Women have been the community builders, educators, and healers in Montana from time immemorial. After a short history of several historic Montana women writers for inspiration, including Mary Ronan, Nannie Alderson, May Vontver, and Mary Maclane, Patterson asks the women and men in the audience to write sketches about remarkable women in their past: homesteaders, teachers, ranchers, rodeo riders, homemakers, and bartenders. Audience members who prefer recording an oral history will use DIY technology to capture their stories on audio. Story collections can be shared with the group and online, building a new history of Montana women.
Caroline Patterson is the author of The Stone Sister, winner of the Big Moose Prize from Black Lawrence Press, which won for the 2022 High Plains award for women’s fiction and was a Montana Library Association honor book. She published the collection, Ballet at the Moose Lodge, a literary anthology Montana Women Writers: A Geography of the Heart and two children’s books on the natural world.
Her work has been included in anthologies including A Million Acres, Montana Noir, Bright Bones, and The New Montana Story. A graduate of the University of Montana creative writing program in fiction, she was awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Fiction at Stanford University and in 2022 was awarded a 2021 Montana Artists Innovation Award. She is the executive director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative