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: Creating Memorable and Enduring Characters

Laurinda Wallace is the author of the Gracie Andersen mystery series, co-author of the true crime book, Too Close to Home: The Samantha Zaldivar Case, and two inspirational titles. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Guideposts and The Upper Room. A native of western New York, Laurinda left its snowy climes for the high desert of Cochise County in 2003. Her novella, Washed Up was a mystery semifinalist in the 2016 Kindle Book awards. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Upper San Pedro Writers Group and is the recipient of multiple grants from the Poets and Writers Foundation. Author’s website

Workshop: Making Memoir Memorable

Alex O’Meara is the author of two books, the nonfiction Chasing Medical Miracles: The Promise and Perils of Clinical Trials (Walker Books 2009) and a novel, Bad Day for the Home Team (Zumaya 2010). His work has been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Scientific American, among others, and has appeared on NPR and the Dr. Oz Show. He has worked as a journalist at the City News Bureau of Chicago, the Baltimore Sun Washington DC bureau, Newsday, KVOA-TV in Tucson, and many other news organizations. Originally from New York City, Alex has lived in Bisbee, Arizona for 25 years and is a full time faculty member at Cochise College. He is represented by the David Black Agency. Author’s website

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.