Lordsburg High School
Historic preservation

Southern New Mexico
A Mecca for the Adventurous

Five join Space Hall of Fame

Fort Bayard
Happy 149th birthday

Growing Our Roots
The resurgence of herbalism

Every Hero has a Story
Library welcomes heroes

Heritage Days
Rodeo event focuses on the dig

Seventy Years Ago
Birthplace of the A-Bomb and Nuclear New Mexico

Downwinders Speak
Cancer culture in the shadow of the bomb


Mud Pies
Map Exhibit
Trout Fishing in the Gila
Truth Returns
Field School
Wine and Nuts

Columns and Departments

Editor's Notebook
Desert Diary
Southwest Gardening
Cycles of Life
Publisher's Notebook
The Starry Dome
Talking Horses

Special Sections

40 Days & 40 Nights

Red or Green

Dining Guide

Arts Exposure

Arts Scene
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind
& Spirit

Guides to Go

About the cover


The Write Stuff

No matter the author or the medium, we love good writing

Last month David Siddens, a senior at Silver High School, got his byline in a statewide publication. The topic of one of his articles was Derek Salas, a football player at the University of New Mexico, and another Silver High grad.

I had the opportunity to work with Siddens and about a dozen other students at the annual New Mexico Press Association High School Journalism Workshop in Albuquerque in June. Together, those students from throughout the state created the 34th edition of The Future Press, a nice little newspaper produced on deadline.

It’s encouraging to see young people excited about writing.

Whenever I’m asked to speak in front of students, I talk about newspapers, of course, but I talk more about writing.

Learning how to write and to write well, can serve a young person in myriad ways.

Ever read a newspaper? Ever read an article on online site? Ever read a magazine? Ever read a book? Ever watch a movie? Ever watch a TV show? Ever watch or listen to a commercial? Ever read a comic book? Ever play a video game? Ever read Desert Exposure?

If you ever do any of those things, you are consuming things that have to be written.

I was encouraged recently by the national buzz about the release of “Go Set A Watchman,” the recently rediscovered novel by Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

All over the country, July 13, people read aloud from “Mockingbird.” I’d forgotten how much poetry is in that book. And how much humor. The book came out in 1960, and the movie of the same name hit theaters in 1962. Lee’s book won the Pulitzer Prize and Gregory Peck won the Best Actor Oscar for his perfect portrayal of Lee’s lead character, Atticus Finch.

There is humor and poetry in the movie, but even more in the book.

The re-discovery and subsequent release of “Watchman,” long thought lost to the ages, has re-ignited interest in Lee, who did not have a published book prior to “Mockingbird,” and, until now, did not have one published since. Publishing a book every 55 years may not be the typical pattern for authors, but for Lee it worked.

I guess it would have worked for anyone who could have created a masterpiece like “Mockingbird.” I read recently “Mockingbird” still sells between 750,000 and a million copies a year, earning Lee as much as $9,000 a day. Her net worth is about $40 million.

We can’t guarantee a similar future for writers who win awards in the annual Desert Exposure writing contest, but you can earn you a published byline like young David Siddens.

You can submit an unpublished article, short story, essay, poem or other piece of writing by Aug. 26. Entries will be judged on literary quality and how well they express an aspect of life in southern New Mexico. No more than two entries per writer. Maximum length is 4,000 words.

Send Entries to: Desert Exposure Writing Contest, contest@desertexposure.com or Desert Exposure Writing Contest, 840 N. Telshor Blvd., Suite E, Las Cruces NM 88011. Include name and postal address, plus email address. Entries cannot be returned.

We look forward to seeing your creative work.


See what you can do to spread some of the happiness today.
Richard Coltharp is editor and publisher of Desert Exposure





Contact us!

840 N. Telshore Blvd, Suite E

Las Cruces, NM 88011

telephone (575) 524-8061








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