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State of the Ozarks Editor-in-Chief Josh Heston showcasing a piece of artwork submitted for the Writers Artists Night in 2018.

Do you love to write or create art? If you do, then the State of the Ozarks has a yearly event that could help showcase your artistic abilities in a fun and uniquely collaborative way.

SOTO announced it is currently accepting applications, now through April 15, for their annual Writers Artist Night event that will take place June 19 at the Chad A. Fuqua park in Hollister. The event pairs writers with artists, who create art pieces inspired by the written word. 

 “This event is our longest running event,” said Heston. “It allows the opportunity for people to express their artistic creativity in collaboration with other artists in the area.”

Writers can submit their original written pieces in any genre and about any topic on the SOTO website. The written submission must be 1,200 words or less. 

Artists can apply on the website to be paired with a writer. Artists are asked to list their medium on their applications. There is a $15 entry fee, if your application is accepted, according to the SOTO website.  

“Once a written piece is accepted, it is paired with an artist who will create an art piece inspired by the written word,” said Heston. “It is a way that we can showcase the incredible talents of those in our area and allow their creativity to shine.” 

The collaboration can be an emotional experience for both the writer and the artist, according to Heston. 

“During the process the artist has the choice of how they want to work, whether they keep the writer involved as they create a piece or not, because of this the writers sometimes don’t know what their words have inspired until the night of the event,” said Heston. “It can be a real emotional thing for the writers as they get to see what someone felt when they read their words.

“It can be a cathartic experience for both the writer and the artist.”

At the event, writers are invited up to read their entries next to the unveiled art that it inspired. 

There is a panel of independent judges that will read over the entries and review all of the give out awards, according to Heston.

“On the night, the art is on display the writers and artists both get to share their pieces on stage,” said Heston. “It is a place where the talents of our community can be showcased. We want to celebrate the spoken word, the written word and the art that is created.”

“Entries may be featured in the State of the Ozark magazine in the future, as well. It isn’t about the awards or recognition, it is about creating a place, an event, where writers and artists are celebrated and their amazing talents are showcased. We have so many talented artists in our area and we are hoping that our events give them a safe place to explore those talents and creativity.”

If you are an artist and a writer, you can submit both a written piece and be paired up to create an art piece as well. 

“If you send in a written submission, you can also apply to be an artist,” said Heston. “You just won’t be able to create art based on your writing. 

“The idea is to see what your words can inspire in others. The whole night is about building our community, and sharing in the emotional and passion that the writers and artists pour into their works.” 


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