Talking book reviews at Women Writing the West

The WILLA winners were announced at the banquet Saturday night, which featured Texas novelist Ann Weisgarber as keynote speaker. The banquet was followed by a book signing and preceded by a silent auction at which a certain managing editor may have spent too much money.

 

Kristine Hall, publisher of Lone Star Lit, and managing editor Michelle Newby Lancaster were on hand for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the annual Women Writing the West conference in San Antonio on October 12.

 

The silver anniversary conference was held October 10-13, 2019, at the Omni La Mansión del Rio Hotel on San Antonio’s famed River Walk. Hall and Lancaster conducted, along with Lone Star Lit cofounders Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon, “The Business and Craft of Book Reviews” panel on Saturday afternoon.

 

The 2019 LAURA Short Fiction Awards were presented on Friday evening. The winner is “The Blink of an Eye” by B.K. Froman; finalists are “Goldie Hawn at the Good Karma Café” by Lynn Downey and “Freedom” by Lenore Mitchell. The winner and finalists for the 2019 LAURA Awards were determined by Houston author DiAnn Mills.

 

New this year were the DOWNING Journalism Awards, which were also announced Friday evening. The winner is Julia Bricklin for "Georgia Ann Hill Robinson," published in California History periodical. The finalists are Jan Cleere for "Hopi Girl," published in the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, and Amy Hale Auker for "Work Song," published in The Center for Basque Studies periodical. The DOWNING winner and finalists were determined by Greg Lalire of Wild West Magazine.

 

The WILLA Awards finalist luncheon featured 2018 Texas Poet Laureate Carol Coffee Reposa, who read from her work, and recognized the finalists for the WILLA Award. These awards are named after Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Willa Cather and are awarded annually for outstanding literature featuring women’s stories set in the West. The winners are chosen by a panel of professional librarians.

 

The WILLA winners were announced at the banquet Saturday night, which featured Texas novelist Ann Weisgarber as keynote speaker. The banquet was followed by a book signing and preceded by a silent auction at which a certain managing editor may have spent too much money.

 

The 2019 WILLA winners and finalists are:

 

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

Winner - The Flicker of Old Dreams (HarperCollins-Harper Perennial) by Susan Henderson

Finalists - Girls from Centro (Pen-L Publishing) by Juni Fisher and Burning Ridge: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery (Crooked Lane Books) by Margaret Mizushima

 

HISTORICAL

Winner - The Which Way Tree (Little, Brown and Company) by Elizabeth Crook (Read the Lone Star Lit review here.)

Finalist - The Removes (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG) by Tatjana Soli and The Patchwork Bride (St. Martin’s Press) by Sandra Dallas

 

ORIGINAL SOFTCOVER (TRADE OR MASS MARKET)

Winner - See Also Proof: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery (Seventh Street Books) by Larry D. Sweazy

Finalist - Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr: A Novel (University of New Mexico Press) by Thomas Fox Averill and The Swan Keeper (Open Books) by Milana Marsenich

 

CREATIVE NONFICTION

Winner - My Ranch, Too: A Wyoming Memoir (University of Oklahoma Press) by Mary Budd Flitner

Finalists - Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living (Scribner/Simon & Schuster) by Karen Auvinen and Raw Material: Working Wool in the West (Oregon State University Press) by Stephany Wilkes

 

SCHOLARLY NONFICTION

Winner - Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924 (Oregon State University Press) by Heather Mayer

FINALIST - Life on Muskrat Creek: A Homestead Family in Wyoming (Lehigh University Press) by Ethel Waxham Love and J. David Love

 

CHILDREN’S FICTION AND NONFICTION

Winner – Hardscrabble (Sleeping Bear Press) by Sandra Dallas

Finalists - The Wind Called My Name (Tu Books/Lee & Low Books) by Mary Louise Sanchez and The Last Grand Adventure (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin) by Rebecca Behrens

 

YOUNG ADULT FICTION AND NONFICTION

Winner - The Communing Tree (iUniverse) by Theresa Verboort

Finalists - Becoming Beatrice (Blue Heron Press) by Frances Wood and Apple in the Middle (North Dakota State University Press) by Dawn Quigley

 

POETRY

Winner - Coming Out of Nowhere: Alaska Homestead Poems (University of Alaska Press) by Linda Schandelmeier

Finalists - Flatlands (Black Lawrence Press) by Ruth Williams and The Slow Art (Bear Star Press) by Sierra Golden

 

Go here to discover the benefits of membership in Women Writing the West.

 

 

(Photos, clockwise from top left: WILLA Awards Chair Carmen Peone and WILLA Award winners Theresa Verboort, Sandra Dallas, Linda Schandelmeier, and Elizabeth Crook; Lone Star Literary Life Managing Editor Michelle Newby Lancaster, LSLL Publisher Kristine Hall, LSLL cofounders Barbara Brannon and Kay Ellington; Michelle and Kristine with WWW committee co-chair and Texas author Teddy Jones; WWW Chair and author Cynthia Leal Massey and Kristine; WILLA Award finalists Sandra Dallas, Frances Wood, Juni Fisher, and Milana Marsenich; Michelle, WILLA Award-winner and Texas novelist Elizabeth Crook, and Kristine; banquet keynote speaker and Texas novelist Ann Weisgarber; 2018 Texas Poet Laureate Carol Coffee Reposa)