This work is made possible in part by the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, with funds from the Indiana General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts


The Willow Maiden began when I had an idea for a fantasy ballet story back in 2000 or 2001. During the creation of this project, I gave presentations at DragonCon and the C.S. Lewis and Friends Colloquium at Taylor University. Since the ballet premiere, I presented a paper about the ballet and its new life as a novel at Mythcon 2004, the annual conference of the Mythopoeic Society, where I also serve on the award committee for fantasy literature.

For more information about the ballet, please visit The Willow Maiden: A Fantasy Dance Adventure, a website maintained by my husband, Stephan Laurent, who was artistic director and one of the three choreographers for the work. To listen to excerpts of the original score, please visit the web page of the composer, Frank Felice.

I have completed a first draft of the novel, based on my original story, which is currently at about 140,000 words. I expect to tighten some things up during the editing process. I am a member of a novel group, the Off-track Bookies, which meets once a month at the Indiana Writer's Center to critique each others' work. I cannot say enough about what a blessing it is to have intelligent writers read my work and to have the added benefit of reading their works in progress! More information about my writing in progress can be found at my Livejournal.

My primary career is as a singer and voice teacher. For more information, visit my home page. I also write short fiction and have had articles published in Classical Singer magazine.


October 30, 2005 A draft is complete! It is really more of a second draft than a first one since most chapters have already been edited once taking into account suggestions from my novel group. Stephan took a couple of pictures of me with some trees today, including the one above and this one:

August 20, 2005 I have just returned from WorldCon in Glasgow, where I met some wonderful writers and attended panels by authors, editors, and literary agents. Some of them convinced me that I needed a Livejournal, so here it is: Ellen's Musings. I also attended Tolkien 2005 in Birmingham.

July 26, 2005 Website opened. Still a work in progress! I am currently finishing chapter 22 and have two more chapters to complete in order to finish a first draft of the novel. Then it is back to editing.

July 5, 2005 An excerpt from the novel has been accepted for publication in Mythic Circle, the literary magazine of the Mythopoeic Society.

June 2005 I attended the Indiana University Writer's Conference where I brought a novel excerpt to a workshop with Chitra Divakaruni. It was a wonderful experience where I met lots of great writers and got some very helpful feedback on my writing.

June 2002 I was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Indiana Arts Commission for my work as the ballet's librettist and dramaturgist.

You are invited to join the Willow Maiden discussion group hosted by Yahoo! Groups, a free, easy-to-use community service. By joining willowmaiden, you will be able to exchange messages with other group members, store photos and files, coordinate events and more.

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Text and design (c) 2005 Ellen Denham. All rights reserved.


Last updated 10/30/05