Whether simple or complex, based in truth or the wilds of deep imagination, everyone has a story to tell. Pat Fogarty, president of Central Arizona Writers and a writer himself, wants to help our community find and tell their stories.
Though he’s now accomplished and experienced, Fogarty took a long and winding path to becoming a writer. After spending his youth in the South Bronx of New York City, from high school he went through the National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee program — known now as the Electrical Training Alliance — to become an electrician. He joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers and was based in the NYC area for decades, including a position at the World Trade Center towers when they were being built. By a stroke of fate Fogarty was transferred from a job there mere weeks before they were struck on September 11, 2001, leaving him physically safe but haunted by the event and the loss of peers who were in the towers that day. Four years later, Fogarty retired after 35 years of service and moved across the country to Prescott to start a new adventure.
While in New York Forgarty’s daily commute on public transit allowed him lots of opportunity to read. Though he didn’t imagine it at the time, the pastime laid the groundwork for his interest and skill in writing.
“If you want to write, you have to be a reader,” Fogarty attests. So, it was no surprise that when he decided to try creative writing and other advanced writing classes at Yavapai College, he excelled. In 2010 Fogarty received a Commitment to Excellence award from Yavapai College for outstanding performance in creative writing, and earned a certificate from the Creative Writing Program in 2011.
He has written nonfiction, fiction, memoir and poetry, and has been published in both US and international journals and magazines. He often draws on experiences from his life in his works, and in 2020 published his book Bronx Girls Gone, a collection of true crime tales exploring the accounts of four girls who met tragic ends near where he grew up in the Bronx. He now also periodically compiles and edits selections of short stories from local writers, which he publishes under the pseudonym AZ Writers.
Following his interest in writing, Fogarty joined Central Arizona Writers (formerly Professional Writers of Prescott) over ten years ago. After serving as secretary for several years, he rose to president in 2015.
Central Arizona Writers has been supporting and bringing together local writers and hosting events in the Prescott area for over 50 years. Fogarty especially enjoys arranging the group’s free literary programs, including presentations about all aspects of the art of writing. The group also hosts events where local authors can showcase their works, open-mic nights for poetry and short stories, writing workshops, and more.
While the membership includes a New York Times bestseller, a Pulitzer Prize winner and retired teachers, anyone with an interest in writing — including beginners — is welcome to join. General meetings are always free and open to the public. To become a member and stay up to date on events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Arizona Writers partners with the Prescott Public Library to present the monthly series Prescott Writers, which brings in speakers to discuss topics related to writing, publishing and more. These programs occur every fourth Tuesday of the month at 6pm at the library.
To learn more about Prescott Public Library programs, including Prescott Writers events, visit or call the Ask a Librarian desk at 928-777-1526.