Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Late August New Releases and Awards

August has been a banner month for Women Writing the West members. Head on over to the WWW News page to read about new and upcoming books and read the award news. Join us in celebrating our community of talented authors and publishing professionals!

A Bushel's Worth: An Ecobiography, by Kayann Short
Winter of Beauty, by Amy Hale Hauker
Log Cabin Christmas Collection, including Jane Kirkpatrick

A Wilder Rose, by Susan Wittig Albert
Liberty's Christmas, by Randall Platt
The Whip, by Karen Kondazian

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WILLA Award™ Winners!

Pam Tartaglio, 2013 Chair for the WILLA Literary Awards™for Women Writing the West, announces the Winners and Finalists for this year's 15th Annual WILLA Awards™. Drum roll, please!


Historical Fiction

WinnerTrue Sisters by Sandra Dallas (St. Martin’s Press)
FinalistTributary by Barbara K. Richardson (Torrey House Press)
FinalistDance with a Gunfighter by Joanne Pence (Quail Hill Publishing)

Contemporary Fiction

WinnerTheft by BK Loren (Counterpoint Press)
FinalistA Growing Season by Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl (University of New Mexico Press)

Creative Nonfiction

WinnerKissed by a Fox and Other Stories of Friendship in Nature by Priscilla Stuckey (Counterpoint Press)

Childrens/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction

WinnerLiberty’s Christmas by Randall Platt (Texas Tech University Press)
FinalistThe Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas (Sleeping Bear Press)
FinalistOutcasts of River Falls by Jacqueline Guest (Coteau Books)


WinnerSteam Laundry by Nicole Stellon O’Donnell (Red Hen Press) 
FinalistReluctant Traveler by Laurie Wagner Buyer (Seven Oaks Publishing)

Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)

WinnerThe Bones and the Book by Jane Isenberg (Oconee Spirit Press)
FinalistIn Need of a Good Wife by Kelly O’Connor McNees (Berkley/Penguin)
FinalistThe House on Swiss Avenue by Irene Sandell (Eakin Press)

Scholarly Nonfiction

WinnerWomen in Wonderland:  Lives, Legends and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park by Elizabeth A. Watry (Riverbend Publishing)
FinalistDivinely Guided:  The California Work of the Women’s National Indian Association by Valerie Sherer Mathes (Texas Tech University Press)
Finalist Colorado Women:  A History by Gail M. Beaton (University Press of Colorado)

Congratulations all!


What are the WILLA Awards?

The WILLA Literary Awards™ honor the best in literature, featuring women's or girl's stories set in the West that are published each year. Women Writing the West, a non-profit association of writers and other professionals writing and promoting the Women's West, underwrites and presents the nationally recognized awards each year at the WWW Fall Conference. The awards are named in honor of Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Willa Cather, one of America's foremost writers.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mid-August New Releases and Awards

Women Writing the West members have released a flood of books and won more awards. Here's the latest installment of the member news. Head on over and celebrate with the authors!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Follow the Tawny Tracks

Award-winning memoirist and fiction writer Page Lambert looks at the spirits that motivate us in life and writing. 
How does a writer find her way into the heart of a story without following the tracks of the animals?  How does a woman find her way through life without these animals to guide her?

Once in my day-dreams, a Basque woman with Cherokee blood came to me.  Her voice pulled me like an undercurrent. "My name is Selu Ama Martone Naciente," she said. "I am an old woman living above an old river. My mother called me the Water Carrier."  Selu has been in my dreams ever since. Together we are writing a story.

Lady, a red roan carriage horse with a black mane, came to us.  When Selu walks along the banks of the river, she stops to stroke Lady's neck.  I think of how, for more than twenty years, I stroked the neck of the red roan mare that was my constant link to the land, and I think of the red roan mare in Shifting Stars who journeyed to the sacred Medicine Wheel in the Big Horn Mountains with Turtle Woman, and of the old tawny cougar who's journey paralleled hers.

“Why,” my editor asked, “do we need the mountain lion? It’s not like she’s supernatural or mystical or anything.”

True, the lion was only being a lion.  But she was linked by the land to a destiny greater than any of us could understand, and it was her destiny that was linked to Turtle Woman’s, and to mine, and now through this bit of pondering, to Selu’s.  No, not supernatural, not greater than nature, yet every bit as mysterious as nature.

Selu remembers the contours of the land on her Basque grandfather’s sheep ranch in the Big Horn Mountains because she can still feel the vibration of the ewes’ feet upon the earth, like she feels the weathered furrows that line her face through the tips of her fingers.  Is this not mystical?

The banks of the river that Selu looks down upon are flanked with asphalt and stone buildings carved from the hogback ridges.  Lady, the red roan carriage horse, has walked these ridges, as did her sire from many generations back.  He was a thin young stallion once owned by the Hungate family, but after they were stuffed down their very own well, he helped bring their bodies to a Denver mortuary.  And then, because it was his destiny, he later carried three captive children back to Denver, two Cheyenne sisters and a young Arapaho boy, where they would be displayed on the stage of a theater along with a hundred scalps.  “Come see the Sand Creek Savages,” read the placard, “and Monsieur Malakoff, the Sword Swallower!”

Selu does not know this, nor does Lady.  She does not know that the DNA of all of her ancestors still floats through her veins, but she feels it in her bones—remembers the feel of young children clinging to her back.

The animals in our lives, like the stories of our dreams, weave in and out.  As we write, it is good to feel the truth beneath our feet, like the river stones, to walk toward the heart of our stories with intention and to remember that other beings have life journeys that parallel ours, even when we cannot see them, even when their tawny forms seem merely figments of our imaginations.

Author and Women Writing the West member Page Lambert writes about the western landscape, mentoring and guiding people who want to creatively connect more deeply with the natural world. She facilitates outdoor creative adventures, often working in partnership with other professional organizations and venues such as the Grand Canyon Field Institute, The Women's Wilderness Institute, and the Aspen Writers' Foundation. Page's River Writing Journeys for Women with Sheri Griffith Expeditions were featured in the January, 2006 issue of Oprah's O Magazine as "One of the top six great all-girl getaways of the year!"

Saturday, August 03, 2013

LAURA Short Fiction Finalists!

This just in from WWW President-elect Cynthia Becker:

Women Writing the West is pleased to announce the five finalist stories in the LAURA Short Fiction Contest, listed in alphabetical order by title:

            “Another Life” by Sally Zanjani
            “The Embroidered Sheets” by Virginia Dehlinger
            “The Teacup” by C.J. Fosdick
            “The Trousseau” by Jeanie Young
            “Trusting Blue Eyes” by Jeanette Collins

These stories have been sent to the Final Judge, mystery, science fiction and short story author Mary Rosenblum, who will determine final placement. Awards for first, second, third and honorable mention stories will be announced during the LAURA reception at the October 2013 Women Writing the West Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Join us there!

Congratulations to the authors of these five stories. 

Read the 2012 LAURA Short Fiction winners in the online LAURA Journal.

WWW News for July and August

Summer clearly hasn't slowed WWW members down. We've got three new releases to celebrate and a pair of awards. Click on over to our WWW News page to celebrate with our community of women who write the West!