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Grand County writers group gets the words down

by Cyndi McCoy
cmccoy@grandcountynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

Putting eloquent thought on paper can be a daunting task, but with like-minded individuals around to encourage the process, it can become a less stressful and very rewarding experience.

That is what residents are finding out through Rough-Writers INK, and several contributing writers have agreed to share their work at the annual meeting of The Friends of the Grand County Library on Saturday. The program will include presentations by Rough Writer Magazine Editor and Publisher Chris Tracy, and authors Vera Shay (poetry), Carol Schroer (storyteller), Rynda Parrott (essay writer), Fran Cassidy (mysteries and poetry) and Grace Hammond (memoirs).

Tracy said Shay “is truly an artist” with “wonderful grassroots poetry ” rhyming, rhythmic, and personal.”



Hammond’s stories of her Southern childhood, Tracy said, “are made even more fun when she reads them aloud in her little girl Southern drawl.”

Parrot’s essays reflect the mountains where she grew up and Cassidy’s short stories (some fantasy, others true, and all “usually funny”), Tracy said, “are worth telling again and again.” She said Schroer’s poems, art and stories “are surpassed only by her wonderful storytelling skills.”



It was a quiet Friday morning in 2002 when the group formed, and it wasn’t long before people from all walks of life started to show up.

“I realized we had many great writers,” Tracy said, “and as I was teaching about the subject of how to get published, or where to go with our writing, the idea came to me one morning on the way to a meeting: Why not start a magazine to recognize local writers and artists?”

It had been a dream of Tracy’s to publish such a magazine, “and since all of us were trying to pin down goals and dreams with our writing, I decided that would be my contribution to the group.”

The magazine title “Rough-Writers INK” describes the group pretty well, Tracy said, because it is based in a Western town, and many of the writers are just starting out “rough.”

The magazine is the culmination of writing support and discussion groups which have met regularly since its inception five years ago. It is completely volunteer-run and about 800 copies are distributed early winter and summer as a combined effort.

Proceeds from circulation of the magazine go toward a $500 annual scholarship for an area student pursuing the creative arts after high school.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that we can share our own creativity in such a worthwhile and fun way,” Tracy said.

Goals for the magazine include recognizing emerging writers in the county and basically to keep it going throughout the county, expanding its area of influence. Copies are $2 and are available through subscription, as well as at various stores in each town.

“We always think that if we could focus on this full time, it would be so fun and could be much bigger,” Tracy said. “But for now, this is it and it’s been a good ‘ride’.”

If you are writing a book, love to dabble in prose, have an idea for a magazine article, want to be published, or just want to further your writing skills, Rough-Writers INK is a great resource in Grand County and submissions are open. Membership is open and free and several participants, Tracy said, have been published as a result of the encouragement they got from the writers groups.

Writers from the west end of the county meet at Big Shooter Coffee in Kremmling, the Fraser Monday Morning Creative Writers meet at the Fraser Library, and those in Granby meet at the Granby Library.


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