All the latest news, ideas, and opinions from Denver's Independent Literary Center: lighthousewriters.org
This past summer, a member of the Lighthouse community* pulled us aside and shared an idea. More like a dream: they wanted to fund a fellowship** for the next several years, covering a writer of great promise and limited coffers so that he or she could partake of the full Lighthouse experience. Workshops year round, a choice between either all-access to the Lit Fest or a trip to the Grand Lake retreat, and a big celebration and reading at the end of the fellowship year, at which time the next winner is crowned. The criteria the funder spelled out: The writer had to have great talent, demonstrated financial need, and a real connection to Lighthouse and its mission. The top-secret committee, comprised of three anonymous faculty and staff, a board member, and a member of the community, convened to go through dozens of terrific applications, and all agreed on this year’s winner: Laura Bond. After spending many years as a staff writer at Westword, she went on to direct the flobots.org, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to educating and empowering youth through music, writing, and flobotting. We wanted to introduce her to those of you who don’t know her, so we asked her a few leading questions.
1. How does it feel to be our first Alice Maxine Bowie Fellowship recipient?
I am thrilled and honored to be selected as the first Alice Maxine Bowie Fellowship, and humbled to have been selected from such a talented pool of writers. Lighthouse has meant a lot to me since I discovered this community eight years ago, largely because of the people involved, instructors and students alike. I don’t just like Lighthouse, I need Lighthouse. As well know, writing is often fraught with peril — doubt, the constraints of time, the pressure of deadlines. For me, this Fellowship is a very welcome validation that writing is just as worthwhile and important as the other things that compete for energy and attention, perhaps even more so. Thank you so much, Lighthouse, and to whomever made this Fellowship possible.
2. What are you going to work on this year?
After two years of tinkering, I’m making good progress on my first attempt at fiction, a middle-grade novel set in Tucson, Arizona, titled “The Likely Story of LeeLee Lucero, Girl Librarian, and the World’s First and Finest Exploding Book.” It’s fantasy about a young girl who is destined to become the head of a secret sect of mystical librarians. It’s a really fun, creative, adventurous story, inspired by true events. LeeLee is surrounded by lots of unique characters, including a quirky crew of librarian ladies, and she bravely faces the challenge of saving the world of books from a sinister, imminent threat.
3. What’ll be your walkup song before readings?
My dream is to write something that transports a young reader. So, let’s go with “I Put a Spell on You,” the Nina Simone version. Hard to go wrong with a High Priestess of Soul!
Come meet Laura at our final party of the year, the Draft 12.0 (December 10, 2011, 6 to 9ish PM). It’s free, it’s fun, and there’ll be eats/drinks there. At the Lighthouse Grotto, of course.
* Stay tuned to this very blog for more on the extraordinary Alice Maxine Bowie, who made this all possible, soon.
** We know, the word “fellowship” sounds like it only goes to fellows, but we didn’t have the organizational vigor to come up with a different name for it. My husband and I named our daughter what basically translates to “son of Emer” or some such, so I guess we at Lighthouse kind of err that way, too. We hope you don’t mind terribly.