Writer in Residence

About Writer in Residence

As part of the District’s vision to serve as an incubator for the arts and further our mission of “connecting communities to inspiration for life”, the High Plains Library District Foundation (HPLD Foundation) is proud to announce our Writer in Residence program.

The goal of the HPLD Foundation’s Writer in Residence program is to support the creative process of one (1) Weld County writer during a six-month time-period so they may complete a manuscript with the intent to e-publish.

The resident’s work can be of any style or genre but must be related in some fashion to Weld County in subject matter. Applicants must reside within the High Plains Library District boundaries (see map), must be an HPLD cardholder (or become a cardholder), must be at least 18 years of age, and must be willing to commit to all associated duties of the residency.

Click to see larger map.


Writer In Residence duties include:

  • Appear at HPLD events
  • Work with HPLD staff to develop relevant programming
  • Work with social media manager to create online content (blogs, posts)
  • Agree to MOU
  • Commit to 6 continuous months of residency

Applications are reviewed in a blind judging process by a committee of local writing professionals. High Plains Library District resident will be announced no later than June of each residency year.

2018 Writer in Residence 

Julia McSherry was selected by a volunteer panel to serve as the District’s third Writer In Residence. McSherry is a freelance writer based in Greeley, originally from Louisiana. She makes her home on a small acreage with her two dogs, two horses, two barn cats and a flock of free range hens.  She loves to cook and is passionate about slow food and fast (fresh) ingredients. An avid gardener, she was a Colorado Master Gardener, Weld County, for five years.

The book she will be working on during her residency is a combination memoir/cookbook, titled Catch and Devour, about her relocation from New Orleans to Greeley after Hurricane Katrina. She loves the West and hopes to capture some of the charm afforded by the unique agriculture, high plains and mountain landscape of northern Colorado. The narrative before and after recipes will tell stories related to cooking, farm life, sustainability, healthy growing and eating and slow rather than fast food. Excerpts of the book will be published online through a blog and eventually in print.

“Where I grew up in central Louisiana and then lived for decades in the New Orleans swampland, hunting and fishing was a way of life. With that, so was cooking game and fish,” says McSherry. “Colorado has a similar history of living off the land, whether it’s through raising cattle, growing crops as a farmer or vegetables as a backyard gardener. Cooking and recipes are part of the stories of our lives. Who doesn’t remember their mother’s gumbo (in my case), their grandmother’s biscuits, or a favorite aunt’s chocolate chip cookies? Food and cooking conjure stories,” McSherry stresses.

“The High Plains Library District Writer in Residence Program is a wonderful symbiosis,” McSherry emphasizes. The residency provides an opportunity for writers to have time to write while also contributing to the community through library programs and events.

View press release here


Thank you to all who came out for Julia’s slow food event!

The session included an overview of McSherry’s cookbook/memoir Catch and Devour, with recipes and excerpts available at www.juliamcsherry.com

2017 Writer in Residence

On behalf of HPLD, a volunteer committee selected Chris Muscato as its second Writer in Residence. Muscato is an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Colorado. He first came to Greeley as an undergraduate student, left to earn a master’s degree in Mexican history from the University of Wyoming, and is thrilled to be back in this community. Chris is also a contract writer for Study.com, creating online lessons about history, architecture, art, music, and literature.  When not writing, teaching, or grading, Chris spends time with his wife Kristin and his dog Buddy enjoying all that colorful Colorado has to offer.

Read an excerpt from Chris’s writing here.

2016 Writer in Residence

During her residency, Jaydine Rendall completed two books in her High Plains Heroes series. The young adult fiction novels are set in the plains of Northern Colorado during the late 1800s. The three-book series was given a publishing contract with the first novel set for release in early 2017. More information about Jaydine’s work and her residency experience can be found here.

Subsequent questions about the residency can be sent to Abby Yeagle, Interim Foundation Director, please submit the form below: