25th anniversary conference is scheduled for October 10-13, 2019


Women Writing the West, a national organization that supports authors and other professionals in promoting the contributions made by women to the history, culture, and growth of the American West, is hosting its 25th Anniversary Conference in San Antonio, October 10-13, 2019, at the Omni La Mansión del Rio Hotel.


The conference, presided over by WWW President and noted Texas author, Irene Sandell, features agents and editors panels and pitches, a variety of writing workshops and sessions, and several awards banquets. Special guests include 2018 Texas Poet Laureate Carol Coffee Reposa and award-winning author Ann Weisgarber, an inductee of the Texas Institute of Letters. Other notable presenters are New York Times bestselling authors Jane Kirkpatrick and Anne Hillerman and Lone Star Literary Life Publisher Kristine Hall and Managing Editor Michelle Newby Lancaster.


The annual WILLA Literary Awards, named in honor of Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather, will be presented at a finalist awards luncheon and at a winners' banquet on Saturday, October 12. The WILLA Literary Awards honor the best in literature, featuring women’s or girls’ stories set in the West that are published each year in the categories of contemporary fiction, historical fiction, original softcover fiction, creative nonfiction, scholarly nonfiction, poetry, children’s fiction and nonfiction, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. Entries for the WILLA Literary Awards are open to all persons worldwide and are not limited to WWW members or women specifically.


The LAURA/DOWNING dinner banquet on Friday night will honor short fiction and journalism award winners. The LAURA Short Fiction Award is named in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder and recognizes excellence in short fiction. The DOWNING Journalism Award is presented in honor of the late Sybil Downing, a noted journalist and author who was also a founding member of Women Writing the West. 


The Twig Book Shop, the official conference bookseller, will be open to the public for book sales from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. The store will be located on the third floor of the hotel in the Espada Room. A book signing including all speakers and presenters will be held on Saturday, from 5 to 6 pm.


Conference registration, which is open to the public, continues until September 11. For more information about the conference and to register, visit www.womenwritingthewest.org. For requests for interviews, contact Cynthia Leal Massey, 2019 Conference Chair, at cmassey2@satx.rr.com, or call (210) 241-8330.


The Women's West is based on a tradition that includes such fine writers as Willa Cather, Mary Austin, B.M. Bower, Mari Sandoz, Dorothy Johnson, Juanita Brooks, Laura Ingalls and Rose Wilder, and Helen Hunt Jackson. Women Writing the West exists to nurture today's writers of the Women's West, and those to come. Their purpose is to address, educate, co-ordinate, and support writing that acknowledges and documents the recognition of women and their contribution to the history, culture, and growth of the American West; to preserve the historical importance through writing and other literary skills available through publishing and the use of seminars, meetings, newsletters, conventions, competitions, and other communications tools. WWW is a Colorado nonprofit corporation and is tax exempt pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).