One day last summer Debra Marquart came to visit my office and said, "You should send me out to do writing workshops in the western part of the state were all the rapid development is happening." Writers are by nature curious people and Deb is no exception. She wanted to see for herself how the place we both grew up is changing. The story of North Dakota's oil boom is all over the national media, but Deb wasn't content to read about her home state from major new outlets. She wanted to travel the countryside and hear people tell their own stories. She wanted to take a snapshot of North Dakota in pen and ink using the voices of the people who live there. Of course, many of the best stories that come from the workshops won't have anything to do with oil. They might talk about travelling to foreign countries, falling in love, or skydiving. The stories might even be fictional or written in poetic verse. The point is that each story will still be shaped by the connection the writer has to the place they are writing in. It will be a fun adventure. In fact, it was such a fun project that it attracted the attention of another North Dakota author. Taylor Brorby was keen to join Deb on the road and add his own voice to the project.
During their trip we have invited Deb and Taylor to blog about their adventures right here. We hope you will join us in following their journey.