ENCAMPMENT, Wyo. – Anne Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter – which continues the popular mystery series created by her late father, Tony Hillerman – won the 2014 Spur Award for Best First Novel, while Mark Lee Gardner won two Spurs for works dealing with the James-Younger Gang, Western Writers of America has announced.
Gardner won in the Best Western Nonfiction – Historical category for Shot all to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape (published by William Morrow/HarperCollins) and for Best Western Short Nonfiction with “The Other James Brother,” an article published in Wild West magazine that deals with Frank James, Jesse James’s older brother. HarperCollins published Spider Woman’s Daughter.
Since 1953, Western Writers of America (www.westernwriters.org) has promoted and honored the best in Western literature with the annual Spur Awards, selected by panels of judges. Awards, for material published last year, are given for works whose inspiration, image, and literary excellence best represent the reality and spirit of the American West.
The 2014 Spur winners and finalists will be honored during WWA’s annual convention, June 24-28 in Sacramento, Calif.
In the novel categories, mystery writer James Lee Burke’s Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Simon & Schuster) won for Best Western Contemporary Novel; Henry Chappell’s Silent We Stood (Texas Tech University Press) won for Best Western Historical Novel; and Gary Schanbacher’s Crossing Purgatory (Pegasus) won for Best Western Traditional Novel.
The Storyteller Spur for Best Illustrated Children’s Book went to Yosemite’s Songster: One Coyote’s Story (Yosemite Conservancy), written by Ginger Wadsworth and illustrated by Daniel San Souci.
Earle Labor’s Jack London: An American Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) for Best Western Nonfiction – Biography; William Philpott’s Vactionland: Tourism and Environment in the Colorado High Country (University of Washington Press) for Best Western Nonfiction – Contemporary; Ellen Gray Massey Papa’s Gold (Pen-L) for Best Western Juvenile Fiction; Jean A. Lukesh’s Eagle of Delight: Portrait of the Plains Indian Girl in the White House (Field Mouse Productions) for Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction; Waddie Mitchell and Juni Fisher’s “Still There” (Red Geetar Music) for Best Western Song; Brett Cogburn’s “Cabin Fever” (High Hill Press) for Best Western Short Fiction Story; Amy Glynn Greacen’s “Chamise” (Orion) for Best Western Poem; and Indian Relay by M. Smoker (Dye Works Film) for Best Western Documentary Script.
Complete winners and finalists are posted on this website.