LAURA short fiction

Sit down, pull up to your computer, and take a trip with us through the American West. We have a hunch Ms.Wilder herself would be mightily entertained!

2018 LAURA Short Fiction Winners
2018 LAURA Short Fiction Award Winners

(Left to right) LAURA Chair Cindy Sandell, Anne Schroeder, Elizabeth Boyle, B K Froman, Krista Soukop accepting for Candace Simar, and Carmen Peone accepting for K Lyn Wurth

Women Writing the West is pleased to announce the Awards in the 2018 LAURA Short Fiction Contest. The winners were announced at the 24th Annual Convention in Walla Walla.

The 2018 LAURA Award winners are:

First Place
Night Riding by Candace Simar

Second Place
Chessy's Wedding by Elizabeth Boyle

Third Place
The Bang Girls by Anne Schroeder

Fourth Place
I Stare at People by B.K. Froman

Fifth Place
Separation of the Stars by K. Lyn Wurth

Read the winning stories here!

2017 LAURA Award Winners
Left to right, Denise Chavez (judge), Barbara Marshak, Caroline Arlen, Carmen Peone, Bonnie Hobbs, and Founding Member Charlotte Hinger

President-elect and LAURA Coordinator, Carmen Peone is pleased to announce the LAURA Short Fiction Award Winners for 2017.

First Place: Queen of the Hill by Carmen Peone

Second Place: The Lotus by Bonnie Hobbs

Third Place: The Tent by Caroline Arlen

Fourth Place: Voices by Barbara Marshak

Fifth Place: The Bucket by Charlotte Hinger

Read the Winning Stories Here

Women Writing the West is grateful to Denise Chavez for being the final judge in this year's contest.

Certificates were awarded at the LAURA Awards Luncheon at noon on Friday, October 27, in Tucson at the Women Writing the West Conference. Meg Files was the luncheon speaker.

We received twenty-six stories this year. Thanks to our three delightful screeners who will remain anonymous.

Women Writing the West is pleased to announce the WINNERS AND finalist stories in the 2016 LAURA Short Fiction Contest.

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

LAURA Short Fiction Award Winners

(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.

Linda Jacobs

President-elect, Women Writing the West


Read the 2016 Winning Stories Here


2015 LAURA Wnners and Finalists

2015 LAURA Short Fiction Awardees
(Left to right): K. Lyn Wurth, Evelyn Hess, Wendy Claus, Josephine Young, Teri Crane

First Place
The Growing Season by Wendy Claus

Second Place
The Wilkins Will by Josephine Young

Third Place
The Trunk by Teri Crane

Honorable Mention
Grabbing Hold by Evelyn Hess

Honorable Mention
Fool's Moon by K. Lyn Wurth


The final placing Winners and Honorable Mentions were announced and the authors honored at the 2015 WWW 21st Annual Conference on October8-11, in Redmond, Oregon. Thank you to the 2015 LAURA Short Fiction Contest Judge, Jessy Randal.


In 2007, President Elect Kathleen Ernst presented a seed of an idea to the WWW Board of Directors. Her proposal, a short story contest, offered a threefold foundation: showcase WWW members' writing talents, celebrate the short story form, and add another benefit to membership. Unlike the WILLA Literary Awards, only WWW members would be eligible to enter their previously unpublished story featuring a female protagonist, and set in the American West, past, present or future.

During the contest's first year in 2008, President Elect Sheila Wood Foard guided the new project. Twenty-five members submitted entries, and the quality was such that Final Judge Susan Stoltz, of Women OutWest Magazine, elected to include two Honorable Mentions in addition to the top three winning stories.Winners were recognized at the 2008 WWW Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Approaching its second year, the WWW Short Story Contest gained a new name: the LAURA Awards. Mirroring a part of the traditions of our WILLA Literary Award, which is named after one of America's foremost authors, Willa Cather, the Short Story Committee decided to give the contest a recognized name, as well. In honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the contest was christened the LAURA Award.

Once again, WWW members enthusiastically embraced the contest, and in 2009, another threeWinners and two Honorable Mentions were awarded at the Los Angeles Conference. Spurred by members' recent requests to have an opportunity to read the winning stories, and eager to showcase the extraordinary talent of our members, the WWW LAURA Committee decided to present a collection of the winning stories in an online journal, available here, at the WWW website.

So, sit down, pull up to your computer, and take a trip with us through the AmericanWest. We have a hunch Ms.Wilder herself would be mightily entertained!