Festival Schedule

2018 Writing Festival 

Friday, June 8

Chadron State College Campus

Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center Atrium

FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (register at door)


  • 9 to 9:30 AM Morning Check-in and Continental Breakfast
    • Free & Open to the Public (no pre-registration required—sign in at the door). Story Catcher Retreat participants are already registered for this event.

(For information about each of the presenters below, please visit: Workshop Overview & Faculty)

  • 9:30 to 11:00 AM: Short & Sweet: Writing Shapely Stories
    • With the Mari Sandoz Featured Writer Markus Egeler Jones
      • Participants of this workshop will engage in drafting their own flash fiction. Elements of subtext, narrative, dialogue, and general scene building will be discovered through sample pieces of flash fiction, and by the end of this workshop everyone should have a working draft of a short but shapely story.

LUNCH (on your own)


  • 12:30 to 1:45: Hooks, Lines and No Stinkers
    • With the Mari Sandoz Featured Writer Renee M. Laegreid
      • Finding the right words to draw a reader into your work is as important for non-fiction as it is fiction. In this workshop and writing session we will consider effective storytelling techniques found in history writing that have been used to create effective titles and opening passages that can be applied to each writer’s work.
  • 2:00 to 3:15: Symbolic Sound and Syntax
    • With the Mari Sandoz Emerging Writer Jennifer Ippensen
      • The language we choose and ways in which we piece language together can aid us in evoking understanding that goes beyond properly constructed English grammar. It can become symbolic. In this workshop and writing session, we will explore the ways in which sound devices and grammatical structure can be employed to convey more than what the words alone communicate.
  • 3:30 to 4:45: OPEN MIC
    • Writers will have an opportunity to share their work from the retreat & festival. Audience members may also sign up to read short pieces.


  • 5:00 to 6:00: Reception
    • Light Refreshments Served
  • 6 :00 to 7:30 PM  Special Keynote Presentation: Writing in the Remote 
    • Readings from our 2018 Writers-in-Residence
    • Jeffrey A. Lockwood, Nina S. McConigley and H. L. Hix will share a panel presentation where they each read selections from their work relating to the theme “Writing in the Remote.” This will be followed with a roundtable discussion where the authors explore the unique challenges and opportunities of living and writing in isolated and remote spaces, and respond to questions from the audience.
       Book Signing To Follow