The 2016 LAURA Short Fiction Contest
Women Writing the West is pleased to congratulate the authors of the five winning stories of the LAURA Short Fiction Awards.
First Place: The Marks We Leave by Patricia Bailey
Second Place: The Good Sport by Amy Hale Auker
Third Place (Tie): A Girl Named Egg by Beverly Lionberger Hodgins
Third Place (Tie): Bees to Flowers by K. Lyn Wurth
Honorable Mention: Cecile and the River by Vicki Holmsten
(Left to right): Amy Hale Auker, Patricia Bailey, Vicki Holmsten, (back) Final Judge Anne Hillerman, (front) LAURA Chair Linda Jacobs, K. Lyn Wurth, Beverly Lionberger Hodgins
Anne Hillerman was our final judge. We received a record 37 stories. With a group of writers like Women Writing the West has as members, let me tell you they were all great stories. They
ranged from the poignant to the humorous, with main characters from young girls to older women. Thanks to our three wonderful screeners who will remain anonymous - they had a very difficult, but enjoyable time finding the five highest scoring stories.
President-elect, Women Writing the West
Meet 2016 LAURA Final Judge, Anne Hillerman
Anne Hillerman, the eldest of best-selling mystery author Tony Hillerman's six children, grew up in Santa Fe and Albuquerque surrounded by stories and beautiful landscapes. Her first novel, Spider Woman's Daughter, is a mystery in the tradition of her father's Navajo books and features Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee and, as the star, Bernadette Manuelito. It debuted at number ten on the New York Times best seller list. The second book in the new series, Rock with Wings, was published in May, 2015 and also made the NYT list and garnered great reviews.
Anne is a founding director of the Santa Fe-based WORDHARVEST Writers Workshops and the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. She helped create the Tony Hillerman Prize for best first mystery awarded annually by St. Martin's Press. She also serves on the board of Western Writers of America.
Before turning to fiction, Anne wrote seven non-fiction books including Tony Hillerman’s Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn (HarperCollins), Gardens of Santa Fe and the recipe book and restaurant guide Santa Fe Flavors (both GibbsSmith Publisher).
Anne's work has been honored with the Spur Award, the Mountains and Plains Book Award, and two Santa Fe Reporter's Best of Santa Fe awards and as Best Novel and Best Book, 2014 in the New Mexico/Arizona book awards. Her first novel was a finalist for the Dilys Award, an honor bestowed by the Mystery Booksellers of America for the books they most enjoy sharing with customers. Rock With Wings is a nominee for the Zia Award, the Spur Award and the Mountain and Plains booksellers Best of the West Award.
The New Mexico Chapter of Women in the Arts has recognized Hillerman as an “Outstanding Woman Author.” In 2012, she was named one of New Mexico's Remarkable Women. In 2013 she received the Art Icon Award and, in 2016, the Book in Hand award from the New Mexico Book Association.
When she's not working, her idea of a well-spent day is skiing fresh powder with friends, followed by a classic Western sunset, a fine meal and , of course, a good book.
Photo credit: Jean Fogelberg