WPR journalist chosen for Wyoming Arts Council writing award

WYOMING – Melodie Edwards of Laramie is the recipient of the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2019 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing & Journalism Fellowship for her entry, “Predators as Eco-Engineers.”

Honorable mentions were given to Betsy Bernfeld of Wilson and Jeffrey Lockwood of Laramie.

The Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing & Journalism Fellowship is made possible through generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund. This annual prestigious fellowship of $3,500 is awarded to a creative writer (poetry, fiction, nonfiction), or those in the field of journalism (writer, photojournalist, videographer, documentary filmmaker, online or print media) who demonstrate serious inquiry and dedication to the Greater Yellowstone region through their work.

Over the next year, Edwards will create or complete a relevant publishable or produced work and have the opportunity for a housing residency in the greater Yellowstone region.

As a reporter with Wyoming Public Media, Edwards covers a wide variety of Wyoming topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture. She is currently working on a civil discourse project called, “I Respectfully Disagree,” interviewing people in the state who are modeling how people find compromise to make change. She is the recipient of a national PRNDI award for her investigation of the housing crisis on the reservation and several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, two for “best use of sound.”

Edwards grew up in Walden, Colo. where her father worked in the oilfield and timber industries and her mother was the editor of the Jackson County Star. She graduated with an MFA from the University of Michigan on a Colby Fellowship and received two Hopwood Awards there for fiction and nonfiction. She is a recipient of the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award, also offered through the Wyoming Arts Council, and is the author of, “Hikes Around Fort Collins” (Pruett Publishing).

Edwards and her husband own Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse. She also loves to putz in the garden, and hike and ski in the mountains with her daughters and her dad.

This year’s juror was celebrated journalist Todd Wilkinson who is the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative’s Writer in Residence and is a regular contributor for Buckrail.

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