The Spur Awards

Spur Awards

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 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, and best short nonfiction. They are also given for the best contemporary nonfiction, best biography, best history, best juvenile fiction and nonfiction, best drama, best documentary, best poem, best song, best children’s picture book and best first novel and 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.

All materials published or produced between January 1 and August 31, 2024 must be entered and received by October 1, 2024. All material published from September 1 through December 31, 2024 must be entered and received by January 15, 2025. Entries should be entered as early as possible in the competition year. All deadlines will be strictly enforced.

As the rules note, any entry that was first copyrighted and published/produced in the 2024 calendar year is eligible.

Contact the Spur Award Chair.

The Spur® is a registered trademark of Western Writers of America.

The 2025 Spur Award rules, along with the judges’ information, will be published when the contest begins on August 1, 2024.

Spur Awards


  • 2024

  • 2023

  • 2022

  • 2021

  • 2020

  • 2019