Holiday village provides inspiration for writing contest

Photo submitted Delta County Libraries hope the holiday village on display at the Crawford Library will inspire a poem or short story.

There is a beautiful village in Crawford that many Delta County residents have never seen, even those who live in the area. Lights twinkle in houses frosted with snow, people sing carols and cross country ski and chop wood, animals wander freely through pleasant snowy streets, and, despite the weather, no one seems cold. While this ideal scene could be anywhere in Crawford, it is, in fact, on display at the Crawford Library, where librarian Jan Ryan has arranged the tiny figurines every year for the holidays since the library moved into its current location.

This year, Ryan plans to make her dreamy village even more special, inviting people to write about it in a contest put on by the Delta County Libraries. Ryan explains that a patron came up with the idea for the contest last year. She says, "Participants can take a look at the village and concoct a poem or story about one or more of the characters, about a particular building, or about the whole village."

While Crawford Library staff would love to have people from all over Delta County visit the library to examine the scene up close, they understand that a trip to Crawford may be too far out of the way for some, especially with winter weather settling in. To make the contest available to everyone, Delta County Libraries has photos, contest rules and an online entry form available at

day-village/. Library staff members are always happy to help patrons access this information and enter the contest.

"It is a lot of fun to give library patrons a chance to get creative and get involved," says interim district director Lea Hart. "We offered a haiku contest over the summer that was very successful, and we loved reading the poems that people contributed. I look forward to seeing the entries for this contest."

If the holiday village contest ignites the desire to write and patrons wish to enter another writing contest, Delta County Libraries is working with the Blue Sage Center for the Arts in Paonia to gather submissions for the ninth annual Write On writing competition. This contest is open to a much broader selection of poetry and prose and winners can expect to have their work published in an anthology of contest winners. Details for this contest can be found at and the deadline for submissions for the Write On contest is February 1, 2016.

Holiday Village participants will need to write a bit faster, with a deadline of December 31, 2015. The Friends of the Crawford Library have agreed to sponsor some great prizes and local celebrities will be handling the judging. It will be worth the time for students to try writing over break and adults to work writing into their busy schedules.

Ryan is confident that after seeing the village, participants will have no trouble finding motivation. She encourages, "Visit Crawford Library and be inspired by the colorful magic of this miniature holiday village. Your imagination will dream up all sorts of stories about the tiny villagers and their homes and businesses."

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