Think freely. Live deeply. Tell great stories.

Join us for SkyWords

SkyWords Visiting Writers Series connects students and the Durango community with emerging and established writers in dialogue about the power of story. SkyWords provides a space for engagement in discussion about narrative, writing craft, and the big ideas engaging our culture. The diversity of voices, backgrounds, traditions, and visions for the future showcased by SkyWords writers captures the possibilities writing offers for connection, understanding, and change. 

As part of its programming, SkyWords is proud to relaunch the Common Reading Experience and introduce the SkyWords Emerging Writers Prize. 

The 2020-21 Common Reading Experience author will visit the Fort Lewis College campus on March 30, 2021. There will be several activities leading up to the March event, including a virtual teaser this fall and other opportunities for the college and Durango communities to dialogue around the Common Reading Experience book.

The SkyWords Emerging Writers Prize honors exceptional Fort Lewis student writers and will showcase their work at Common Reading Experience events. Students can submit work in response to a prompt to be announced at the virtual teaser.

Email Candace Nadon for information about the storytellers or to join our email list.

Common Reading Experience

SkyWords is excited to announce that bestselling author Tommy Orange will be the Common Reading Experience author for the 2020-21 academic year, and the Common Reading Experience text will be Orange's award-winning novel There There. SkyWords looks forward to an exciting year of writers and engaging conversation. There There may be purchased at Maria’s Bookshop. 

Common Reading Experience 
Coming March 2021

About the Author

Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel There There, a multigenerational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. There There was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Pen/Hemingway Award. There There was also longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California. For more information on Tommy Orange, please visit

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