The Saratoga Sun -

Local artist presents at HEM literary dinner


Mike McGraw, a rancher and artist from Medicine Bow, shared his Doodle Land children’s literature creations at the final spring season HEM Literary Dinner May 21.

McGraw shared his creations with members of HEM Junior/Senior High School and the local community, and was joined in presentation by Saratoga writer Joshua Wood. Students and parents listened to McGraw’s presentation involving background writing processes, including transitioning from doodle renderings to a complete story line, and moving into full color illustrations and a published work.

With a degree in art from the University of Wyoming, McGraw also relies upon inspirational input from his twin sons while developing story lines and illustrations. For instance, during the creation of Doodle Land, one son requested a mohawk for a shark, while the other twin requested a creature with basketball legs. Expanding the appeal for the children’s book, McGraw has also produced a coloring book entitled “Coloring Doodle Land.” The intent is to inspire young writers and encourage them into sharing their insights into potential colors for Doodle Land creatures, and consider transferring colors into illustrations for future writings they create.

Wood, who has previously shared his compositions and adventures at literary dinners, presented an introspective look at the influential impact reading provides to young authors, and shared a post from his blog regarding the impact of art. Members of the writers group in Saratoga hope to join Wood when the literary dinners start meeting for the fall season.

One kindergarten audience member was Elliona Young, daughter to Kyle Young, a writer who previously shared his short-story literary piece entitled “Two Men, One Toothbrush” at an earlier spring literary dinner. This inspired his daughter to share her writing piece with illustrations entitled “Fun Holiday.” She was also quite excited to have her photo taken with the two guest authors, and have her photo placed in the literary dinner showcase located next to the HEM Pro-Start classroom.

HEM Literary Dinners begin again this September, and at that time will showcase another regional writer, Tanya Griffith, along with other writers from the Saratoga writing group organized by Wood. Griffith, formerly of Hanna, will announce and present her second novel.

Literary Dinners are made possible through the HEM PTO and HEM English Department.


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