FORT WORTH—Creative works by authors and illustrators from four countries and 21 states have been named finalists for the 2023 Will Rogers Medallion Awards (WRMA) celebrating excellence in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and photography of the American West.
Thirteen Texas authors or illustrators are among the 2023 finalists. Those authors (with multiple nominations in parentheses) and their hometowns are: Michael Barr, Fredericksburg; Barbara Brannon, Spur; Lynn Dean, San Antonio; Patrick Dearen, Midland; K.S. Jones, Kerrville; Preston Lewis (3), San Angelo; Alice Liles, Muleshoe; Gina Lister, New Braunfels; Shannon McFarland, Universal City; Chris Mullen, Richmond; Karen Witemeyer, Abilene; and Reavis Z. Wortham, Prosper. Texas illustrator Bob Adams of El Paso was also nominated.
Other WRMA finalists come from 20 states, Germany, Canada, and Australia. For a complete list of the winners with their qualifying works and publishers, please visit the WRMA website at https://www.willrogersmedallionaward.net/2023-wrma-finalists
In addition to the medallions, the organization at its October ceremony will honor celebrated authors and westerners Larry J. Martin with its Lifetime Achievement Award and Craig Johnson with its Golden Lariat Award for support of WRMA to convey the spirit of the American West through literature.
Named in honor of American humorist, social commentator and performer Will Rogers (1879–1935), the WRMA gold, silver, bronze and copper medallions will be presented to the finalists during the 2023 awards banquet Saturday, Oct. 21 in the Fort Worth Stockyards. WRMA annually honors creative works in 20 categories.
In announcing the finalists, WRMA Executive Director Chris Enss said, “The books, screenplays, short stories, articles and poetry finalists in this year’s Will Rogers Medallion Award program represent the best in Western writing and proudly pays honor to the legacy of the cowboy performer for whom the award is named.”
The 2023 WRMA medallions will be presented in October in the following Western categories: Cowboy Poetry-Recorded; Cowboy Poetry-Written; Western Fiction-Traditional; Western Fiction-Modern (Post-1900); Western Mystery; Western Fiction-Short Story; Western Non-Fiction; Western Biography/Memoir; Western Fiction-Young Readers; Western Fiction–Young Readers-Illustrated; Inspirational Western Fiction; Western Non-Fiction-Young Readers; Western Non-Fiction-Young Readers Illustrated; Western Photographic Essays; Western Cookbooks; Western Graphic Novels/Illustrations, Visual Humor & Iconic Images; Western Humor-Written; Western Fiction Romance; Western Film-Drama; Western Film-Documentary; and Western Short Non-fiction
The awards were established in 2003 to honor the legacy of Indian Territory and Oklahoma native Will Rogers who began his career as a cowboy and trick roper who gradually evolved into a nationally beloved humorist, social commentator, syndicated newspaper columnist and Hollywood actor. Through its awards program, WRMA seeks to encourage, enhance and expand creative works devoted to the deep legacy of the American West and its peoples. Since its creation, the WRMA honors have become among the most prestigious in the field.
Entries for the 2024 WRMA competition will open Nov. 1 at https://www.willrogersmedallionaward.net/entry-form.