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.

SkyWords Emerging Writers Contest

The SkyWords Emerging Writers Prize honors exceptional Fort Lewis student writers and will showcase their work at Common Reading Experience events.  

About the SkyWords Emerging Writers Prize

SkyWords Visiting Writers Series is pleased to announce the SkyWords Emerging Writers Prize, which honors exceptional writing by Fort Lewis College student writers and is made possible through the generous donation of Dr. Austin Trembley. Awards will be given in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Winners will receive cash prizes and will have the opportunity to read their work at a special reading as part of the SkyWords Common Reading Experience events in March 2021. Any current Fort Lewis student is eligible to submit their work. 

2020-2021 Theme: Tradition

The theme for the inaugural SkyWords Emerging Writers Prize is tradition. We want to know what tradition means to you. How do you define what tradition means? Send us your original poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that explores the concept of tradition - what it is, what it isn't, how it changes, how it remains the same, and how it can (or should) be redefined. 

Submissions that do not follow the guidelines will not be considered. If you have any questions, please Email Candace Nadon.

Submissions have now closed!                         

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. Copies of There There will be available for free to FLC students, faculty, and staff. To get your copy, email Candace Nadon.  


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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