Creative Writing Celebration

Creative Writing Logo

The date is set!

2018 Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration

Friday, April 13 to Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration brings published writers in several genres, such as poetry, novels, creative nonfiction, juvenile fiction, and screenwriting, to present hands-on workshops to aspiring writers from the community.

Celebration participants are also invited to enter a writing contest in three categories: poetry, short story (fiction) and memoir (nonfiction). Cash prizes will be awarded.

Writing Contest Deadline: April 2, 2018

Contact the celebration’s coordinators or email for more information or to be added to the mailing list.

Organizing Committee Chairperson | Beth Orozco
(520) 255-6060 |
Beth Orozco website

Additional Committee Support | Jay Treiber
(520) 417-4765 |
Jay Treiber website

These were some comments we received from participants at previous years’ Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebrations:

  • I liked everything about the Celebration: the speakers, the content, and the flow. Also the accessibility of the presenters. I always go home with enough new material to keep me busy for a while!
  • I liked the exposure to the work, ideas, and techniques of successful writers.
  • The quality and talent of the workshop presenters was great. I also liked that you could buy the presenters’ books.
  • The workshops were wonderful. They were insightful and offered the opportunity to get to know the authors.
  • The coming together to share the love of writing; no matter how good we are, we share the passion.
  • An excellent group of writers every year – well organized by the conference committee.
  • I love the accessibility that the presenters have, plus the workshops are of the best quality.
  • I like that the authors included writing exercises in their seminars.
  • Networking and challenging ideas, encouragement
  • As a new writer just getting started, I’m impressed with the whole thing.  The friendly atmosphere, open communication was a joy!
  • Down to earth practical information and great breadth of experience with all the authors.
  • I liked the presenters and the sharing of real experience.
  • I came last year and enjoyed myself so much I couldn’t wait to come again. I enjoy the sense of community and sharing something I care about with others. All of the presenters are unique and each has something different to say.
  • I thought everything I went to was great.  It started off with a fantastic keynote address–and every workshop was useful.
  • I enjoyed the workshops and the academic atmosphere.
  • Very pleasant, low key, yet professional. Appreciated supportive nurturing attitudes.
  • I loved the array of presenters; had something for everybody.
  • As always, for four years running, a fabulous, enlightening, life-changing experience.
  • This is a great conference. I like the open and friendly atmosphere. The interaction with the judges is also wonderful.
  • Lots of encouragement and excitement among people who really enjoy writing.
  • My first time – nice day! Will come again. Thanks!  Very comfortable. Very professional. Very nice!

2018 Celebration Authors

Workshop: Mapping Memory

Mark Sundeen

Mark Sundeen is the author of The UnsettlersThe Man Who Quit Money, The Making of Toro, and Car Camping. He has won fellowships from the Macdowell Colony, the Montana Arts Council and the Utah Arts Council. A contributing editor for Outside Magazine, his work has appeared in the New York Times, The Believer, National Geographic Adventure, and McSweeneys. He is the Russo Chair in Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico, and faculty at the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA program. Author’s website

Workshop: Enactment Equals Embodiment - A Foolproof Formula for Successful Scenes, Real or Imagined

Amy Irvine

Amy Irvine’s memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, and the Colorado Book Award—while the LA Times wrote that it “might very well be ‘Desert Solitaire’s’ literary heir.” Her work has appeared in the Pacific Standard, Orion, Triquarterly, Climbing, and High Desert Journal, and in numerous western, nature, and environmental anthologies. Her essay ”Spectral Light” was a finalist for the Pen Award in Journalism. Irvine is a sixth-generation Utahan who lives on a remote mesa in southwest Colorado but teaches fiction and nonfiction in Southern New Hampshire University’s Mountainview MFA program—with Craig Childs and Mark Sundeen. She is founding director of Telluride’s Literary Burlesque Show, in which she performs annually.

Workshop: Building Something Out of Nothing - The Art of Subtext

Eric Shonkwiler

Eric Shonkwiler is the author of the novels Above All Men (MG Press 2014) and 8th Street Power and Light (MG Press 2016), and the short story collection Moon Up, Past Full (Alternating Current Press 2015). He is the Acquisitions Editor for Alternating Current Press, and was the inaugural resident of the New River Gorge Winter Writer-in-Residency in Fayetteville, West Virginia. His writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Ohio, he has lived and worked in every contiguous U.S. time zone. Author’s website

Workshop: Getting Your Hard Work Published

Kirsten Johanna Allen

Kirsten Johanna Allen is publisher at Torrey House Press where she manages editing, production, marketing, and fundraising for the mountain west’s only nonprofit literary publisher. Along with creative director Kathleen Metcalf, Kirsten also oversees acquisitions for the press whose mission is to promote conservation through literature. Kirsten and Mark Bailey co-founded Torrey House Press in 2010 to bring to the page new works that compel action to protect wild wonders. They were inspired by the power of writers like John Muir, Rachel Carson, Wallace Stegner, Terry Tempest Williams. Though Kirsten is a native New Yorker, she’s also a sixth-generation Utahan and feels most at home hiking in Utah’s red rock country. She has two grown children and lives with a pair of cats and her spouse, Mark, in Salt Lake City and Torrey, Utah. Publisher’s website

Support the Creative Writing Celebration

Charitable gifts are an important component in advancing the excellence of the Creative Writing Celebration. Your contribution helps cover the cost of event expenses, student registrations and prizes. Contributions are tax deductible. Make a secure online gift to the Freund Creative Writing Fund; mail a gift to the Cochise College Foundation, 4190 West Highway 80, Douglas, AZ 85607; or call (520) 417-4735 to discuss your donation.

The Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration is co-sponsored by Cochise College, University South Foundation, Inc., Cochise College Foundation’s Diane E. Freund Memorial Writing Celebration Fund, and the City of Sierra Vista Leisure and Library Services, with support from other community businesses and organizations.