2021 WILLA Literary Award Winners and Finalists

Women Writing the West® (WWW) is proud to announce the 2021 WILLA Literary Award competition Winners and Finalists, representing the best of 2020 published literature for women’s or girls’ stories set in the North American West. WWW, a nonprofit association of writers and other writing professionals writing and promoting the Women’s West, is the underwriter and annual presenter of this nationally recognized award.

Selected by professional librarians, historians and university affiliated educators, the winning authors and their books will be honored during the Women Writing the West annual conference.

The 2021 honorees are listed with the designation of Winner and Finalist in each of eight categories.
CONTEMPORARY FICTION
WINNER: Hanging Falls: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima (Crooked
Lane Books)
FINALIST: The Flying Cutterbucks by Kathleen M. Rodgers (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing)
FINALIST: Creatures: A Novel by Crissy Van Meter (Algonquin Books)
HISTORICAL FICTION
WINNER: Wild Rivers, Wild Rose by Sarah Birdsall (University of Alaska Press)
FINALIST: Answer Creek: A Novel by Ashley E. Sweeney (She Writes Press)
FINALIST: The Streel: A Deadwood Mystery by Mary Logue (University of Minnesota Press)
ORIGINAL SOFTCOVER FICTION (TRADE OR MASS MARKET)
WINNER: 142 Ostriches by April Dávila (Kensington Books)
FINALIST: Death in the Time of Pancho Villa: A Rose in Old El Paso Mystery by Sandra
Marshall (Level Best Books Historia)
FINALIST: And We Shall Have Snow: A Roxanne Calloway Mystery by Raye Anderson
(Signature Editions)
CREATIVE NONFICTION
WINNER: Miracle Country: A Memoir of a Family and a Landscape by Kendra Atleework
(Algonquin Books)
FINALIST: Grand Canyon to Hearst Ranch: One Woman’s Fight to Save Land in the
American West by Elizabeth B. Austin (TwoDot)
FINALIST: Walking the High Desert: Encounters with Rural America along the Oregon
Desert Trail by Ellen Waterston (University of Washington Press)
SCHOLARLY NONFICTION
WINNER: Ours by Every Law of Right and Justice: Women and the Vote in the Prairie
Provinces by Sarah Carter (University of British Columbia Press)
FINALIST: Colorado Women in World War II by Gail M. Beaton (University Press of
Colorado)
FINALIST: From San Francisco Eastward: Victorian Theater in the American West by
Carolyn Grattan Eichin (University of Nevada Press)
CHILDREN’S FICTION AND NONFICTION
WINNER: The Girl who Moved to the Town that Wasn’t There by Suzanne Hovik Fuller,
Illustrated by Emmeline Forrestal (Siouxland Heritage Museums)
FINALIST: Wilmettie by Sue Houser, Illustrated by Johnna Scalia (Texas Tech University
Press)
FINALIST: Library’s Most Wanted by Carolyn Leiloglou, Illustrated by Sarah Pogue (Pelican)
YOUNG ADULT FICTION AND NONFICTION
WINNER: Taylor Before and After by Jennie Englund (Imprint)
FINALIST: Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura (Tor Teen)
FINALIST: Reckonings by Daniel Doeden (TouchPoint Press)
POETRY
WINNER: Second Wind by Patricia Frolander (High Plains Press)
FINALIST: Some Electric Hum by Janice Northerns (Lamar University Literary Press)
FINALIST: Once Upon a Time in Oklahoma by Yvonne Carpenter (Mongrel Empire Press)

The WILLA Literary Award
Celebrating the Diversity of the Women’s West

Women Writing the West (WWW) will begin to accept entries for the 2022 WILLA Literary
Award, honoring books originally published in 2021 that feature women’s or girls’ stories set in
the North American West, beginning November 1, 2021.

The deadline for submission is February 1, 2022.

WWW membership is open to all persons worldwide; membership is not a requirement for
eligibility in The WILLA Literary Award competition.

For more information about The WILLA Literary Award, Women Writing the West, or its
Annual Conference, please send an inquiry to WWW Administrator, Alice Trego, at
www2trego@gmail.com, or visit the WWW website.

Amy Nowak Swierczek
WWW 2021 WILLA Literary Award Chair

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