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Western Writers of America annually honors writers for distinguished writing about the American West with the Spur Awards. Since 1953 the Spur Awards have been considered one of the most prestigious awards in American literature. Spurs are given for the best western historical novel, best western traditional novel, best western contemporary novel, best short story, best short nonfiction. Also, best contemporary nonfiction, best biography, best history, best juvenile fiction and nonfiction, best drama, best documentary, and best first novel as well as best first nonfiction book.

Winners of the Spur Awards in previous years include Anne Hillerman for Spider Woman’s Daughter, T. J. Stiles for Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America, Sandra Dallas for The Last Midwife,  Taylor Sheridan for “Wind River,” and David Grann for Killers of the Flower Moon. The Spur Awards are open to nonmembers as well as members.

In a rule change, due to delays in publishing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, WWA will waive the early deadline for material that was released, or set to be released before August 1. For the 2021 contest only, entries for anything published or produced anytime in 2020 will be accepted until Jan. 15, 2021.

As the rules note, any entry that was first copyrighted and published/produced in the 2020 calendar year is eligible.

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