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Dedication and Renewal

Lee Francis

In 1992, Dr. Lee Francis III had a vision.  To ensure that the voices of Native writers - past, present, and future - were heard throughout the world.  For ten years he dedicated his time, his spirit, and his energy to this singular vision.  With his passing in 2003, I took over as the National Director.  In carrying his vision forward, we hosted numerous workshops for Native youth, connected dozens of mentors, and generally kept the fires burning.

Then a new opportunity presented itself: creating comic books and pop culture media for Native people, by Native people.  It was a natural fit and Native Realities, the Indigenous Comic Con, and Red Planet Books and Comics all grew out of the seeds planted by Wordcraft Circle.  

Over the past two and a half years, you gave me the time to establish this new business and allow it to flourish.  For this I am eternally humbled and grateful.

But there is still work to do and Wordcraft must continue to honor that vision as I continue to see the need to mentor upcoming writers so they can accomplish their visions.

So this letter is a recommitment to Dad’s vision in supporting Native youth and emerging writers.  To provide mentorship and support for their work and words.  To cultivate and promote opportunities for these brilliant voices to be a part of the literary industry.

We are also going to focus our efforts on developing and supporting a new generation of Native executives, editors, and administrators who can help shepherd more Native writers to successful careers on their own terms.

To accomplish all this we need your help, once again.  Years ago my father called on many of you to support this vision.  Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to change the narratives around who we are and how we exist.  So I am humbly asking you to also recommit to Wordcraft.  Buy becoming or renewing as a member, you continue to make the circle stronger and help us support all this incredible work for all generations.

Your membership not only gets you some exciting benefits but also goes to support this with Native youth.  From providing scholarships to bring youth to RTGs or Indigenous Comic Cons to compensating mentors and member-editors for their time to providing resources to Native communities in their efforts to create, preserve and promote their stories, your membership is necessary.

We have not changed our membership fees in more than ten years and you can lock in that annual price for another decade if you sign back up in the next 30 days.

For those of you who have signed up in the past two years since our hiatus began, you will receive 3 years of membership with Wordcraft for free as a thank you.

So many of you have been a part of this great work as we come upon our twentieth-fifth anniversary.  One quarter of a century has flown by and we look to the next twenty-five with resolve and dedication to forever ensure that the voices of Native Peoples - past, present, and future - are heard throughout the world!

Please join us again as we look toward that incredible future!

RTG 2015 Recap

Lee Francis

This December Returning the Gift was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We had a wonderful turnout and some incredible writers and storytellers graced the Land of Enchantment.  But rather than say it in words, we present to you the RTG 2015 gallery!

Happy Wordcraft New Year!

Lee Francis


Happy New Year from Wordcraft Circle!  This past year we had a wonderfully successful year!  From our work with incarcerated Native youth to Returning the Gift 2015, Wordcraft has been continuing to support the work and words of Native/Indigenous writers and storytellers through our many projects and programs.  And 2016 will be no different!

This year we have a dual focus on literacy and communications.  Both are necessary areas to support for Native youth and communities and we hope our ongoing projects will be able to have an impact for those communities and participants.  Those projects include:

  • WC Reads: our Native youth literacy program which features getting comic books into the hands of Native and Indigenous youth.  By donating a Native-centric, culturally engaging comic, we hope to encourage Native youth to read and express themselves in culturally viable ways.  You can read more about the program HERE!
  • Storykeepers: our storytelling training project funded by the Chamiza Foundation, Storekeepers is currently working in three sites in New Mexico to help train Native youth in the mechanics of storytelling.  We hope to expand to three more sites in the Southwest by year end.
  • Indigenous Theater Institute: in collaboration with Tricklock Theater Company (Albuquerque, NM), Wordcraft is launching the Institute to bring culturally engaging theatrical performances to Native and Indigenous communities throughout the United States.

In addition to our programs and projects, we also have ten planned/sponsored/participating events ready for 2016, including:

  • Common Ground on the Border
  • AWP Wordcraft Pre-Conference
  • IndigiSlam! Indigenous Poetry Slam Championship
  • Common Ground on the Hill
  • iCon: Indigenous Pop Culture Convention
  • Returning the Gift 2016 (25th Anniversary)
  • New Wordcraft Center

There are so many other exciting opportunities for 2016 and we hope you will continue to support our work by BECOMING A MEMBER or DONATING to Wordcraft today!

Have a great 2016 and we'll see you in another year!

Wordcraft To Visit Australia

Lee Francis


In September, Wordcraft Circle National Director Lee Francis IV, had the distinct honor of meeting a number of Australian First Nations writers who were visiting the United States as featured guests of the National Book Festival in Washington DC.  

After a number of incredible conversations with the First Nations Australian Writers' Network, Dr. Francis IV and Wordcraft Circle will have the chance to continue the relationship in Australia this February.  Over 16 days, Dr. Francis will visit Melbourne, Darwin, Adeliade, and Sydney and have the opportunity to meet a number of Australian First Nations Writers and Indigenous community members during the trip.

The visit will also allow Wordcraft and FNAWN to develop several joint projects that will feature collaborations between US and Australian Indigenous writers and storytellers. 

You can follow Dr. Francis' travels on our Facebook Page or return here for more news in March!