The Art Of Storytelling

In support of writers: Singer-songwriter Radney Foster headlines Books on the Bosque Weekend at Bosque Arts center; Robinson-Masters offers workshop and lecture; writing contest winners named

CLIFTON – Country music is all about story telling – painting a picture with words and music about wrenching heartbreak, life’s trials and tribulations, undying love and gratitude or just the crazy things you did in your youth. What better way to open an event about the more traditional story-telling through books with a concert by a country singer/songwriter?

The Bosque Arts Center opened its Books on the Bosque event with an acoustic concert by country singer-songwriter Radney Foster. Texas-born Foster is known for solo hits “Angel Flight,” “Nobody Wins,” and “Just Call Me Lonesome,” along with those as part of the duo Foster & Lloyd – “Crazy Over You,” “What Do You Want from Me This Time?”

Throughout the concert, Foster sprinkled in snippets of his recently released book of short fiction, “For You to See the Stars,” with writing in the style of great Southern writers like Harper Lee and Larry McMurtry.

“Legendary singer/songwriter Radney Foster found commercial success and critical acclaim due in large part to his literary approach to country music,” The Amazon intro to the book reads “’For You to See the Stars’ is a testament to his talent, showing the diversity of his voice, bringing lyrical prose to the page.”

On Saturday author, pilot, and exciting motivational speaker Nancy Robinson Masters offered writers and readers young and old “The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing.” In reality, she presented the “Seven Definite Do’s” in writing to make your writing soar.

Masters has been inspiring readers, writers, and dreamers for decades. She is the author of over 50 books, including award-winning books for children. She has published more than 3,000 feature articles in a variety of publications and was a long-time newspaper columnist.“There’s a book in every person,” Masters said. “All you have to do is start.”

Participants ranged from a teacher wanting to write a historical novel; a column writer wanting to develop character and depth in something bigger; someone who wants to write poetry, then short story and eventually a book; someone who loves to read and broaden her mind; someone always wanting to learn new things and ending up enough material to write a book on her life; to someone wanting to learn how to market the children’s books she writes and illustrates; to someone wanting to “unclutter their attic,” enough to start writing what’s important; to someone wanting to find a hobby for when they’re retired; someone wanting to write down the stories of her special needs students, someone who dabbles in stories of the paranormal; to someone wanting to write something other than the training manuals she writes all day as her job to someone wanting to publish her brother’s poems with her illustrations.

Like Masters, they all want to paint pictures and evoke emotions with their words. But to do so, Masters said 1) you have to know your target audience 2)”understand the hat” or in other words have a hook, then rising action to the apex and then the slide to the conclusion where the reader feels satisfaction 3) make your characters, even your villains relatable 4) know how to make the middle part interesting 5) know copyright law 6) overcome your fear of putting your deepest thoughts to paper and 7) keep your passion, because that will overcome #6

After lunch and the contest awards ceremony, Masters shared anecdotes and thoughts with her signature warmth, wit, and “down home” style entertaining and inspiring the participants to the writing contest and demonstrated the necessity of all elements in a story to work together in supporting budding writers of all ages. The afternoon featured a session for those interested in pursuing self-publishing. .

Masters also delivered inspiring words to all in attendance for the awards ceremony, enlisting the audience to encourage their writer friends and family members. She closed by reminding everyone one of one of her main mottos: “If you can read and write, you have power.”

Paula Perschke of Tolstoy & Co. Bookshop in Clifton provided coffee and sponsoring breakfast from Corner Drug. Tolstoy’s had a selection of books on Bosque County on display and Masters Masters was more than happy to autograph her books people bought.

Books on the Bosque introduced its inaugural Writing Contest. The contest fielded entries from area writers as well as New Mexico, California, and Maryland; and several Clifton High School students had entered short stories.

Kaitlyn Baker of Clifton High School took the top honors in the poetry division, while Theo Boyd of Whitney won first place in the nonfiction essay category. Beth Hatcher of Clifton and Kelsey Bryant of Valley Mills won second place awards in the essay and short story categories, respectively. Hatcher also captured third in essay. Cleon Flanagan of Clifton won third in short story and Riley Ball of Clifton High School took third in poetry.

Area writers winning honorable mentions were Chelsea Canapi, Sophie Ritzmann, E. Brett Voss, Royce Graham, Kyndall Hunt, and Flanagan. First place winners in each category received $250, second place drew $100, and third place winners were awarded $50.

Winners of the 2022 inaugural Books on the Bosque writing contest

Short Story

1st Place “In the Jingle Jangle Morning -1965” by Richard Maxson of Boerne; 2nd Place “Remembering Spring” by Kelsey Bryant of Valley Mills; 3rd Place “A Bum’s Tale” by  Cleon Flanagan of Clifton. Honorable Mention: “Glory” by Patricia Schultheis of Baltimore, MD; “The Parsonage” by Cleon Flanagan; “My Own Hands” by Chelsea Canapi of Clifton.

Nonfiction Essay 

1st Place “50 Shadows” by Theo Boyd of Whitney; 2nd Place “Danny and the Laundry” by Beth Hatcher of Clifton; 3rd Place “The ScoreKeeper” by Beth Hatcher. Honorable Mention: “Being a Christian Doesn’t Mean We Are Going to Heaven” by Cleon Flanagan; “The Ballad Hunter Legacy” by E. Brett Voss of Meridian; “Dallas Police Department” by Royce Graham of Clifton.


1st Place “My Mind is an Ocean” by Kaitlyn Baker of Clifton;  2nd Place “Café Roma, 1988” by Terence Cady of Santa Fe, NM; 3rd Place “Through Camera Lenses” by  Riley Ball of Clifton. Honorable Mention: “What She Hears” by Theo Boyd; “A Winter Night in Santa Fe” by Terence Cady; “Yellow” by Kyndall Hunt of Clifton.


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1 comment

  1. Saranne Penberthy 30 November, 2022 at 22:17 Reply

    Bosque County is a great place where opportunities abound. Thanks to the Bosque Arts Center for sponsoring Books on the Bosque and for Chisholm Country for once more reporting on activities in our area.

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