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.
Patterson, of Missoula, Mont., has published fiction and nonfiction in publications including Seventeen, Southwest Review andSunset. She is the author of Montana Women Writers: A Geography of the Heart, and two children’s books on natural history. She also edited Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One’s Own, Border to Border: Historic Quilts and Quiltmakers of Montana, and Fra Dana: American Impressionist in the Rockies. She teaches creative writing through The University of Montana and the Missoula Writing Collaborative.