Western FictionKnown simply as westerns, these novels about life on America's post Civil War western frontier usually involve conflicts between cowboys and outlaws, cowboys and Native Americans, or Easterners and Westerners. While this category still has a mass-market audience and a thriving regional market, it's not the popular genre it was 25 years ago.
If you're interested in writing a western, contact the Western Writers of America
Zane Grey and Louis Lamour, both deceased, are still among the popular western writers.
The Spur Awards, given annually for distinguished writing about the American West, are among the oldest and most prestigious in American literature. In 1953, when the awards were established by WWA, western fiction was a staple of American publishing. At the time awards were given to the best western novel, best historical novel, best juvenile, and best short story.
Since then the awards have been broadened to include other types of writing about the West. Today, Spurs are offered for the best western novel (short novel), best novel of the west (long novel), best original paperback novel, best short story, best short nonfiction. Also, best contemporary nonfiction, best biography, best history, best juvenile fiction and nonfiction, best TV or motion picture drama, best TV or motion picture documentary, and best first novel (called The Medicine Pipe Bearer's Award).
Below you will find the finalists and the winners for the different awards that were chosen. Here is the link to the Western Writers of America site: Western Writers
Best Western Short Novel
Winner: Legacy of a Lawman Johnny D. Boggs Five Star Publishing Finalist: Lime Creek Joe Henry Random House Finalist: Killed by Indians 1871 Alan C. Huffines Texas Wesleyan University PressBest Western Long Novel
Winner: Remember Ben Clayton Stephen Harrigan Alfred A. Knopf Finalist: Rode Thomas Fox Averill University of New Mexico Press Finalist: Feast Day of Fools James Lee Burke Simon & SchusterBest Original Mass Market Paperback
Winner: West Texas Kill Johnny D. Boggs Pinnacle Books/Kensington Finalist: The Long Hunt Cameron Judd Signet/Penguin Finalist: Between Hell and Texas Dusty Richards Pinnacle Books/KensingtonBest First Novel
Winner: Double Crossing Meg Mims Astraea Press Finalist: Unbridled Tammy Hinton Roots & Branches/AWOC Pub. Finalist: Whispers of the Greybull Stephen B. Smart High Mule PublishingBest Western Nonfiction Biography
Winner: George Crook Paul Magid University of Oklahoma Press Finalist: Ned Wynkoop and the Lonely Road from Sand Creek Louis Kraft University of Oklahoma Press Finalist: Will Rogers: A Political Life Richard D. White Texas Tech University PressBest Western Nonfiction Historical
Winner: The Mormon Rebellion Finalist: After Custer Paul L. Hedren Finalist: Railroaded Richard White Best Western Nonfiction Contemporary
Winner: The Bitteroot and MR. Brandborg Frederick H. Swanson University of Utah Press Finalist: Navajos Wear Nikes Jim Kristofic University of New Mexico Press Finalist: Line in the Sand Rachel St. John Princeton University PressBest Western Short Fiction Story
Winner: “The Death of Delgado" Rod Miller Western Fictioneers Winner: "The Deacon's Horse" Clay Reynolds Ink Brush Press Finalist: "The Great Divide" Shann Ray Graywolf PressBest Western Short Nonfiction
Winner: "The Alamo, Well Remembered" Paul Andrew Hutton Finalist: "That No Thorn Will Pierce Our Friendship" John R. Wunder Finalist "The Wild West's Premier Mythmaker" Mark Dworkin Best Western Juvenile Fiction
Winner: Birdie Candace Simar North Star Press of St. Cloud Finalist: South by Southwest Johnny D. Boggs Five Star Publishing/Gale Finalist: Rescue in Poverty Gulch Nancy Oswald Filter PressBest Western Juvenile Nonfiction
Winner: Migrant Mother Don Nardo Compass Point Books/Capstone Finalist: Wolves in Blue Jean A. Lukesh Field Mouse Productions Finalist: How the West Was Drawn Linda L. Osmundson Pelican PublishingStoryteller Award
Winner: Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat Bryan Langdo Marshall Cavendish Finalist: The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town Mary Casanova Farrar, Straus & Giroux Finalist: Henrietta King Mary Dodson Wade Bright Sky PressBest Western Drama Script (Fiction)
Winner: Rango John Logan Nickelodeon Movies Winner: Meek's Cutoff Jonathan Raymond Finalist: Blackthorn Miguel Barros Rogue PicturesBest Western Documentary Script (Nonfiction)
Winner: Buck Cindy Meehl, Director, Julie Goldman, Producer Cedar Creek Productions Finalist: No Winner Finalist: No Winner Best Western Poem
Winner: “Tabula Rasa" Rod Miller Port Yonder Press Finalist: "What Harvest Poems on the Siege & Battle of the Alamo" Floyd Collins Somondoco Press Finalist: "The Red, Candle-lit Darkness Larry D. Thomas El Grito del Lobo PressBest Western Audiobook
Winner: No Winner Finalist: No Winner Finalist: No Winner Best Western Song
Winner: “Morning Star Moon" Jon Chandler Western Dog Publishing Finalist: "Raven on the Wind" Wylie Gustafson Two Medicine Music Finalist: "The Cowboy" Bob Thomas Easy Bob Music