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The Old Jail - Pony, Montana


Diane Elliott was born in San Francisco, grew up in Minnesota, immigrated to Montana in the mid 1960s and plans to die with a smile on her face in Montana.


In the 60's Elliott was a theater major at the University of Minnesota. When she married, she followed her husband to the wilds of Montana and has been writing in a variety of genres ever since. Her career began with a gardening column, "Digging and Scratching", written for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in the 1970's. "Sunshine, Soil and Short Seasons", a high altitude primer for gardeners, soon followed. During that time she also wrote Legislative testimony for the League of Women Voters and Common Cause.


Her historical novel "Strength of Stone" was short-listed for the 2003 Saroyan Prize for Literature and garnered the 2003 Willa Finalists Award in historical fiction. She has published poetry and short stories in literary magazines and received awards from the Montana Institute of the Arts, the National Book Club and the Mary Brennen Clapp Memorial Poetry Contest. Her multimedia script, "Impersonating Bernie" written for the Montana Ballet Company, received NEA funding and was produced in 1993.

For fifteen years Elliott wrote from the old Pony jail nestled in the Tobacco Root Mountains. Now she works from home in Bozeman while sharing an office with her husband. Nights she goes to sleep listening to him playing his melodic claw-hammer banjo. Together they garden, hunt and walk their Standard Poodle, Spud. They have been married for over fifty years.

In 2013 Elliott co-wrote "Art and Inspiration" with her daughter Souther on a 7,500 mile marketing trip. "Shattering Porcelain Images", a book of poetry, came out in May of 2014. "When Volcanoes Wake", a second book of poetry released in 2016, was an Eric Hoffer Book Award Honoree. "Songs of Bernie Bjorn", a novel in verse form, also released in 2016, was listed by Kirkus in their Best Indie Books of 2016. Her latest novel, "Blood Fiction" was released Aug 18, 2017. It also received a Best Indie Book Starred Review from Kirkus.