WILLA Literary Award Winners

For more information about Women writing the West, the sponsor of the WILLA award, click here.

2017
Contemporary fiction
Piano tide : a novel by Kathleen Dean Moore
Historical Fiction

Basque moon : a Nellie Burns and Moonshine mystery by Julie Weston
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)

Beloved over all by Irene Sandell
Creative Nonfiction
Fast into the night : a woman, her dogs, and their journey north on the Iditarod Trail by Debbie Moderow
Scholarly Nonfiction
Soap Suds Row : the bold lives of Army laundresses, 1802-1876 by Jennifer J. Lawrence
Poetry
Demimonde by Kierstin Bridger
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Soldier Sister, Fly Home by Nancy Bo Flood

2016
Contemporary fiction
Firebreak : a mystery by Tricia Fields
Historical Fiction

The bookseller : a novel by Cynthia Swanson
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)

Hidden shadows by Linda Lucretia Shuler
Creative Nonfiction
American ghost : a family's haunted past in the desert Southwest by Hannah Nordhaus
Scholarly Nonfiction
Ladies of the canyons : a league of extraordinary women and their adventures in the American Southwest by Lesley Poling-Kempes
Poetry
Report to the Department of the Interior : poems by Diane Glancy
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Shadow of the hawk by K. S. Jones

2015
Contemporary fiction
Point of direction : a novel by Rachel Weaver
Historical Fiction

A quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)

A light in the wilderness : a novel by Jane Kirkpatrick
Creative Nonfiction
Diary of a citizen scientist : chasing tiger beetles and other new ways of engaging the world by Sharman Apt Russell
Scholarly Nonfiction
Quite contrary : the litigious life of Mary Bennett Love by David J. Langum, Sr.
Poetry
The secret lives of us kids : a childhood memoir 1941-1942 by Bonnie B. Maldonado
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Searching for Silverheels by Jeannie Mobley

2014
Contemporary Fiction
Bone horses by Lesley Poling-Kempes
Creative Nonfiction
Gaining daylight : life on two islands by Sara Loewen
Scholarly Nonfiction
Trail sisters : freedwomen in Indian Territory, 1850-1890 by Linda Williams Reese
Historical Fiction
Dollybird by Anne Lazurko
Poetry
Losing the ring in the river by Marge Saiser
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
Junction, Utah by Rebecca Lawton
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Written in stone by Rosanne Parry

2013
Contemporary Fiction
Theft by BK Loren
Creative Nonfiction
Kissed by a fox and other stories of friendship in nature by Priscilla Stuckey
Scholarly Nonfiction
Women in wonderland : lives, legends and legacies of Yellowstone National Park by Elizabeth A. Watry
Historical Fiction
True sisters by Sandra Dallas
Poetry
Steam laundry : poems by Nicole Stellon O’Donnell
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
The bones and the book by Jane Isenberg
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Liberty’s Christmas by Randall Platt

2012
Contemporary Fiction
Raising Wrecker : a novel by Summer Wood
Creative Nonfiction
Rightful place by Amy Hale Auker
Scholarly Nonfiction
Recollecting : lives of aboriginal women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands, edited by Sarah Carter and Patricia McCormack
Historical Fiction
The bride's house by Sandra Dallas
Poetry
Married into it by Patricia Frolander
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
The American café by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
The year we were famous by Carole Estby Dagg

2011
Contemporary Fiction
Unbroken by Jamie Lisa Forbes
Creative Nonfiction
To the woods : sinking roots, living lightly, and finding true home by Evelyn Searle Hess
Scholarly Nonfiction
A force for change : Beatrice Morrow Cannady & the struggle for civil rights in Oregon, 1912-1936 by Kimberley Mangun
Historical Fiction
Take me home by Brian Leung
Poetry
Blood Desert : witnesses, 1820-1880 by Renny Golden
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
Light on a distant hill : a novel of the Indian West by B. J. Scott
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Follow the dream by Heidi M. Thomas

2010
Contemporary Fiction
Wild sorrow by Sandi Ault
Creative Nonfiction
No place like home : notes from a Western life by Linda Hasselstrom
Scholarly Nonfiction
Dorothea Lange : a life beyond limits by Linda Gordon
Historical Fiction
My name is Falon : one woman's saga from Scotland to the Texas frontier by Kim Wiese
Poetry
Work is love made visible : poems and family photographs by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
A flickering light : a novel by Jane Kirkpatrick
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Hellie Jondoe by Randall Platt

2009
Contemporary Fiction
The last cowgirl by Jana Richman
Creative Nonfiction
Salt in our blood : the memoir of a fisherman’s wife by Michele Longo Eder
Scholarly Nonfiction
Full-court quest : the girls from Fort Shaw Indian School, basketball champions of the world by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith
Historical Fiction
Charley's choice : the life and times of Charley Parkhurst by Fern J. Hill
Poetry
Between desert seasons : poems by Ellen Waterston
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
Buffalo Bill's defunct : a Latouche County mystery by Sheila Simonson
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Dreams on the Oregon Trail by Barbara Linsley

2008
Contemporary Fiction
What the thunder said by Janet Peery

Creative Nonfiction
What wildness is this : women write about the Southwest, edited by Susan Wittig Albert, et. al.
Scholarly Nonfiction
Laura Ingalls Wilder : a writer’s life by Pamela Smith Hill
Historical Fiction
Harpsong by Rilla Askew
Poetry
Raven eye : poems by Margo Tamez
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
A tendering in the storm by Jane Kirkpatrick
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Exiled by Louise A. Jackson

2007
Contemporary Fiction

The girl from Charnelle by K. L. Cook
Creative Nonfiction
Montana women writers : geography of the heart, edited by Caroline Patterson, with introduction by Sue Hart
Scholarly Nonfiction
Revolutionary heart : the life of Clarina Nichols and the pioneering crusade for women’s rights by Diane Eickhoff
Historical Fiction
The night journal by Elizabeth Crook
Poetry
To sing along the way : Minnesota women poets from pre-territorial days to the present, edited by Connie Wanek, Joyce Sutphen, and Thom Tammaro
Original Softcover Fiction (Trade or Mass Market)
Hallowed ground by Lori G. Armstrong
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Harvey Girl by Sheila Wood Foard

2006
Contemporary fiction
Sky bridge by Laura Pritchett
Historical Fiction
New mercies by Sandra Dallas
Memoir/Essay
The lady rode bucking horses : the story of Fannie Sperry Steele, woman of the West by Dee Marvine
Other Nonfiction
Impertinences : selected writings of Elia Peattie, a journalist in the Gilded Age, edited by Susanne Bloomfield
Original Paperback
Summer of fire by Linda Jacobs
Poetry
Beasts in snow by Jane Elkington Wohl
Children’s/Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction
A heart for any fate : westward to Oregon, 1845 by Linda Crew

2005
Contemporary Fiction

The real Minerva by Mary Sharratt
Historical Fiction
Tombstone travesty : Allie Earp remembers by Jane Candia Coleman
Memoir/Essay
Into the canyon : seven years in Navajo country by Lucy Moore
Other Nonfiction
Isabella Greenway : an enterprising woman by Kristie Miller
Original Paperback
Echoes by Erin Grady
Poetry
I am Madagascar by Ellen Waterston
Children's and Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction
Nothing here but stones by Nancy Oswald

2004
Contemporary Fiction

All over creation by Ruth Ozeki
Historical Fiction
Silver lies by Ann Parker
Memoir/Essay
Predators, prey and other kinfolk : growing up in polygamy by Dorothy Allred Solomon
Nonfiction
Bold spirit : Helga Estby's forgotten walk across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt
Original Softcover
Deliverance valley by Gladys Smith
Poetry
Original fire : selected and new poems by Louise Erdrich
Children's/Young Adult
Rodzina by Karen Cushman

2003
Contemporary Fiction

Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling
Historical Fiction

Enemy women by Paulette Jiles
Memoir/Essay

Breaking clean by Judy Blunt
Nonfiction
Mary Colter : architect of the Southwest by Arnold Berke
Original Paperback

Small rocks rising by Susan Lang
Poetry

Miracles of sainted earth by Victoria Edwards Tester
Children's/Young Adult

A circle of time by Marisa Montes

2002
Contemporary Fiction

This house of women by Paul Scott Malone
Historical Fiction

The good journey : a novel by Micaela Gilchrist
Non-Fiction

Eye of the blackbird : a story of gold in the American West by Holly Skinner
Memoir/Essay

She flies without wings : how horses touch a woman's soul by Mary D. Midkiff
Poetry

Blood sister, I am to these fields : new and selected poems by Linda Hussa
Children's/Young Adult

Cissy Funk by Kim Taylor
Original Paperback

Across the sweet grass hills by Gail Jenner

2001
Contemporary Fiction

The spirit woman by Margaret Coel
Historical Fiction

For California's gold : a novel by JoAnn Levy
Best Original Paperback

Dead man falls by Paula Boyd
Memoir/Essay

One degree west : reflections of a plainsdaughter by Julene Bair
Children's

The horned toad prince by Jackie Mims Hopkins
Non-Fiction

The dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown : civil rights, censorship, and the American library by Louise S. Robbins
Poetry

Swan, what shores? by Veronica Patterson
Young Adult

Esperanza rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

2000
Contemporary Fiction
Close range : Wyoming stories by Annie Proulx
Memoir

Begoso cabin : a Pecos country retreat by Mari Graña
Historical Fiction

Daughter of fortune : a novel by Isabel Allende
Non-Fiction

The great Arizona orphan abduction by Linda Gordon
Young Adult Fiction
The birchbark house by Louise Erdrich
Children's Fiction

Red flower goes West by Ann Turner
Children's NonFiction

Children of the Gold Rush by Claire Rudolf Murphy and Jane G. Haigh
Original Paperback

Prophet Annie : being the recently discovered memoir of Annie Pinkerton Boone Newcastle Dearborn by Ellen Recknor

1999
Contemporary Fiction

Waltzing the cat by Pam Houston
Memoir
Writing down the river : into the heart of the Grand Canyon by Kathleen Jo Ryan
Historical Fiction

Daughter of joy : a novel of gold rush California by JoAnn Levy
NonFiction

Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder : the woman behind the legend by John Miller
Young Adult
Riding freedom by Pam Muñoz Ryan ; drawings by Brian Selznick
Children's

Prairie dog pioneers by Jo Harper
Original Paperback
River of our return by Gladys Smith