4) Authors of the Flathead

    The Authors of the Flathead is a group of writers from all around northwest Montana, ranging from novelists to nonfiction writers, screen to short story writers, and poets to journalists.

    5) Front Range Writers

    A group of writers, editors, students and instructors dedicated to perfecting their craft. Hosts monthly workshops and readings.

    6) Missoula Writing Collaborative

    The Missoula Writing Collaborative teaches literary competence, critical thinking, cultural awareness and artistic joy through creative writing.

    7) Montana StoryKeepers

    Montana StoryKeepers is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving oral and written histories through sharing and gathering, conducting multi-generational programs, collaborating on educational events, and participating in community endeavors.

    8) 406 Writers’ Workshop

    Offers six-week evening classes and weekend intensives for an opportunity to work with others who have a demonstrable passion for writing.

    9) Montana Arts

    Its mission is to propagate and preserve the state’s cultural heritage by assisting individuals and organizations involved in Montana’s literary, visual and performing arts.

    10) Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering

    A 4-day cultural festival dedicated to celebrating and preserving the history, heritage and values of the cowboy lifestyle through cowboy poetry and western music lyrics.

    Montana2Help us add to this list, Montanans! Do you run a local writing group or a lit journal we should be aware of? Feel free to share info and links in the comments section below.

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    Martin Barkley

    Thank you for this series. Very helpful and informative. (Cutbank, yes, I like that one.) I’ve learned bunches about the lit scene.

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