New Release: LIVESTOCK MAN by Amy Hale Auker

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 10.53.59 PMWWW Member Amy Hale Auker has recently released her first collection of poetry with publisher Pen-L Publishing on July 7, 2018. Livestock Man is filled with poems regaling the cowboy and rebel hearts, pulling love of the land, of animals, of the landscape, and the gleam of a campfire.

Finding the beauty in the every day, through the eyes of the women who truly live each moment of each day vividly, told in poetic form, runs through the pages of Livestock Man to remind all of us how women can be true cowboys just as well (if not better than) the men. Amy tells us her poems in Livestock Man are love stories, speaking with tactile visions of everything a cowboy (male or female) recognizes each day, whether that’s tracks in the sand or the rhythm of the work itself. The work is rooted in her experience, in her spirit, and in the wind she feels on her face as she herself walks the land: a cowboy through and through.


About Amy

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 11.41.26 PMWWW member Amy Hale Auker lives and works on Spider Ranch in Arizona with her songwriter husband (who also is a foreman on the ranch). She writes poetry rooted in the real world, combining beautiful, precise words with the glory of nature in all its forms. Learn more at

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Two Big New Releases! BIG SKY BOUNTY COOKBOOK by Jean Petersen & GIRL WARRIOR by Carmen Peone

This week WWW is excited to announce the releases of two books by two members.

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.10.01 PMToday, July 9. 2018, Member Jean Petersen releases her cookbook, Big Sky Bounty Cookbook with Arcadia Publishing. Pulling on recipes inspired by Montana, Jean Petersen and her co-contributor, Chef Barrie Boulds includes the cuisine of the west, from elk to huckleberries and beyond. With over seventy recipes melting with Montanan history, The Big Sky Bounty is sure to be a cookbook worth shelf space for every self respecting western cook.



About Jean

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.17.05 PMWWW Member Jean Petersen brings over twenty years of professional writing experience to the table, and is a columnist with Western Ag Reporter. She is also a non-fiction children’s author. Find out more at


We are also excited to reveal the new release of our current WWW President:

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.18.59 PMNewly released YA novel Girl Warrior dives into how historically, women did not compete in the World Famous Suicide Horse Race during the Omak Stampede. Charnaye Toulou has her sights pinned on winning the famous horse race. The purse will help ease a financial burden of her paraplegic father, worn out mother, and ill grandfather. But more than that, she wants the respect earned from becoming “King of the Hill.” But when bully Hagan Hurst chokes her and causes her self-esteem to plummet, she hooks up with her Okanogan relatives and a horse that can take her the distance. But where do the threatening letters come from, and why do they follow her, no matter where she goes?


About Carmen

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.13.03 AMCarmen Peone is an award-winning writer who lives on the Colville Reservation with her tribal member husband. She is currently President of Women Writing the West, coaches youth archery, rides horseback and enjoys the occasional Mountain Trail competition, and loves photography. Learn more at

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Women Writing the West Meet-Up in Billings, Montana!

By Natalie Bright

Through the Yahoo group, I posted an invite to members of Women Writing the West for a possible meet up for those who might be attending the Western Writers of America conference. We exchanged cell phone numbers, and Elizabeth Boyle responded with suggested time and place; hotel lobby for lunch at 11:30 or dinner at 6:30. I made the dinner time and along with fifteen other WWW members, we walked across the street to Jake’s Steakhouse in downtown Billings, Montana. Unfortunately, our group was so large we had to split up with some going towards the bar and others being seated in the dining area.Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 10.07.05 PM

Dark wood paneling enhanced by soft light gave the restaurant an old world, western feel. It set the perfect mood for dinner with a group of writers. At a table for six and after drinks were ordered, our attention turned to the menu. One woman commented that she lived in the Pacific Northwest and they ate seafood at almost every meal. In Montana, she was going to order a steak. I mentioned that we raise grass-fed beef in the Panhandle of Texas and that Montana seafood sounded really good to me. Orders were placed and with drinks in hand after a long day of meetings, conversation turned to what does a cow giving birth look like. Do they stand or do they lay down? Definitely not the kind of dinner question I had anticipated in Billings, but we are writers and as such, an extremely curious bunch.

The food was delicious and the conversation even more so. Interestingly, it was at a Western Writers of America conference 25 years ago that Irene Bennett Brown and two gals from Colorado decided there might be a need for a new organization. Irene told me that one of the girls volunteered her house, but soon discovered that it wouldn’t be big enough. The place and time was set, and Women Writing the West became a reality. And now here we are again at a WWA meeting sharing a meal in Montana many years later.

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Billings is the largest city in Montana, located near the Yellowstone River and surrounded by sandstone cliffs.

As it always does when writers get together, the conversation soon turned to “what do you write?” The breadth of work was wide and fascinating. My “To Be Read” list is massive at this point, as I made notes on my phone of author names and book titles. Several others pulled up chairs to join us as they passed our table after finishing their meal. Time flew by and I didn’t notice the bar had emptied until the bartender told us to take our time. There’s no rush he says, he had to clean and we were welcome to stay as long as we wanted. He asked where we were from, and was surprised at our answer: Colorado, Utah, Washington, South Carolina, Virginia, and Texas. I laughed at the look on his face.

Thanks for the unforgettable evening Linda, Richard, Randi, Elizabeth, Denise, and Alice. What binds us is a passion for tough people who have a fierce sense of adventure and hard work, and we share a fascination for the history of the American West. I wish I had asked the waiter to take a picture of our group. The faces around the table that night have since gone separate ways, but memories of the laughter and new friendships made remain in the heart.

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Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 4.58.16 PMWWW Member Carolyn Woolston, who writes as Lynna Banning, has released another novel on Jun 1, 2018. Marianne’s Marriage of Convenience is a lighthearted western romance featuring a Boston housekeeper who finds herself an heiress to a boot-making business located in a small town in Oregon. Unfortunately, her possession of the boot fortune comes at a cost: she must be married to do so. Taking matters into her own hands, she proposes. He refuses. At first.

This is Carolyn’s tenth book, and the very last western historical published by Harlequin due to their merge with HarperCollins. How amazing is it that one of our WWW Member will go down in history as the last book in the western historical genre published by Harlequin?

The book has been out a few weeks – let’s give it a boost! Purchase link:

About Carolyn

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 4.58.07 PMLynna Banning (Carolyn Woolston) was born in Oregon, and now lives in Felton, California. Her past work as an editor and technical writer, as well as an English and journalism teacher, gives her an inordinate amount of writing experience. An avid musician, Lynna plays piano, harp, psaltery, harpsichord, and recorder, and coaches music ensembles. Learn more at: .


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WWW Conference Schedule

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There are still a few weeks left to get in on early registration for the 2018 Women Writing the West Conference.
Early Registration – Postmark by 6/30/18
  $275 WWW Members  or $320 Non-Members
 All Registrations after 6/30/18
  $305 WWW Members or $350 Non-Members
 Don’t wait! Register today. You may register online or submit the registration form through the mail to Randi Platt. You’ll also find the registration form here:  Mailer WWW 2018.
Here is the current schedule (subject to change):
Thursday, October 25, 2018
1:00p-5:00p     Registration
2:00p-3:50p     ___ Master Class – Krista Rolfzen Soukup
                        ___ Round Table Critique Session
3:00p-6:00p     Bookstore Check-in
4:00p-5:00p     Practice Your Pitch – Sandra Bishop
4:00p-6:00p    WWW Board Meeting
4:00p-5:00p    Wagon Ride Tour
6:00p-7:00p     Tour of Marcus Whitman Hotel
7:00p-8:30p     WILLA Readings
Friday, October 26, 2018
 Check-in throughout the day
8:00a-4:00p     Registration
8:45a-1:45p     Walla Walla Tour- Fort Walla Walla Museum, Winery, Whitman Mission
                         (Lunch and transportation included)
9:00a-5:00p     Bookstore Open
2:00p-2:15p     Welcome to the Conference
2:15p-2:55p     Agent Panel – Sandra Bishop, Maryann Karinch, Elizabeth Kracht, Liz Trupin-Pulli
3:05p-3:45p     Editor Panel – Hannah Braaten, Erin Turner, Grace Menary-Winefield
4:00p-5:45p     Pitch Sessions
4:00p-5:00p     Saddle Up! – Hank Moss, Saddle maker
                          Speak Without Freaking – Liz Duckworth
6:00p-8:00p     LAURA Awards Dinner (with readings)
Saturday, October 27, 2018
8:00a-Noon     Registration
8:00a-4:00p     Bookstore Open
8:30a-10:45a   Pitch Sessions
8:30a-9:30a    Tinsmithing – Sara Dahmen
                        10 Glaring Mistakes – Nora Profit
                        Research – Ashley Sweeney
9:40a-10:40a   Novel to Screen – Sara Dahmen, Robin Gainey
                         Location (YA) – Patricia Bailey
                         Improv in Writing – Stephanie West Allen
10:50a-11:50a  WWW General Membership Business Meeting
                         (Attend for a chance to win a Pendleton Woolen Mills Blanket!)
Noon-1:15p   WILLA Awards Luncheon with award-winning keynote speaker Bobbie Conner
1:25p-4:55p   Pitch Sessions
1:25p-2:25p   Get the Buzz On – Krista Soukup
                       Nature Writing – Evelyn Hess and Janice Kirk
                       Writing from the Stream – Teri Crane
2:35p-3:35p    Psychology, Love, and Character – Milana Marsenich
                        Extremes of Memoirs – Larada Horner Miller
                        Getting to the Point – Laurel Ann Hill
3:45p-4:45p    Unforgettable Characters – Bill Scott and Anne Schroeder
                        Meditative Writing – Paula Coomer
5:00-6:00p     Book Signing
6:00p-8:00p   WILLA Awards Banquet with award-winning keynote speaker Bette Lynch Husted
 Sunday, October 28, 2018 
 8:30a-4:30p   Pendleton Tour – Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Hamley’s,
                        Underground Tours (Lunch and transportation included)
10:00 a.         Staying in the Room – Jane Kirkpatrick
To stay up-to-date on plans, details, and fun facts, join the 2018 WWW Conference group on Facebook.
We’re so looking forward to seeing everyone in October!
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Upcoming Summer Member Events & Recent Awards

It’s going to be a busy summer for WWW members! Hold on to your hats!

Coming up in 2018’s Summer:

June 14 – Randi Samuelson-Brown will be reading from her book The Beaten Territory at the Bud Werner Library in Steamboat Springs at 7:00PM

June 19 – Milana Marsenich will read from her new release The Swan Keeper at Fact and Fiction in Missoula at 7:00PM

June 20th – Anne Schroeder will appear on the Authors of the Pacific Northwest podcast to speak about her new release, Walk of the Promise Road. Listen here:

June 29 – Milana will hold a book signing of The Swan Keeper at a fundraiser for the Montana Waterfowl Foundation in Polson MT from 5 – 7 PM.

June 30 – Randi Samuelson-Brown will present the lecture “The Women of Hell’s Swift Alley” at the Byers-Evens House for History Colorado at 1:30PM. (Tickets required)

July 7 – Marcia Fine will be giving the lecture “Marketing Research and Fortitude for Authors” at New Life Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque at 11:00AM

July 11 – Milana Marsenich will be reading and signing The Swan Keeper at the Polson MT library at 7:00PM.

July 29 – Marcia Fine will offer the Keynote Speech at the Anusim Conference in El Paso (time TBD).

Congratulations to WWW Members!

Randi Samuelson-Brown’s The Beaten Territory, was a recent finalist for the Colorado Author’s League 2018 genre fiction award.

Mara Purl’s latest novel, When Otters Play just won a Finalist Award at International Book Awards. It was also the winner in Regional Literature of the Los Angeles Book Festival Awards.

Sara Dahmen’s 2018 release, Widow 1881, recently won the Author’s Circle Fiction Book of the Year award.

Marcia Fine’s Hidden Ones: A Veil of Memories has won First Prize from Indie Writers in the Multiculural Category (this is the 7th award for Hidden Ones).

Milana Marsenich’s first novel, Copper Sky (released in 2017), is a 2018 Spur Award finalist for the Historical Novel category.

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New Release: THE SWAN KEEPER by WWW Member Milana Marsenich

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The Swan Keeper is an historical, coming of age novel set in Northwest Montana’s Mission Valley in the late 1920s.
Lillian Connelly loves trumpeter swans and vows to protect them from a hunter who kills them, leaving their carcasses for the wolves and coyotes. On her eleventh birthday, Lilly’s family travels to see newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun. The carnage includes both the swans and Lily’s father. Drake also injures her mother.
The sheriff, Charlie West, thinks Lilly continues to react to the trauma by blaming Drake due to previous conflict between Drake and her father. Lilly’s mother, sister, and her best friend, Jerome West, the sheriff’s son, all think the same thing: Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident.
Left alone to bring Drake to justice, Lilly’s effort is further subverted when Drake woos her sister, courts her mother, and moves into their home. How will she keep herself safe when she couldn’t even save the swans.
About Milana
Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 12.46.45 AMMilana Marsenich lives in Northwest Montana at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains. For the past 20 years she has worked as a mental health therapist in a variety of settings. She has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. She has previously published many newspapers and journals and her debut novel, Copper Sky. Visit her author page at
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