In 2015, the Billings literary community came together to participate in a grant sponsored by the Pulitzer Prizes Foundation and hosted by Humanities Montana. Events such as Pulitzer Out Loud and a reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri brought hundreds of people to community spaces to appreciate poetry in public settings.
Success from these events inspired local writers Anna Paige and Ashley Warren to find ways to further community engagement in writing-related events. As they expanded their literary networks, they were introduced to Helena Area Literary Arts, a successful model co-founded by Chelsia Rice and Corrie Williamson. Rice and Williamson were generous with their model and helped to empower the launch of the Billings Area Literary Arts.
Anna and Ashley have an incredible amount of professional crossover. Both are adjunct professors of English at Montana State University Billings, writing instructors with Arts Without Boundaries, members of the Big Sky Writers Workshops, and, not to mention, writers with successful performance and publishing careers.