Publications & Creative Work


Electric Lemons: Interpretation and the Art of Writing

The Definitive Resource for New and Experienced Interpretive Writers

winner, 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Writing/Publishing

Electric Lemons: Interpretation and the Art of Writing By Judy Fort Brenneman

In this one-of-a-kind guide, award-winning author and playwright, veteran interpretive writer, and long-time writing coach Judy Fort Brenneman shares a unique approach to learning and practicing interpretive writing. Here you will find inspiration and practical advice, techniques to court the muse and to craft powerful stories, and the nitty-gritty on fundamental principles and how to create stories that make a difference. 


Positive Parenting for Bipolar Kids: How to Identify, Treat, Manage, and Rise to the Challenge

Cover image for Positive Parenting for Bipolar Kids

by Mary Ann McDonnell (Author), Janet Wozniak (Author), Judy Fort Brenneman (Writer)


High IQ Kids: Collected Insights, Information, and Personal Stories from the Experts

Cover of High IQ Kids

2008 Legacy Book™ Award in the Parent/Family category
edited by Kiesa Kay, Deborah Robson, and Judy Fort Brenneman

In addition to co-editing this anthology, Judy wrote the following chapters and sections:
“Introduction,” pp. 1-4;
“What’s in a Number,” p. 5;
“Take a Number,” p. 81;
“More Than a Number,” p. 245;
“Chapter 23: When the Pop Bottle Overflows,” pp.273-279;
“Strength in Numbers: An Introduction to the Resources,” pp. 352-355



Dracula and The Writing Coach

Audience Choice Award, Trimedia Film Festival, 2011
by Judy Fort Brenneman, 2011 premiere directed by Nick Turner

What monsters lurk in a writer’s brain—especially when she has writer’s block?

Bring Back the Sun

by Judy Fort Brenneman and Helen Taylor, December 31, 2010 premiere directed by Ben Wasser

Written and produced for Bas Bleu Theatre for First Night, Fort Collins, CO

In the long winter night, we gather together, telling stories to keep away the dark. Will our vigil be rewarded? This play draws on stories from around the world to Bring Back the Sun.

Selected Articles, Essays, Fiction, & Poetry

“All My Eyes Are On You,” Mothers and Mentors: the Art of Nurturing, (2023), pp 94-96.

nominated for PUSHCART PRIZE

Yeah, everybody says moms have eyes in the backs of their heads, but I tell you what, I
got them everywhere. They circle around my head like a headband. There’s one at the base of
my neck, right there where that big knob of your spine is, it’s called C7, you can look it up.
Yeah, where you shudder, you know, like a shiver runs up your spine? I have eyes in my ears,
too; they help with translation, like you know when you’re on the phone, and you can’t see the
person you’re talking to? Sure, the extra eyes add a little weight to my head, but I can handle it. More: Video of Judy reading All My Eyes Are On You

“Amanda’s Violin,” Literal Latte, Fall, 2012

Third Prize, 2011 Literal Latte Essay Award

The round table at the coffee shop is covered with a dark green and tan cloth. The four chairs fill its arc on the side away from the wall. I’m on one end of the arc; my backpack and a white teddy bear named Snowball fill the next two chairs; and Amanda, a slight, elven-faced girl-child of ten, sits in the fourth chair. A chess board made from a slice of tree trunk weights down the table between us, angled so that both the bear and Amanda have a good view. Read more: PDF of Amanda’s Violin

“Transcending ‘How I Learned to Drive,’” Western States Theatre Review, Volume 16 (2010), pages 3–9.

The first time I saw Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, I left the theatre disappointed, a little frustrated and vaguely irritated. Where was the powerful story that “got it,” the story that leading local psychiatrist Chris Hageseth said was excellent but extremely risky for any incest survivor to view? The play could trigger flashbacks or re-open old wounds, he explained to the reporter from the town newspaper. The play was emotionally intense and emotionally accurate. Women who had experienced sexual abuse in childhood might have to leave the theatre in mid-performance if they weren’t forewarned, far enough along in their own healing, or sufficiently self-aware. I think he even recommended that mental healthcare specialists be standing by in case of severe adverse reactions.
More: PDF of “Transcending ‘How I Learned to Drive'”

“Rocky Horror Show: Fresh, In So Many Ways”

First place, National Critics Institute, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VII, 2008.

Okay, I confess it: I love this musical—its campiness, its outrageousness, its unabashed exuberance. Somewhere along the way, the Rocky Horror Show (including the movie version, Rocky Horror Picture Show) crossed the line from guilty pleasure (you went to a show about what?! Umm…a promiscuous, bisexual, cross-dressing alien who sings and dances while wearing a corset and five-inch heels…and seduces an innocent young couple…and creates his own gorgeous muscle man…um, did I mention the corset?) to cult classic and cultural phenomenon (meet you at the midnight showing…again). But with such familiarity comes a concern: can this troupe of players from the University of Northern Colorado’s College of Performing and Visual Arts and School of Theatre and Dance, led by director Vance Fulkerson and music director Michael Ruckles, claim the show as their own? This is not simply a question of technical and artistic competence, but one of creativity and freshness. Read More: PDF of Rocky Horror Show: Fresh In So Many Ways

“The Sound of a Story,” The Storyteller, 17 no. 1 (Spring 2011), pages 1–2.

Early morning, very cold, but not the subzero it’s been recently. I shuffle, ever mindful of the ice, to where the drive meets the curve of the cul-de-sac. Still half-asleep, I uproot frozen newspapers from the asphalt, straighten up, and— Read More: PDF of Sounds of Story

“The Lesson of Kimberly’s Bear,” The Storyteller

I only heard the story once, but I keep coming back to it. It’s a simple story on the surface. In the hands—or voice—of a less gifted storyteller, I might have tossed it off as a standard interpretive glimpse into a culture not my own, or a tale for kids. Read More: PDF of The Lesson of Kimberly’s Bear

“The Decade that Brought Hope” by Kimberly Cunningham-Summerfield (ghostwritten by Judy Fort Brenneman), The Interpreter Magazine, (Sept./Oct. 2006)

Outstanding Feature Article, National Association for Interpretation, Nov. 2007

Read The Decade that brought Hope


Voices,” in Mothers and Mentors: the Art of Nurturing, (2023), pp 31-33

Peeps,” Your Daily Poem (April 7, 2023).

Bless Me,” Your Daily Poem (October 3, 2023).

Fear,” Speakeasy, no. 12 (Fall 2004), page 7.

Lost and Found in Santa Fe,” Puerto del Sol 38, no. 2 (Summer 2003), pages 257-263.

In a Safe Place,” Weber Studies 18, no. 2 (Winter 2001), pages 30-32.

Jasmine,” Weber Studies 18, no. 2 (Winter 2001), pages 33-37.

Nestled in Chaos,” Weber Studies 17, no. 3 (Spring 2000), pages 97-100.

When You Stop Counting,” Weber Studies 16, no. 2 (Winter 1999), pages 87-93.

“Ink and Skin,” Inn from the Desert (Desert Writers Workshop Anthology), 1993.

“Sense of Place, Sense of Self,” Feeding the Lake II (Desert Writers Workshop Anthology), 1992.

“Listen,” Incest: From Horror to Hope (Incest Survivors Art Committee, Inc.), 1991.

“Phone Call,” Out of Wilderness (Desert Writers Workshop Anthology), 1996-1997.

“Canyon and Heart,” Out of Wilderness (Desert Writers Workshop Anthology), 1996-1997.

“Red Earth,” Dancing on the High Plateau (Desert Writers Workshop Anthology), 1994.

“First Writer’s Workshop,” Incest: From Horror to Hope (Incest Survivors Art Committee, Inc.), 1991.

“Preposterous Thoughts,” Feeding the Lake (Desert Writers Workshop Anthology), 1991.

“Fanning the Creative Spark,” Legacy (May/June 2003).

“A Different Reason to Compete,” Action Martial Arts Magazine, Issue 50 (Feb./Apr. 2002), page 15.

“Maura Green: Braving the Dark,” Action Martial Arts Magazine, Issue 38 (Feb./Apr. 1999), page 4.

Interpretive Work portfolio