Introducing a new annual literary symposium
June 26-27, 2020

L-R: Lisa Jones, Martthew Face, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. Courtesy images.

[April  2020 | By Laura Lee Yates]

Stories matter more than ever in these challenging times. That’s why the Blue Sage Center for the Arts in Paonia, Colorado is proud to announce its first annual StoryFest. With a keynote address on June 26 by award-winning author-adventurer Craig Childs followed by a full day of workshops and performances from talented faculty on Saturday, June 27, this celebration of wordcraft will provide inspiration and instruction for writers and lovers of literature alike. Because of the pandemic there’s now a virtual option that allows participants to learn from all the workshops by archive, whether they’re able to attend live in Paonia or access through Zoom. This makes the $75 fee even more of a value—but the stressors of the current economy prompted the Blue Sage to offer a special Early Registration discount to $60 for those who register by Friday, May 22.

In addition to Childs, StoryFest presenters for this inaugural year include: activist-author Amy Irvine, Boulder author/teacher Lisa Jones, self-publishing guru Polly Letofsky, Moth Story Slam winner Matthew Taylor, multi-talented Yuri Chicovsky, songwriter J Morley, fabulous performance poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, and environmental writer/ranchers Sharon & Pat O’Toole.

StoryFest—the first incarnation of the North Fork’s new annual literary symposium-will celebrate the written word with stories and the history of the North Fork Valley, through workshops, speakers, readings, and performances illuminating this haven where we live. We have added a VIRTUAL participation option for those of you that would like to join us remotely. 

Register by May 22 for Early Bird Registration – $60 (Includes all workshops) 

When Paonia was chosen by the Smithsonian as one of the lucky Colorado communities to display the Museum on Main Street exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” in 2021, Blue Sage Executive Director Debra Musikar was inspired to embark on The StoryFest project. “This region abounds with writers, both published and aspiring. We’ve designed this event to enrich the literary community, bringing people and story together in the beautiful North Fork Valley.”

The pandemic has affected many of the ways we interact with each other, but one way or another StoryFest’s wealth of knowledge and inspiration will be available to participants, whether within the  charming setting of the North Fork Valley or in the security of your own home virtually through Zoom. Author Sue Monk Kidd said: “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” So mark your calendar for this great event and keep stories alive! Lots more information is available at, or feel free to call us at 970-527-7243 between 11 A.M. & 4 P.M. Tuesday through Saturday.

We continue to offer programming through the Internet during the pandemic. Please visit our website and view our videos on YouTube and Facebook. Be well!