Laura Pritchett is an American author and conservationist whose work is rooted in the American West, particularly the mountains of Colorado. She is the the author of the novels Stars Go Blue, Sky Bridge (winner of the WILLA Fiction Award), and Hell's Bottom, Colorado (winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the PEN USA Award), and has two novels forthcoming from Counterpoint Press. She is also the author of Great Colorado Bear Stories (nonfiction) and editor of three anthologies: Pulse of the River, Home Land, and Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers.

Laura has published over 100 essays and short stories in numerous magazines, including The Sun, O Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Tin House, Poets & Writers Magazine, Orion, High Country News, Salon, The Normal School, High Desert Journal, OnEarth, Natural Resources Journal, 5280 (Denver's Magazine), The Pinch, and others; and her work has been anthologized in several books, including Comeback Wolves, A Dozen on Denver, Telling it Real, How the West Was Warmed, The Mysterious Life of the Heart,Thoreau's Legacy: American Stories about Global Warming, West of 98, and others. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize on several occasions.

When not writing or teaching, Laura can generally be found outside in Colorado’s mountains. She holds a Ph.D. in English (Contemporary American Literature) from Purdue University.

You can reach Laura at

Follow me on twitter @authorlaura

To read one of Laura's short stories
(and author interview)
click here

For more fiction: click here

For some nonfiction, try one of these:

A recent article: click here

Schedule of Events click here

To read Laura’s most recent article
on Colorado’s flooding
click here

From the publisher:

Laura Pritchett is an award-winning author who has quickly become one of the West’s defining literary voices. We first met hardscrabble ranchers Renny and Ben Cross in Laura’s debut collection. In Stars Go Blue, they are estranged, elderly spouses living on opposite ends of their sprawling ranch, faced with the particular decline of a fading farm decline of a fading farm and Ben’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Then they discover a new horrible truth: Ray, the abusive husband of their daughter who shot her dead in the family kitchen, is being released from prison early. This news opens old wounds in Ben, his wife, his surviving daughter, and four grandchildren. Branded with a need for justice, they must each confront this man, their own consciences, and their futures.

Stars Go Blue is a triumphant novel of the American family, buffered by the workings of a ranch and the music offered by the landscape and animal life upon it. With an unflinching look into the world of Alzheimer’s, both from the point of view of the afflicted and the caregiver, the novel offers a story of remarkable bravery and enduring devotion, proving that the end of life does not mean the end of love.

Early Praise for Stars Go Blue:

“Laura Pritchett’s is a fine new voice, fully her own, with wise sensibilities. The deep territory mapped here in the triangular boundary between regret and endurance and hope is well illuminated and finely wrought.” —Rick Bass, author of The Stars, the Sky, the Wilderness

Stars Go Blue manages to be both warm-hearted and violent at once -- a complex deeply-imagined family tale which finds unexpected gifts at its conclusion. Laura Pritchett is a writer who knows country life on the Rocky Mountain front range thoroughly and she conveys this physical world expertly, beautifully out of her long experience. Within this specific place her clear depiction of character and suspenseful delivery of story compel us to the last exact word.” —Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong and Eventide

“Laura Pritchett’s new book is a novel about family and the Western spirit to which they are born; her characters bound off the page as if released from the pull of gravity. In prose as bright as mountain air we meet a retired rancher whose memory is failing and his estranged, hard-bitten wife, as each attempts to prepare for the release from prison of the stranger who murdered their daughter. Their narratives are as gripping as they are intelligent, as wise as they are funny, as unsentimental as they are tender. What results is proof positive that Pritchett is one of Colorado’s best-kept literary secrets, a superb writer who not only knows her people and the world they come from, but respects and loves them.” —Laura Hendrie, author of Stygo

"Laura Pritchett is to be congratulated for the brilliant telling of a story this true and this tough. Stars Go Blue is an unswerving exploration into the trials of aging and its related losses, while giving testimony to the hardiness of the human spirit and the ways in which we transcend our own frailty in the name of love." —Claire Davis, author of Winter Range

“Laura Pritchett performs the simple but miraculous prestidigitation of human empathy. Stars Go Blue is a nerve-jangling, heart-wrenching treat—a tale you won’t easily forget about a man struggling to remember.” —Steve Amick, author of The Lake, the River & the Other Lake and Nothing But a Smile

For Laura’s Summer 2014 Book Tour, please click here click here

Sky Bridge
"From beginning to end, Sky Bridge grabs you by the heart and never lets you go."
The Denver Post

Hell's Bottom, Colorado
"Displays the talent of a brilliant, new writer."
The Rocky Mountain News

"Pritchett excels at juxtaposing the sensuous with the severe, the rapturous with the repugnant." -– Booklist

— “A valuable and wide-ranging work of scholarship, love, and respect, Pritchett’s
book is a great source for the history of bears in Colorado—black and grizzly.” — Rick Bass, author, Why I Came West and The Lost Grizzlies: A Search for Survivors in the Wilderness of Colorado


Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers For Going Green, Pritchett has gathered over twenty writers to tell their personal stories of Dumpster diving, eating road kill, salvaging plastic from the beach, and forgoing another trip to the mall for the thrill of bargain hunting at yard sales and flea markets. They look not just at the many ways people glean but also at the larger, thornier issues dealing with what re-using—or not—says about our culture and priorities.


The Tattered Cover


Pulse of the River
"This is a book with all the blessed diversity of the Cache la Poudre itself, moving through all the wildlands and farmlands, uplands and flatlands of nature and human nature conjoined."
George Sibley. (Royalties donated to the Colorado Water Trust)

Home Land: Ranching and a West that Works
"Trust me: This is not a collection of essays. It is a string of pearls. This book throbs with the beating heart of the West."
Ed Marston. (Royalties donated to the Colorado Cattleman's Ag Land Trust)

West of 98