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OJC Press Release ID: 2490

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing Judge named

The 60th annual Otero Arts Festival is set for April 5-7, 2016 in the McDivitt Center Gymnasium on the Otero Junior College campus. The Otero Arts Festival showcases creative writing, sculptures, pottery, paintings, drawings, and other works of art submitted by middle and high school students throughout southeast Colorado.

The festival invites area students from grades 7-12 to share their art and creativity with the public in this beautiful spectacle of imagination. This year’s theme is Remembrance, in honor of the 60th year of the arts festival at Otero Junior College.

This year’s creative writing judge is writer and contributor Danielle Holmes. Holmes, who currently lives in Pueblo, has had her work appear in several publications including Pilgrimage, Tempered Steel, P.U.L.P., the Broomfield Enterprise and the Boulder Daily Camera. Her short story “Smoke or Fire” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014.

In past years, Holmes taught English and creative writing to high school students and was a sponsor of Pegasus, a literary magazine for teens. She has her own blog at where she writes about books and posts recipes. Holmes is currently pursuing an MFA in fiction from Bennington College in Vermont. 

Holmes is excited by all forms of writing, but has lately been spending a lot of time with the short story. She grew up throughout the Southwest, where she developed a love of reading and green chili. She lives with her son, their dog and their rabbit.

The creative writing competition at this festival has drawn many entries this year and Holmes is very excited to be judging. “There are some really talented kids in this competition,” said Holmes.

Area students in grades 7-12 entered the Creative Writing competition for the Arts Festival earlier this month. Nearly 450 writing entries comprised of poems, short stories, essays and creative books were entered this year.

The Creative Writing contest continues to feature a high school senior portfolio category. High school seniors were encouraged to enter a poem, short story and essay in the senior portfolio competition. The winner in this category will be awarded scholarship to Otero Junior College on a one-year, renewable 12 credit hours of in-state tuition.

All Creative Writing entries will be on exhibit in the McDivitt Gym at OJC, April 5-7 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Press Release Photo
Danielle Holmes, 2016 Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing Judge