Last weekend I traveled to San Antonio, Texas, for the annual Women Writing the West conference. It was a great weekend — we visited local historical sites, including the Alamo and the Menger Hotel, and attended outstanding workshops with incredibly talented writers, editors, publishers — and I returned home exhausted but invigorated. In addition to the wonderful program, the annual Women Writing the West Conference honors the finalists and winners of the WILLA Awards, seven Literary Awards that are judged in the final round by Librarians from across the nation. That makes the awards unique in the world of literary competition.
I cannot say too much about the organization. Open to women AND men, the organization grew out of the desire to honor WOMEN’S voices of the West (contemporary, historical, poetic, etc….) that are often overlooked or are more often than not, stereotyped. Through the growing body of writers, however, unique and important stories are now being logged into the reservoir of stories that speak of the challenges, lives, and accomplishments of women in the West.
For more on this unique organization, check out the Women Writing the West website: