WWW News

December Member News

Congratulations to all our WWW members for their awards and new publications!

WWW members swept the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards this year.
Travel Book:
Tony Hillerman's Landscapes: Southwest Guide & Map, by Anne Hillerman and Don Strel


Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction:
Bone Horses, by Lesley Poling Kempes

Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction:

A Growing Season, by Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl


Susan Wittig Albert’s novel, A Wilder Rose, has been named by Kirkus Reviews to its Best of Indie 2013 list. The book was published under her imprint, Persevero Press.

Susan Wittig Albert has also recently published the 20th-anniversary edition of her book, Work of Her Own: A Woman’s Guide to Right Livelihood. It is available on Kindle and Nook, with a print edition coming soon.

Roni McFadden The Longest Trail has been named a Finalist in the EPIC Awards.  Winners will be announced in March 2014. "The Longest Trail carries readers through a spellbinding new work by Willits, CA author Roni McFadden. As a young teen, McFadden left behind the confusion and pain of her unhappy preteen years. She tells of how she went up—up onto horses, up the road to a man who could help her, and up the mountain, to where she could see clearly and breathe deeply. And, finally, up to another place where only some can go. As she travels ‘The Longest Trail’, Roni evolves from a girl stumbling along treacherous and twisted paths to become a strong young woman who knows where she is going, how to get there, and understands she will have help along the way. Her route took her over "The Longest Trail", through life, until she arrived here, now. Having had the visions, seen the petroglyphs, felt the grinding stones, and carrying obsidian chips with her, McFadden knows the strength of the spirits of the ancients, knows their energy can be used by anyone who feels their vibrations."

Carmen Peone Heart of Passion Spupaleena will do nearly anything to make her dream of breeding the finest race horses in Indian Country come true.  She and her relay teammates have been racing and winning, but one boy is resolved to see her fail. Spupaleena is passionate about her dreams and goals. Not any human nor circumstance will deter her—not poison, not injuries, and certainly not a pride-filled, vengeful boy.  She leans into God for direction and wisdom, but will the hunger to triumph steal the reins? Will Spupaleena find her place in a man’s world and prove everyone wrong? Follow Spupaleena and her friends as they find out in this tale of drive, faith, perseverance, and ultimately, a Heart of Passion.

Natalie Bright “A Cowboy’s Christmas Blessings” A cowboy shares the true blessings of his life in this short story, included in West TexasChristmas Stories (Abilene Christian University Press, 2013). A diverse collection of more than 30 heart-warming and humorous Christmas stories, all set in West Texas or by West Texas writers. Available on Amazon.

Shanna Hatfield The Christmas Cowboy  Flying from city to city in her job as a busy corporate trainer for a successful direct sales company, Kenzie Beckett doesn’t have time for a man. And most certainly not for the handsome cowboy she keeps running into at the airport. Burned twice, she doesn’t trust anyone wearing boots and Wranglers, especially someone as charming and handsome as Tate Morgan.

   Among the top saddle bronc riders in the rodeo circuit, easy-going Tate Morgan can handle the toughest horse out there, but dealing with the beautiful Kenzie Beckett is a completely different story. As the holiday season approaches, this Christmas Cowboy is going to need to pull out all the stops to win her heart.
   December 1-24, 10% of the net proceeds from all of Shanna’s book sales will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.

C.M. Mayo Metaphysical OdysseyInto the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero's Spiritist Manual Introduced and Translated  (Dancing Chiva, 2013) Kindle (and paperback forthcoming before the end of the year) In a blend of personal essay and a rendition of deeply researched metaphysical and Mexican history that reads like a novel, award-winning writer and noted literary translator C.M. Mayo provides a rich introduction and the first English translation of one of the strangest, most provocative, and utterly fascinating books ever written in Mexico: the secret book by Francisco I. Madero, leader of the 1910 Revolution and President of Mexico 1911-1913.





November New Releases

It looks like our members have several great books to put on your Christmas Wish List!

Deanna Dickinson McCall Mustang Spring, Stories and Poems has been nominated as a finalist in the fiction-other category by the New Mexico Arizona Book Co-op .  The book can be purchased from Deana or Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Shirley Raye Redmond Stone of the Sun.  Now available at Amazon on Kindle and in Paperback  A mysterious summons brings April Cortes to Sierra Vista, Arizona, to make peace with her past. She’d witnessed a murder—or so she’d been told—and nothing would ever be the same again. “It’s a bang-up good mystery novel…involving an ancient Aztec medallion.”—New Mexico Magazine “I needed to do a lot of things, but I put them off until I could finish the book.”—Lynnette Baughman, author of Silent Witness

Shirley Raye Redmond Amanda’s Beau . Now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Astraea Press. The year is 1905. It is autumn in the village of Aztec in New Mexico territory. Amanda Dale is burdened with the
responsibility of caring for her widowed sister—an invalid—and Ella’s two children—one a premature infant. Schoolteacher Gil Gladney is handsome and intelligent. When Gil and his pupils discover the relics of an ancient culture among the ruins outside the village, Gil contacts an old college friend. The possibility of an archeological excavation excites the community of cash-strapped farmers, eager to earn extra money working on the site. When a rabid skunk reels through the excavation site, threatening the lives of Amanda and her nephew Rex, Gil realizes that life is short and the possibility of true happiness can be fleeting. In the end, Amanda learns to trust God to provide the happily-ever-after ending she’s been praying for.

Shanna Hatfield The Christmas Cowboy, a contemporary western romance.  Flying from city to city in her job as a busy corporate trainer for a successful direct sales company, Kenzie Beckett doesn't have time for a man. And most certainly not for the handsome cowboy she keeps running into at the airport. Burned twice, she doesn't trust anyone wearing boots and Wranglers, especially someone as charming and handsome as Tate Morgan. Among the top saddle bronc riders in the rodeo circuit, easy-going Tate Morgan can handle the toughest horse out there, but trying to deal with the beautiful Kenzie Beckett is a completely different story. As the holiday season approaches, this Christmas Cowboy is going to need to pull out all the stops if he wants a chance at winning her heart.

Andrea Jones Between Urban and Wild In her calm, carefully reasoned perspective on place, Andrea Jones focuses on the familiar details of country life balanced by the larger responsibilities that come with living outside an urban boundary. Throughout her ongoing journey of being home, Jones’s close observations of the land and its native inhabitants are paired with the suggestion that even small landholders can act to protect the health of their properties. Her brief meditations capture and honor the subtleties of the natural world while illuminating the importance of working to safeguard it.

Beth Groundwater A Basket of Trouble. When Claire Hanover saddles up for the opening event of her brother Charley's new riding stable, the last thing she expects is a murder investigation. Kyle Mendoza, one of the stable hands, is found dead in Gunpowder's stall. Everyone thinks the horse trampled him, until it's discovered someone killed Kyle before dragging him into the stall. Charley's troubles worsen with Kyle's family suing him and a rival stable owner wrangling up his clients, so Claire decides to find the real murderer before her brother's business is put out to pasture.

 Beth's third book in the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, set in Colorado Springs has been well-reviewed in all four of the "big 4" review publications: "Groundwater’s third series entry (after To Hell in a Handbasket) is an action-packed cozy that successfully weaves in her small business and disability awareness."--Library Journal, November 1, 2013
"Groundwater combines a satisfying mystery with aspects of riding life and a look at the illegal immigration issue. A good choice for fans of small-town amateur sleuths." --Booklist, Oct 1, 2013 "Groundwater’s well-crafted cozy comes complete with numerous red herrings and a picturesque setting."--Publisher's Weekly, Oct 8, 2013
 "The latest starring Claire (To Hell in a Handbasket, 2012, etc.) packs in more action than a typical cozy."--Kirkus Reviews, August 11, 2013
"This book had everything I want in a cozy mystery. It featured multidimensional characters, a twisting plot, and a location I want to visit."--Mystery Books Examiner, July 15, 2013



September New Releases

If you're in the mood for a good love story set in the West, check out these September WWW member new releases!

New Releases

Andrea Downing: Lawless Love Marshal Dylan J. Kane has always considered the law as black and white, right or wrong.  He's never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey Everhart.  Suddenly the straight and narrow that he's followed has a few twists and turns, and he has to wonder if he can truly love a woman who seems to be plain lawless.

Mary E. Trimble: Tenderfoot  Corrie Stephens is eager to learn about ranch life, but reluctant to become romantically involved–it’s just not worth the heartache. Rancher J McClure, on the other hand, has been alone too long. Tenderfoot draws the reader into the story’s strong emotions based on family, love, and the first-hand adventure of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. (Tenderfoot, a Spur Award Finalist from Western Writers of America, has been republished in a new edition.)

Alethea Williams writing as Christi Williams: Take a Chance on Love When Chancie de Leur meets highway patrol trooper Micah Taylor one frosty Wyoming night, instant heat kindles between them. Chancie’s a lonely young widow who owns her own business and Micah is divorced, so there shouldn’t be anything holding them back. Micah does wonder if the fact of Chancie’s obvious wealth might become an issue, or maybe the fact that she’s apparently the second woman in his life who has zero interest in ever having his baby. But Micah has no idea what a real problem between him and Chancie might be until he meets her son.

Alethea Williams writing as Christi Williams: Perilous Promise  Her ex-husband wants to rescue her. Her brother wants to rescue her. Her co-workers want to help rescue her. Her daddy wants to rescue her. But Perris Dalton doesn’t need a manShe left southwest Wyoming broken, so transformed by fighting cancer even her big hunk of a lawman couldn't make love to her. Now she's back. Her new job is to mitigate conflicts with raptors at a power plant's coal mine. But when an environmental demonstration inexplicably centers in on her, ex-husband and sheriff Noah Dalton steps in, confident he can win back the woman who once walked out on him.

Editor's note: Alethea's comment about these novels is a fascinating example of resourcefulness in getting published. "I've been busy writing as Christi Williams with two books released in the Hawk Point Romances series by Torrid, contemporary sensual Western romances for 18+ year-old readers. These novels had been sitting on my hard drive for a long time with nothing but rejections. Whiskey Creek Press/Torrid Books accepted them if I would heat them up to fit their guidelines and by this point, I was happy to do so." Sometimes we just need to look more widely to see the opportunities.... Congratulations to all!

Late August New Releases and Awards

It's been a banner month for WWW members' new books and awards. Here's the latest installment. 


New Releases

 Kayann Short: A Bushel's Worth, An Ecobiography. When Kayann Short spent summer vacations at her grandparents’ farms in North Dakota, she never dreamed she’d follow in her grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ farming footsteps. Now co-owner of Stonebridge Farm—one of the first community-supported farms on the Colorado Front Range—Short's look at small-scale, local, organic agriculture borrows lessons of the past to cultivate sustainable food sheds for the future. A Bushel’s Worth is a memoir of place, family history and one woman's life harvesting organic vegetables, raising chickens, playing old-time music, and preserving fruit and traditions with her partner, John Martin, on ten acres of fertile “cultivated space.”

Amy Hale Auker: Winter of Beauty (Special Author Edition). Winter of Beauty is a novel of belonging and beauty, and the odd places where we find family. It is the story of the men and women raising beef and families far from the pavement, in a sometimes antiquated lifestyle while they wrestle with contemporary issues. Join WILLA Award-winning author Auker as she gives a glimpse into that world. Join her for a Winter of Beauty  

Winter of Beauty will be released in bookstores in October; the special edition is available from Auker now.

Jane Kirkpatrick: Log Cabin Christmas (collection). This New York Times Bestseller collection of Christmas novellas is being reissued by Barbour in September. Jane writes: "The author assignment was to write a story with a log cabin and a romance in it. My contribution, 'The Courting Quilt' was my first novella attempt, and is set in old Brownsville, Oregon." In Log Cabin Christmas, Jane is joined by a fine crop of writers from across the country including many-times NY Times Bestseller Wanda E. Brunstetter.

Award News

Susan Albert's forthcoming book, A Wilder Rose, about the secret collaboration between Rose Wilder Lane and her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, on the beloved "Little House" series of books, has snagged starred reviews in both Kirkus Reviews and Publisher's Weekly, and was featured on the cover of Publisher's Weekly's "Indie Book" issue. 

Randall Platt's novel, Liberty's Christmas, was named a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Awards in the children's literature category.

Karen Kondazian's novel, The Whip, was awarded the Gold Prize in Historical Fiction and Western Fiction by the 2013 Global Ebook Awards.
A round of applause to all!

Mid-August New Releases and Awards

WWW members are releasing a flood of books and winning more awards. Here's the latest installment of the member news. Congratulations all!

New Releases  

Linda S. Johnston: Hope Amid Hardship: Pioneer Voices from Kansas Territory
Despite the challenges of loneliness, drought, and political turmoil Kansas pioneers faced, many found and wrote about joy and beauty in their adopted communities.  Letters and diaries describe the times that gave them reason to sing, dance, and celebrate--moments when their burdens were lighter.  This beautifully illustrated volume brings together reflections of sixty individuals who helped shape the identity of the Sunflower State.

Published by TwoDot, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press

Eunice Boeve: The Summer of the Crow
In the spring of 1935, thirteen-year-old Brady Foster’s family is forced to leave their “dusted out” wheat farm in southwest Kansas when his mother’s asthma takes a turn for the worst. Deciding her only hope lies in California’s cleaner air, Brady and his little autistic sister are sent to live with their grandfather, a county sheriff in the north-central part of the state, until their parents can return. In his new school, Brady is bullied and ostracized, but he finds a friend in Eddie Peel, the son of the town drunk, a boy with a pet crow.
Out of print for a few years, The Summer of the Crow has been reissued by Rowe Publishing and Design.

Karen Casey Fitzjerrell: Forgiving Effie Beck
In the 1930s, Mike LeMay, a Federal Writers’ Project interviewer, arrives in a small Texas community days before the town eccentric, Effie Beck, is reported missing. He learns the enigmatic, elderly Miss Effie has moved among the town’s populace “like brown smoke.” What happened to Effie that she’d just walk out of her house and disappear? What secrets did she take with her? And why has the sheriff’s wife been seen meeting with a WPA worker after hours?


Lynna Banning: Smoke River Bride
Leah Cameron, a half-Chinese mail-order bride, travels to the small ranching community of Smoke River, Oregon, only to find that the townspeople shun her. A story of prejudice, courage, and one woman's fight for acceptance.
A Harlequin Historical







Eunice Boeve's children’s time travel book, Echoes of Kansas Past, about twins Jack and Mollie who experience history in the making via a time machine, made the KART (Kids Are Readers Too) list. 

Marcia Melton's middle-grade historical fiction book, The Boarding House, has been chosen as a finalist in the "First Book" category of the High Plains Book Awards. The Boarding House, set in Butte and Philipsburg, Montana, in 1914, looks at women's suffrage, mining, and politics through the lens of one family's struggles. The High Plains Awards recognize regional authors and/or literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains in the U.S. and Canada.

 August New Releases and Awards

Summer clearly hasn't slowed WWW members down. We've got three new releases to celebrate and a pair of awards. Congratulations all!

New & Upcoming Releases 

Susan Wittig Albert: A Wilder Rose
The true story of Rose Wilder Lane, who transformed her mother--Laura Ingalls Wilder--from a farmer's wife and occasional writer into a literary icon.
Wittig Albert's much-anticipated look at the life of one of the West's literary icons (and the inspiration for WWW's LAURA short story award) received a starred review in Kirkus and has been getting raves from book-review bloggers. The novel is being published by Persevero Press, Susan's imprint and will be available from online retailers (Sept. 1) and major distributors (Oct. 1). 

Leslee Breene: Journey to Sand Castle 
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tess Cameron, a divorced teacher, becomes the unwitting guardian of a bi-racial orphan. She is compelled to take the little girl from New Orleans to the Colorado San Luis Valley to meet her grandfather. Estranged from the child's missing mother, the grandfather is unaware of the granddaughter's existence and doesn't want her. Grant Wilder, a widowed outfitter, offers Tess temporary employment on his ranch. But can Tess's wandering spirit find the faith to accept permanent responsibility of the child and open her heart to love again in this land of amazing beauty and haunting secrets? 

Lesley Ann McDaniel: Saving Grace (Madison Falls, Book 1)

What happens when a New York City opera singer flees to a small town in Montana to escape a stalker? Tracy Fontaine is about to find out. When an obsessive fan forces Tracy to change her name to Grace Addison and go into hiding, the last thing she wants is to get to know the locals. Now, not one but two men have worked their way into her daily routine, much to the chagrin of jealous local girl Sophia, who insists on prying into Grace’s past and stirring up deadly trouble. Will Grace find love in Madison Falls…or will her stalker find her?


Karen Kondazian's novel The Whip, inspired by the true story of Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst, who lived three decades as a man in the Old West, has been named “Best Western” twice this year, both in the 2013 International Book Awards (honoring excellence in independent and mainstream publishing) and in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards, an LA-based competition judged by independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry.

June Awards, New Releases and Special Events

It's a busy month already for WWW members and we're only half-way through. Here's a new release, an award, and a very special event featuring a WWW member who also happens to be our hard-working administrator. Congratulations all!

Randi Platt's latest novel, Liberty's Christmas, has won the 2013 Will Rogers Medallion for best young adult fiction. Published in the fall of 2012 by Texas Tech University Press, this is far more than a Christmas story - it just happens to take place on a failing Christmas tree farm - in Texas, of all places! It's available in hardcover at bookstores everywhere and, of course, online as a Kindle edition as well.

Michelle Black's mystery novel, Séance in Sepia, a 2012 WILLA finalist, has just been released as an audiobook by Books in Motion. It is available as both a download and as a CD.

The National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum in Leadville, Colorado, is hosting a special weekend event on June 29 & 30th, Baby Doe Tabor: Matchless Silver Queen featuring Joyce Lohse, author of the 2012 WILLA-finalist book of the same name. The weekend begins with a banquet and presentation by Joyce, followed by a nighttime visit to Mrs. Tabor's cabin at the Matchless Mine. The next day includes a book signing and conversation with Joyce as well as a tour of the mining district with a geologist. Price for the weekend's events: $45 for museum members, $50 for non-members. Call the museum for more info at 719-486-1229. 

May Awards and New Releases

We in WWW are a talented bunch. Here are the award and new release announcements for May. Congratulations to all!

Karen Kondazian's novel The Whip won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award for "Best Western".

The Whip is based on the true story of Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879). This is the book's second award following the USA Book Award for "Best Historical Fiction."

Sandra Ramos O'Briant's first novel, The Sandoval Sisters Secret of Old Blood won first place in two categories at the 15th Annual International Latino Book Awards in Manhattan: Best Historical Fiction and Best First Book. 

Ramos O'Briant, who traveled to NYC for the awards, notes that The Sandoval Sisters is "the only historical fiction I'm aware of that tells the story of the conquest of New Mexico during the Mexican-American War from a female perspective." 

New Releases 

Beth Groundwater: Fatal Descent (No. 3 in the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventure Series)
A fast-paced locked-room mystery in Utah’s awe-inspiring canyon lands provides thrills and spills. River guide Mandy Tanner and her fiancé Rob Juarez, owners of RM Outdoor Adventures, are leading an off-season rafting and climbing trip on the Colorado River. The unfamiliar topography and a lecherous local climbing guide have Mandy on edge — but that’s nothing compared to the trouble the clients bring. When a young man is found dead, everyone on the trip is a suspect. Since there’s no way out of the Colorado River’s steep canyons, it’s up to Mandy and Rob to solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again.

Diane L. Goeres-Gardner: Inside Oregon State Hospital: A History of Tragedy and Triumph
Inside Oregon State Hospital begins in 1843 when the first statute was passed in the Oregon Territory to care for the mentally ill. Seen through the eyes of the patients who lived there, Inside Oregon State Hospital examines the world of the Northwest's oldest operating mental hospital, established in 1883. In desperate attempts to cure their patients, physicians injected them with deadly medications, cut holes in their heads, and sterilized them. Years of insufficient funding caused the hospital to decay into a crumbling facility with too few staff, as seen in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Today, after a $360 million makeover, Oregon State Hospital is a modern treatment hospital for the state's civil and forensic mentally ill. 

Diane L. Goeres-Gardner: Oregon Asylum
Oregon Asylum is a photo-history of the Northwest's oldest operating mental hospital. Opened in 1883 as the Oregon State Insane Asylum, it offered the finest care possible at that time. By 1959 there were over 3,600 patients living inside. However, due to inadequate funding and other problems, the hospital's ability to care for its patients declined, as seen in the 1975 movie, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Oregon Asylum uses photographs, illustrations, and graphs prepared and analyzed by the author.The history of Oregon State Hospital (OSH) parallels the development and growth in psychiatric knowledge throughout the United States. 

Shanna Hatfield: Aundy (Pendleton Petticoats - Book 1)
Desperate to better her situation, Aundy Thorsen agrees to leave behind her life in Chicago to fulfill a farmer’s request for a mail-order bride in Pendleton, Oregon. When a tragic accident leaves her a widow soon after becoming a wife, Aundy takes on the challenge of learning how to manage a farm, even if it means her stubborn determination to succeed upsets a few of the neighbors. Born and raised on the family ranch, Garrett Nash loves life in the bustling community of Pendleton in 1899. When his neighbor passes away and leaves behind a plucky widow, Garrett takes on the role of her protector and guardian. His admiration for her tenacious spirit soon turns into something more....

2014 WWW Catalog of Author's Books

Catalog design by Jenny Hancey with guidance from Catalog Editor Dawn Wink
The deadline for submitting books, ads and listings for writing-related services for the 2014 WWW Catalog is June 1st, only two weeks away! So get your applications for listing and advertising to Catalog Editor Dawn Wink. (email:

Here's a message from Dawn:

"WWW members, our catalog is your opportunity to deliver your book and/or literary services to new worlds of readers. Read the attached submission form for submission guidelines. Readers who love fiction, non-fiction, and poetry about the West, watch for our catalog coming out in the fall." 

Click here for the application. Don't miss the chance to be part of this vibrant publication!

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Public Library building sports giant book spines
WWW Heads for Kansas City October 11-13 for The “Write Way West”
This year’s conference takes its theme from Kansas City’s rich western heritage, particularly its role in the great westward migration. The long trek was endured because of the hope of reward at the other end, though for each traveler, that reward was uniquely personal. And so it is with this year’s conference. We’ve built on the path charted by the conferences of years past, while adding a few new twists to make the journey fresh.

As with all WWW conferences, this year's event features a wealth of sessions on a wide range of topics. Whatever your genre – fiction, nonfiction, children, poetry, memoir, short story – there’s a session for you. Publishers and agents will be featured in two panels – one a review of the state of the industry, the other a chance to see how the pros respond to that critical first page. Self-publishing, e-publishing and marketing get their own sessions as well. On Friday we’ll reveal the winners of this year’s LAURA short story competition, and Saturday we highlight WILLA finalists and winners at the luncheon and evening banquet. There’s networking time each afternoon, with the book signing party as the social centerpiece on Saturday. And of course, the Conference Bookstore, this year operated by the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA), will be open to the general public, providing a great chance to reach new readers.

Then the new twists: We’ll preview two short films this year. "In Pursuit of A Dream," produced by OCTA, won the 2011 WWA Spur Award for best Western Documentary. "Meet the Past – Willa Cathe"r is a production of the Kansas City Public Library and KCPT, and features local actress Jan Chapman interviewed as Willa Cather, discussing her personal and literary history.

The Friday morning tour takes us to the Steamboat Arabia Museum, a unique experience.  More than just a history of the steamboats that plied the Missouri in the early 19th century, the Arabia is an active archeological project and features thousands of items excavated more than 130 years after the Arabia was wrecked.

Pitch sessions this year include several publishers and agents new to WWW, all excited to meet you. Among others, we’ll be joined by Rhonda Penders of Wild Rose Press, long-time WWW supporter Doris Baker of Filter Press, Elizabeth Chretien of the University of Iowa Press, Kansas City-based literary agent Cheryl Ferguson, and representatives from The History Press and local publisher Star Books. In addition, we’ll have on hand some writing “pros” who will work with those who sign up ahead of time on a review of a work-in-progress.

And of course, outside the conference, we want you to come and enjoy a bit of Kansas City, and this year we’ve come up with a new way to get you excited about your conference trip. The Conference Facebook page offers conference updates as well as links to local history, attractions and all things Kansas City to tempt and intrigue you. Like those travelers of yesteryear, we want you to come to Kansas City, and leave feeling excited and ready for the West that lies in your future, whatever that may be.

Women Writing the West at the L.A. Times Festival of Books

April 20 and 21st was a big weekend for Women Writing the West, says WWW Past-President and WILLA Literary Awards Pamela Tartaglio, when an estimated 150,000 people attended “the nation’s largest literary event," including a booth promoting WWW and its members. Tartaglio reports:

WWW members Sandra Ramos O'Briant and Pamela Tartaglio

WWW members who live in and near Los Angeles staffed our booth, displaying recent titles by members and handing out catalogs and WWW bookmarks to hundreds of book lovers.
WWW member Elizabeth Simmons and Tartaglio

The weather was quite warm, but volunteers dressed the part and enjoyed their time with each other and the public.  Membership Chair and Listserv Coordinator Elizabeth Simmons and member Kaye Roll sported cowgirl hats and accessories.  Sandra Ramos O’Briant, author of The Sandoval Sisters’ Secret of Old Blood, dressed in a Mexican blouse and skirt and completed her ensemble with a toy gun belt and holsters. (Pamela adds, "LAPD kept their eye on Sandra--really!")

Virginia Elwood-Akers, author of Caroline Severance, came to her shift in the booth with a story. She had just come from an air-conditioned building where she had encountered actress and featured memoirist Debbie Reynolds “and her little dog.”

Pamela says that her 1890s clothing and accessories, including her Battenberg lace parasol, attracted a photographer from the Los Angeles Times, which hosts the annual event. The photographer snapped photos from a kneeling position beside her, aiming his camera up at the parasol, which glowed from the bright sunshine above it.  

Tartaglio with her Battenberg lace parasol
Tartaglio says, "the next day, the photo appeared in the print "extra" edition of the Los Angeles Times, along with the caption: 'Pam Tartaglio stands in front of the Women Writing the West booth …' and so thousands of Southern Californians learned about WWW the day after the festival."

Call for LAURA Short Fiction Contest Entries!

Women Writing the West members, don't delay: You've got one week left to enter your short fiction in the 2013 LAURA contest. (Entries are due by April 30th, 2013.) Five winning entries will be announced at a special luncheon at the 2013 Annual Conference in Kansas City, and will be published in the online LAURA Journal.

What qualifies your fiction for the LAURA?
  • It features a female protagonist (or protangonists)
  • It's set in the American West, defined as North America west of the Mississippi River
  • It may be set in any time period (past, present or future)
  • It's 5,000 words or less
  • It can be Children's, YA or Adult short fiction (there are no separate categories)
  • It must be unpublished and not contracted or under consideration for publication
Check the LAURA rubric (scoring rules) for helpful writing guidelines. Also see the complete rules. Entry fee is a mere $15 via Paypal. 

Email President-Elect Cynthia Becker with questions:

Good luck!

Colorado Members December Get-Together

December 6, 2012 began as a cold and dreary day. As the morning progressed the clouds started to burn away and the sun began to break through. Heading up Interstate 25 to the Denver area the clearing skies seemed to follow the car as it headed north. By the time I arrived at the meeting place for the Women Writing the West Colorado get together the sun was shining.

As the various ladies arrived the room itself began to shine. Although the sun played hide and seek over the nest two hours, inside the room was full of energy. As the meeting started we all had a the chance to introduce ourselves and guest if we had brought one. We also brought a small gift under $5 for a gift exchange.

One of the exciting parts of these get togethers is a chance to catch up on what is happening in the writing lives of our Colorado members. Linda Wommack had a new book coming out December 10. Carol Duval had just had four beading books come out. Mara Purl finished an exciting book tour of independent book stores throughout the southwest and southern California. As each member shared what was going on in their writing life you could feel the excitement for what 2013 would bring.

After we placed our orders for lunch we continued to talk and share. Even when the food was in front of us the talking did not abate by much.  After the meal we chose our gift from the center of the table.  Kismet must have been working for as each gift was unwrapped the recipient would comment about how this was just what they wanted.  I personally received a gorgeous part of custom make earrings made by Cynthia Becker.

Of the three guests attending, two joined by the end of the meeting to put our Women Writing the West membership over the three hundred mark. That was so exciting to watch the glow of the members both new and old as we wrapped up the meeting.

Before leaving plans were made to meet again in the first quarter of 2013.  I personally look forward to these get togethers to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. It is an exercise well worth taking the time to plan and attend.  I would strongly encourage others throughout the membership do the same in their regions and share what was exciting and new with your group.  
Submitted by Doris McCraw, Photos by Dianne Hartshorn


Three of us spent two days promoting Women Writing the West at the Humanities Montana Festival of the Book. WWW had never exhibited here.  We told authors about the WILLA awards, displayed members’ books, handed out our catalog, and encouraged writers to join.  We trotted out our cowboy hats and Victorian hats and lots of folks stopped by. 

Beth Hodder is on the left, 2012 Treasurer Heidi Thomas in the middle, and 2012 President Pam Tartaglio on the right.  Beth and Heidi sold copies of their books while promoting the books of other members. 

Beth Hodder was delighted to meet a poised, eleven-year old writer who is working on her second book.

A week earlier, Pam Tartaglio handed out catalogs and WWW bookmarks in Newhall, Los Angeles County, California, at the grand opening of the 30,000 square-foot Old Town Newhall Public Library.

From left, WWW member Janet Squires, who signed her books at the festival, Pam Tartaglio, who womanned the WWW table, and Bobbi Jean Bell, owner of Newhall’s OutWest, a Western Boutique and Cultural Center, who graciously donated the booth space to WWW.  Yes, that is Gene Autry looking over our shoulders.


Heidiwriter said...

I thought I recognized Bobbie Jean Bell! Thanks for posting the pix, Pam. The MT Book Festival was fun--I was able to connect with several old friends from the time I lived there.

faizan22 said...

Real cowgirl hats are made from beaver fur felt and feature traditional 4” wide brims with 4" crowns that dip in the front and back. These hats can also come with tooled leather bands or be decorated with conchos and other accessories to give them character and style.