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WWW will be seeking entries for the 2016 WILLA Literary Awards, honoring books published in 2015, following the October conference. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2016

To read the Guidelines for the 2016 WILLA, please go to "WILLA Guidelines and Application" in the left-side navigation bar. The entry period for the 2016 WILLA Awards is now closed.


16th Annual WILLA Literary Awards™

Women Writing the West Announces
2014 WILLA Literary Award Winners & Finalists

Women Writing the West is proud to announce its 16th Annual WILLA Literary Award competition Winners and Finalists, representing the best of 2013 published literature for women’s or girls’ stories set in the North American West. WWW is the underwriter and annual presenter of this nationally recognized award, which is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize winning author Willa Cather.

Chosen by professional librarians at colleges, universities, public libraries and research institutions, the winning books and their authors were honored in Golden, CO, October 16-19, 2014, during the 20th Annual Conference.

2014 WILLA Literary Award Winners
WILLA Literary Award Winners:
Left to Right: Agent Liz Trupin-Pulli for Lesley Poling-Kempes, Rosanne Perry, Anne Lazurko, Marge Saiser,
Sara Loewen, Linda Williams Reese, and WILLA Chair Erin Gray

2014 WILLA Literary Award Finalists
WILLA Literary Award Finalists:
Left to right (back row): Darcy Lipp-Accord, Dawn Wink, Teddy Jones, WILLA Chair Erin Gray, Anne Sweazy-Kulji,
Katy Lente. Front row: Marcia Calhoun, Susan Wittig Albert


The 2014 honorees are listed with the designation of Winner and Finalist in each category:


WINNER: Bone Horses by Lesley Poling-Kempes (La Alameda Press)

FINALIST: Jackson’s Pond, Texas by Teddy Jones (Midtown Publishing, Inc.)

FINALIST: Blood of the White Bear by Marcia Calhoun Forecki and Gerald Schnitzer (WriteLife, LLC)


WINNER: Dollybird by Anne Lazurko (Coteau Books)

FINALIST: Meadowlark by Dawn Wink (Pronghorn Press)

FINALIST: A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert (Persevero Press)


WINNER: Junction, Utah by Rebecca Lawton (Wavegirl Books)

FINALIST: Merciless by Lori Armstrong (Simon and Schuster/Touchstone)

FINALIST: BODIE by Anne Sweazy-Kulju (Tate Publishing)


WINNER: Gaining Daylight: Life on Two Islands by Sara Loewen (University of Alaska Press)

FINALIST: Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Christine Byl (Beacon Press)

FINALIST: Circling Back Home: A Plainswoman’s Journey by Darcy Lipp-Acord (South Dakota State Historical Society Press)




WINNER: Trail Sisters: Freedwomen in Indian Territory, 1850-1890 by Linda Williams Reese (Texas Tech University Press)

FINALIST: I Fought a Good Fight: A History of the Lipan Apaches by Sherry Robinson (University of North Texas Press)

FINALIST: Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp by Ann Kirschner (Harper Collins)


WINNER: Losing the Ring in the River by Marge Saiser (University of New Mexico Press)

FINALIST: Upriver by Carolyn Kremers (University of Alaska Press)

FINALIST: Life Between Dust & Clouds by Sally Harper Bates (Morris Publishing)


WINNER: Written in Stone by Rosanne Parry (Random House Children’s Books)

FINALIST: Taking the Reins by Dayle Campbell Gaetz (Coteau Books)

FINALIST: My Magic Cowboy by Katy Lente (Casa de Snapdragon LLC Publishing)

WWW will be seeking entries for the 2015 WILLA Literary Awards, honoring books published in 2014, following the October conference. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2015.

Thank you to the WILLA Fund Donors for 2015:
Sybil Barnes – Estes Park, CO
Jane Kirkpatrick – Bend, OR (in honor of Sybil Downing)
Cynthia Leal Massey – Helotes, TX
Carolyn Niethammer – Tucson, AZ
Sarah Rickman – Colorado Springs, CO (in honor of Joyce Lohse)
Kaye Roll – Torrance, CA
Alice Trego – West Jordan, UT
Dawn Wink – Santa Fe, NM (in honor of Susan Tweit)
Ralph Freedman – Decatur, GA