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Wyoming Arts Council announces writing award winner from Laramie

Hollie Sambrooks (left), the recipient of the 2022 Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award and Brandon McQuade (right), the recipient of the 2022 Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award.

According to a release from the Wyoming Arts Council, two writing winners have been announced for 2022: “Hollie Sambrooks of Laramie and Brandon McQuade of Gillette are the recipients of the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2022 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards.”

The release says that Sambrooks won the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award for the entry “The Year She Came,” and McQuade received the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award for the entry “If the Soul Could Speak.”

The release states that “Hollie Sambrooks moved to Wyoming in 2001 from the farmlands of Australia. She loves to travel and being in a new place often inspires her sporadic writing. Hollie writes down the things that haunt her and the things that she cannot bear to forget, and she finds that a touch of magical realism can be more truthful to the heart of a story than fact. She lives in Laramie with her husband and daughter.”

The Gillette recipient, Brandon McQuade, is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick (BA) and Trinity College Dublin (M.Phil). The release says that “he is the founding editor of ‘Duck Head Journal,’ an online, non-profit quarterly publication. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in ‘Dreich,’ ‘Red Eft Review,’ ’34 Orchard,’ ‘Vita Brevis’ and ‘Eunoia Review.’ McQuade’s debut chapbook, ‘Bleeding Heart,’ was published by Kelsay Books (2021), and his debut collection, ‘Mango Seed,’ was recently published by Scurfpea Publishing. He lives in Gillette, Wyoming with his wife and their children.”

These awards are made possible through the generosity of a private donor. According to the Wyoming Arts Council, “The Blanchan award is given for the best writing that is informed by a relationship with the natural world; the Doubleday award is given for the best writing by a woman writer. Both awards are designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers.”

The juror for this year was Debra Magpie Earling. Debra is the author of “Perma Red” and “The Lost Journals of Sacajewea,” which will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2023.

The Blanchan and Doubleday awards program is an annual competition administered by the Wyoming Arts Council. For more information about the awards, visit the Arts Council website at wyomingartscouncil.org or call 307-247-6673.