The Grand County Library District next month will launch a one-of-a-kind writing program designed to encourage
and develop the skills of local storytellers interested in producing works of both fiction and nonfiction.
“We’re calling it the Grand County Community of Writers, and we hope it will help the county’s best writers develop the tools they need to take their writing to the next level,” said Stephanie Ralph, the library district’s executive director. “We are grateful to the Grand Foundation for their grant which makes this program possible.”
She is joined in that effort by journalist and novelist Martin J. Smith, a Granby resident since May 2016. He has been working with Ralph and the Grand Foundation to identify committed Grand County writers working on everything from short stories and novels to essays and memoirs.
To launch the initiative, Smith will conduct a series of four weekly fiction workshops at the Granby branch in September that will lead aspiring novelists through a structured, step-by-step process for developing a solid idea for a novel, creating properly motivated characters, and imagining a story through to a satisfying conclusion. In October, he’ll follow up with workshops designed to help nonfiction writers produce strong narrative journalism, personal essays, and memoir in the most compelling way possible.
Ultimately, Ralph and Smith hope the workshop series will spawn self-sustaining critique groups, and library officials are developing a way to publish the work of participating writers. Ralph and Smith will host a reception for interested writers in the Granby Library at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, to offer an overview of the program, explain the standards for participation, announce the fall workshop dates, and answer questions.
Smith also will share some of his experiences as a lifelong journalist, author of five novels and four nonfiction books, and as a long-time faculty member of the Squaw Valley (Calif.) The community of Writers.