Annual literary festival planned on Oct. 15 in Genesee

Deb Hurley Brobst
Posted 6/29/22

Book lovers: It’s time to plan for the eighth annual Rocky Mountain Literary Festival.

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Annual literary festival planned on Oct. 15 in Genesee


Book lovers: It’s time to plan for the eighth annual Rocky Mountain Literary Festival.

The festival on Oct. 15 is sponsored by Bootstraps Inc., the organization that provides scholarships to students. The festival has a twofold mission: to bring together authors, book lovers and the community to spend a day talking about books and to support Bootstraps Inc.’s mission to provide scholarships for students attending college or trade school.

“People who love to read love this event,” said Nancy Hiester, Bootstraps’ director of development. “(The festival) brings in unique authors who have different perspectives on writing.”

Susan Henry, Bootstraps’ executive director, said last year’s festival had four authors who were informative and entertaining, and this year will be no exception.

“They brought a lot of value to the day,” Henry said about last year’s festival. “By the end of the day, everyone was so happy.”

Authors give 45-minute presentations, plus they autograph books to give participants a chance for one-on-one time.

This year’s four authors have written in a range of genres:

  • Jon Billman, a former wildland firefighter and high school teacher, wrote “The Cold Vanish” about the efforts and emotions behind individuals and organizations searching for people lost in the wilderness.
  • Scott Graham recently published his seventh in the National Parks Mystery Series called “Canyonlands Carnage” about whitewater rafting and the value of water in the West.
  • Maya Shanbhag Lang’s memoir called “What We Carry: A Memoir” tells the story of a child of a successful Indian immigrant whose understanding of her family is turned upside down when her mother develops Alzheimer’s.
  • Local author Melissa Payne has written “The Night of Many Endings” in which the characters are trapped by a snowstorm in a library, where they have the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

The festival will be emceed by Ausma Zehanat Khan, who was a featured author in 2017 for her mystery and fantasy series.

The authors at the festival are selected by a committee of eight to 10 volunteers who read more than 30 books, rating them to determine who will be good for the festival. Henry noted the committee members were incredible in their dedication to making the author selection.

“We want someone who makes a great presentation and writes compelling books and has a new book coming out,” Hiester added.

Henry lauded the executive committee for organizing the festival, saying the committee puts on an event that is fun and good for the community, and very beneficial for student scholarship recipients.

“If we didn’t have great authors, it wouldn’t be a great festival," Henry said.


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