The Dorys Grover Awards

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    Associate Professor, English Department, University of Nevada Reno

Archive for the ‘WLA Awards’ Category

The Dorys Grover Awards

Friday, June 12th, 2015

In 1966, Washington State University graduate student Dorys Grover joined the fledgling Western Literature Association and started attending its conferences. From her books on WLA’s first Distinguished Achievement Award recipient Vardis Fisher to her work on Hemingway and Graves, Professor Grover helped to develop the field of western American literary studies. After teaching for over two decades at East Texas State University, Professor Grover retired in 1993, splitting her time between Texas and Pendleton, Oregon, where she grew up.

One of her doctoral students, Joyce Kinkead, Professor of English at Utah State University, has created the Dorys Grover Award in recognition of her mentor’s dedication to both western American literature and to graduate students. Now in its second year, the Dorys Grover Award, in the amount of $200 each, will be given to two graduate students presenting at this year’s 50th annual conference whose papers contribute to our critical understandings of region, place, and space in western American literatures.

Creative work is not considered for the Grover Awards.

Please submit an abstract by the proposal deadline (June 15). Once your proposal has been accepted, submit the complete, conference-length paper (not exceeding 15 pages) with a cover letter indicating that you wish to be considered for the Grover Award to The deadline for the completed paper is August 15.

You may submit the same paper for the Taylor Award, if you wish.

Note: The award can only be received once.


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Teaching Western American Literature K-12 Educator Award

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Western Literature Association and Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Teaching Western American Literature K-12 Educator Award

The Western Literature Association and the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies are sponsoring three K-12 Teaching Awards that will provide teachers with the opportunity to attend and present at the Western Literature Association Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada, October 14-17, 2015. Selected teachers will share their lesson plans and teaching strategies at the conference on a K-12 Teaching Panel.

The award will include conference registration, award banquet ticket, and $500 toward conference related costs such as hotel and airfare. Continuing Education credit may be available. Please check with your district’s professional development office.

Required application materials

•  Resume
•  Instructional Plan (K-12, any level)
•  Teaching Statement (how the Instructional Plan contributes to your teaching goals)
•  One letter of support (from principal, administrator, or colleague)

See instructional plan format   and instructional plan rubric when preparing your application materials.

Instructional plans

Instructional plans may focus on any author or theme related to the literature of the American West, broadly defined. The following topics and approaches are encouraged:

•  Women writers of the American West
•  American Indian authors
•  Latina/o authors
•  Environmental writing
•  Creative approaches to teaching the “canonical” authors of the American West
•  Interdisciplinary approaches and approaches that integrate visual culture

Deadline for submission: July 10, 2015

Please direct all questions and applications to Randi Tanglen.

The 2015 award committee consists of Randi Tanglen (Austin College), Judy Nolte Temple (University of Arizona), Megan McGilchrist (American School of London), Susanne Bloomfield (University of Nebraska, Kearney), and Brian Collier (University of Notre Dame).

All applicants for the awards will be sent a written release that allows the WLA and the Charles Redd Center to post your lesson plans on their websites and to possibly include your lesson plans in other publications. Your work will remain your own and you will be given appropriate citation and credit in any digital or print reproductions of your work. The release must be signed and returned for you to be eligible to win the 2015 award.

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Western Literature Association Awards

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The association sponsors several awards each year. All of them are awarded at the annual conference. For descriptions of each award, click on the links below. If you have further questions regarding any of these awards, please contact Sabine Barcatta or the contact person listed for the individual award.

Distinguished Achievement Award: for an influential scholar in the field of western American literature (creative writer or critic)

Delbert and Edith Wylder Award: for exceptional service to the Western Literature Association by a longtime member

Thomas J. Lyon Book Award: named after a former editor of Western American Literature, this award goes to an outstanding book in the field

Don D. Walker Prize: given to the best essay published in western American literature during the previous year

J. Golden Taylor Award: named after the first editor of Western American Literature, this award goes to the graduate student who submitted the best paper to the annual conference

Dorys Grover Awards: given to two outstanding papers that meet the criteria of each year’s conference and submitted by graduate students

Frederick Manfred Award: named after a famous writer and long-time WLA member, this award goes to the best creative writing submission at the annual conference

Susan J. Rosowski Award: named after a longtime WLA member, this award goes to a generous and caring mentor and teacher in the field of western American literary studies

Louis Owens Awards: financial support for graduate students to attend the annual WLA Conference

Teaching Western American Literature K–12 Educator Award: provides teachers with the opportunity to attend and present at the WLA Conference; sponsored by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and the WLA


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WLA’s Distinguished Achievement Award

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The WLA’s Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

2014Connie Kaldor
2013Richard Hass & Louis Owens
2012Richard Slotkin & Joss Whedon
2011Thomas McGuane
2010Luis Valdez
2009Cormac McCarthy
2008William Kittredge and Patty Limerick
2007 Sherman Alexie
2006Terry Tempest Williams
2005Gerald Vizenor and Joan Didion
2004Mary Clearman Blew and Thomas King
2003Sandra Cisneros and José David Saldívar, Ramón Saldívar, and Sonia Saldívar-Hull
2002Annette Kolodny and Alberto A. Ríos
2001Patricia Hampl and Roderick Nash
2000Joy Harjo
1999James D. Houston and Gerald Haslam
1998Rudy Wiebe
1997Rudolfo Anaya
1996Tillie Olsen
1995Robert Kroetsch
1994James Maguire, Wayne Chatterton, and James Welch
1993Tony Hillerman
1992Louise Erdrich
1991Ann Zwinger
1990Elmer Kelton
1989Ivan Doig and Mildred R. Bennett
1988Ken Kesey and Max Westbrook
1987Larry McMurtry and Thomas J. Lyon
1986 Benjamin Capps and Don D. Walker
1985Américo Paredes and William Eastlake
1984Gary Snyder
1983N. Scott Momaday
1982 Thomas Hornsby Ferril
1981Dorothy Johnson
1980Sophus Keith Winther and Bernice Slote
1979Wright Morris
1978Edward Abbey
1977Thomas McGrath
1976William Stafford
1975Jack Schaefer
1974Wallace Stegner and J. Golden Taylor
1973Paul Horgan
1972A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
1971Harvey Fergusson and John G. Neihardt
1970Henry Nash Smith
1969Walter Van Tilburg Clark
1968Frank Waters
1967Frederick Manfred
1966Vardis Fisher

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WLA’s Delbert and Edith Wylder Award for Exceptional Service to the WLA

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Recipients of the Delbert and Edith Wylder Award for Exceptional Service to the WLA

Instituted in 1993 and named for a WLA president and two founding members of the association, this award goes to a longtime WLA member for exceptional contributions to the association.
2014William R. Handley
2013Melody Graulich
2012Susanne George Bloomfield
2011Ann Putnam
2010Judy Nolte Temple
2009Charles Crow
2008Martin Bucco
2007 Laurie Ricou
2006Phyllis Doughman
2005Gerald Haslam
2004Melody Graulich
2003Robert Thacker
2002Stephen Tatum
2001Susan J. Rosowski
2000James C. Work
1999Ann Ronald
1998Barbara Meldrum
1997Jim Maguire
1996Thomas J. Lyon
1995Glen A. Love
1994George F. Day
1993Helen Stauffer

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Thomas J. Lyon Book Award in Western American Literary and Cultural Studies

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Fifty years after the founding of the Western Literature Association and Western American Literature, scholarship of the literary West is thriving in both quantity and quality. To honor outstanding, single-author scholarly books on the literature and culture of the American West, the Western Literature Association seeks nominations for the annual Thomas J. Lyon Book Award.


* have a 2014 publication date
* be an outstanding, single-author, book-length study on the literature and culture of the American West

The past presidents of the Western Literature Association sponsor this award and invite you TO NOMINATE A BOOK FOR THIS AWARD.

You will need to submit a statement of support by June 15, 2015.

Readers who want to nominate a book can send nominations to

Melody Graulich, WLA Awards Coordinator
3200 Old Main Hill
Logan UT  84322-3200

Self-nominating authors and presses, please send books directly to the committee members:

Gioia Woods, Chair
Comparative Cultural Studies
PO Box 6031
South San Francisco Street
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona  86011

Karen Ramirez
2390 Kalmia Ave
Boulder, CO 80304

Nicholas Bradley
Department of English
University of Victoria
PO Box 3070, Stn CSC
Victoria, BC V8W 3W1

Nominations are due by June 15, 2015

Please contact Melody Graulich for any questions you might have regarding this award.


The WLA’s Thomas J. Lyon Book Award in Western American Literary and Cultural Studies recipients

2014Christine BoldThe Frontier Club: Popular Westerns and Cultural Power, 1880-1924
2013Annette KolodnyIn Search of First Contact: The Vikings of Vinland, the Peoples of the Dawnland, and the Anglo-American Anxiety of Discovery
2012Daniel WordenMasculine Style: The American West and Literary Modernism
2011Krista ComerSurfer Girls in the New World Order
2010John BeckDirty Wars: Landscape, Power, and Waste in Western American Literature
2009Tom LynchXerophelia: Ecocritical Explorations in Southwestern Literature
2008Robert McKee IrwinBandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints: Cultural Icons of Mexico's Northwest Borderlands
2007 John-Michael RiveraThe Emergence of Mexican America: Recovering Stories of Mexican Peoplehood in US Culture
2006David Dorado RomoRingside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juárez 1893-1923
2005Stephanie LeMenagerManifest and Other Destinies: Territorial Fictions of the Nineteenth-Century United States (University of Nebraska Press, 2004)
2004Nathaniel LewisUnsettling the Literary West: Authenticity and Authorship (University of Nebraska Press, 2003)
2003Audrey GoodmanTranslating Southwestern Landscapes: The Making of an Anglo Literary Region (University of Arizona Press, 2002)
2002James M. CahalanEdward Abbey: A Life (University of Arizona Press, 2001)
2001Gary ScharnhorstBret Harte: Opening the American Literary West (University of Oklahoma Press, 2000)
2000Susan RosowskiBirthing a Nation: Gender, Creativity, and the West in American Literature (University of Nebraska Press, 1999)
1999Thomas PilkingtonState of Mind: Texas Literature and Culture (Texas A&M University Press, 1998)
1998Andrew ElkinsThe Great Poem of the Earth: A Study of the Poetry of Thomas Hornsby Ferril (University of Idaho Press, 1997)

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Don D. Walker Prize

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The Don D. Walker Prize is given annually to the best essay published on western American literature during the previous calendar year (for example, the 2015 winner will have published an essay in 2014). “Western” in this context is defined broadly and refers to all of North America that historically or critically has been considered “West” as well as to comparative studies of the American West that cross regional or national boundaries.

Nominations are solicited from presses and journals, as well as from individuals. Self-nominations are accepted. The prize selection committee is made up of Western Literature Association members.

The award is given at the annual Western Literature Association conference. It is not necessary to be a member of the association to win the award.

Please submit the essay or article you wish to nominate (preferably by electronic attachment) to

In the event of print submission, please send 5 copies to

Christine Bold
School of English & Theatre Studies
University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph ON  N1G 2W1

Deadline for nominations: May 15 , 2015.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Prof. Bold.

Don D. Walker Prize Recipients

2014Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue
2013Kay Yandell
2012Kirby Brown
2011Chadwick Allen
2010Hsuan L. Hsu
2009Mark Rifkin
2008Chadwick Allen
2007 Stephen Tatum
2006Janet Dean
2005Susan Bernardin
2004Stephanie LeMenager
2003Susan Scheckel
2002Victoria Lamont
2001Susan Kollin
2000Chadwick Allen
1999Krista Comer
1998Forrest Robinson
1997Gary Scharnhorst
1996Susan K. Bernardin
1995Stephen Tatum
1994Susan Lee Johnson
1993Annette Kolodny
1992Roxanne Rimstead
1991Glen A. Love
1990Roger Stein
1987Roger Stein
1986 Margery Fee
1985William Lemon
1984Melody Graulich
1983Robert Roripaugh
1982 Richard Slotkin
1981Anthony Hunt
1980 Forrest G. Robinson
1979Jarold Ramsey

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The J. Golden Taylor Award

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Named in honor of the first editor of Western American Literature, and also one of the Western Literature Association’s founders and presidents, the Taylor Award is a prestigious award juried by a team of experts in the field and given annually to a work of scholarship submitted for the annual conference. Creative work is not considered for the Taylor; however, creative work may be submitted to the association’s Manfred Prize, and graduate student participants have been successful in winning that in the past (see Manfred Award).

For the Taylor, submit an abstract by the proposal deadline (usually in mid-June). Once your proposal has been accepted, submit the complete, conference-length paper (not exceeding 15 pages) with a cover letter indicating that you wish to be considered for the Taylor Award to the conference president. The deadline for the completed paper is August 15. Note: the award can only be received once.

The J. Golden Taylor Award Recipients

2014Aubrey Streit Krug
2013Heather Dundas
2012Sylvan Goldberg
2011Christopher Muniz
2010Alex Young
2009Joshuah O'Brien
2008Matthew J. Lavin
2007 Patrick Gleason
2006Angela Waldie
2005John Gamber
2004Ianina Arnold
2003Matt Burkhart
2002Laurie Clements Lambeth
2001Virginia Kennedy
2000Jenny Emery Davidson
1999Jenny Emery Davidson
1998Anne L. Kaufman
1997Jonathan Pitts
1996Wes Mantooth
1995Phil Coleman-Hull
1994David Mazel
1993Evelyn I. Funda
1989Nat Lewis
1988Nancy Cook
1987Cheryll Burgess Glotfelty
1986 Linda A. Hughson-Ross
1984Anne K. Phillips

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The Frederick Manfred Award for Creative Writing

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Instituted in 2001 and named for a celebrated writer and longtime WLA member, the Frederick Manfred Award goes to the writer of the best piece of creative writing (whether poetry, short story, memoir or other creative nonfiction), read by the writer at the fall conference and submitted in full length (for judging purposes) by August 15 to the WLA president in the approximate length in which it will be read (preferably under 20 minutes). To be eligible for the award, a piece cannot have been accepted for publication in any form by the submission deadline, and you do have to submit an abstract by the June deadline. Do not submit the full-length work unless your abstract has been accepted first.

The Frederick Manfred Award for Creative Writing recipients

2014Lisa Knopp"Groundwork"
2013No prize was awarded.
2012David Thacker"The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness and Other Poems"
2011Doreen Pfost"Trailing Consequences"
2010Liz Stephens"Ten Years I'll Never Get Back"
2009Denice Turner"Shadow Legacy"
2008J. J. Clark“As Is”
2007 Joshua Dolezal“Selway by Headlamp”
2006Russ Beck“When I Believe in Faith”
2004Terre Ryan“In the Name of the Bomb: Confessions of a Cold War Catholic Kid”
2003Laurie Clements Lambeth“Fluid on the Brain”
2002Michael L. Johnson“Southwestern Afllatus”
2001Lee Ann Roripaugh“‘Mitten Springs’ and Other Poems Searching for Home: Japanese Americans in the American West”

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The Susan J. Rosowski Award

Monday, June 14th, 2010

This award was instituted by the WLA Executive Council in 2005 and was given for the first time at the 2006 WLA Conference in Boise. It is awarded every other year (in even years).

The Susan J. Rosowski Award recipients

2014Evelyn I. Funda
2012Melody Graulich and Annette Kolodny
2010Cheryll Glotfelty
2008Susan Naramore Maher
2006James H. Maguire

Susan Rosowski (1942–2004), long-time WLA member and University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Adele Hall University Professor, epitomized what it means to be a generous and caring mentor and teacher. While her service to the Association and to Cather studies on a national level was exemplary and her scholarship (The Voyage Perilous [1986] and Birthing a Nation [1999]) was singular and remains widely used, Sue is best remembered as a teacher and mentor of unparalleled quality.

The association welcomes nominations of outstanding teachers and mentors in the field of western American literature. Candidates can be nominated by students or colleagues with a letter of support addressed to the award decision committee; candidates can also self-nominate. Once nominated, the candidate will be notified and invited to submit supporting materials (such as letters from students and/or other colleagues, syllabi, especially those for courses using western American literature, a narrative letter about teaching/mentoring philosophy, documentation of advising, pedagogical publications, and other materials, due August 15, 2016). Once nominated, the candidate stays in the pool of nominees for two cycles.

Letters of nomination (by fellow WLA members, fellow faculty at home universities, students, or self-nominations) are due June 1, 2016. The supporting materials are to be sent to Florence Amamoto, Chair of the Susan J. Rosowski Award Committee.

They can be submitted via email to

or by mail to

Florence Amamoto
Gustavus Adolphus College
800 W. College Ave
St. Peter  MN  56082

Questions: E-mail

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The Louis Owens Awards for Graduate Student Presenters at WLA Conferences

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The WLA honors the great writer and scholar Louis Owens for his contributions to western American and American Indian literary studies and for his unfailing generosity as a colleague, teacher, and mentor. The goal of the Louis Owens Awards is to build for the future of the Western Literature Association by modeling Owens’ own support and encouragement of diverse graduate student engagement in western literature and culture studies.

The Owens Awards are intended to foster ever-greater diversity within the WLA membership, to help broaden the field of western American literary studies, and to recognize both graduate student scholarship and financial need.

To be eligible for this award, you must be registered as a graduate student at the time of the conference. You are not eligible for this award if you have received it previously.

To apply, please submit the following to Prof. Priscilla Ybarra, Committee Chair:

1. A completed Louis Owens Award Application 2015.

2. A copy of your WLA conference proposal.

3. A writing sample of 8-10 pages, double-spaced. This does not have to be on the same topic as the conference proposal but should reflect your work in the field of western American literary and cultural studies.

All materials should be sent by September 1, 2015.

If you are interested in applying for this award, submit a paper proposal for participation in the conference by June 15. If your paper is accepted, you can then submit the above-mentioned award application materials. If you are awarded one of the Owens stipends, you are expected to attend most of the conference. Please see conference details for the 2015 WLA Conference. If you have any questions regarding the 2015 Owens Award, please contact Prof. Priscilla Ybarra.

 • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Originally named the Minority Student Award

2004:  JOSHUA SMITH, University of Southern California

2005:  JESSICA BREMMER, University of Southern California, and ANDREA DOMINGUEZ, University of Arizona

Renamed Louis Owens Award/s

2006: ELIXABETE ANSA-GOICOECHEA, Indiana University & JENNIFER CLARK, University of Southern California

2007: NAVEED REHAN, University of Alberta

2008: JESSICA BREMMER, University of Southern California

2009: CAROLE JUGE, Université Paris, Sorbonne & JAMES E. MURRAY, University of South Dakota

2010: ELISA BORDIN, University of Verona & STEPHEN SIPERSTEIN, University of Southern California

2011: JOHANNES FEHRLE, University Freiburg, Germany

2012: CHRISTOPHER MUNIZ, University of Southern California & AUBREY STREIT KRUG, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2013: RENATA GOMES, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil & JASMINE JOHNSON, University of British Columbia

2014: JANE WONG, University of Washington

 • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Meet our Owens Recipient from 2013: Renata Goncalves Gomes


To attend the WLA Conference in 2013 for the first time was a unique experience in my academic career. I received the Louis Owens Award for Graduate Student Presenters Contributing the Most Cultural Diversity in the WLA, which afforded me the opportunity to get to know the organizers of the conference and to spend additional time in the Bay Area afterwards. I just felt at home when I arrived at the Berkeley Marina. I had rarely encountered such a friendly environment at a literature conference. As I had been hoping to study abroad for a year, I approached Prof. Richard Hutson, WLA President at the time, with my project. He kindly accepted to be my sponsor for a year as an international visiting researcher in the English Department at UC Berkeley. Furthermore, it was an enriching moment for me to present a paper that would be part of my doctoral dissertation in front of so many well-known researchers in my area of interest. I also vividly remember when I attended the round-table titled “West Coast/Left Coast: The Legacy of Berkeley Fifty Years after the Free Speech Movement,” chaired by Prof. Hutson. Annette Kolodny read an amazing paper about her experience in the Free Speech Movement. For the first time in all those years that I had been studying counterculture, I felt a real connection that I couldn’t express in words at that moment. But I told Prof. Kolodny later by email; I just couldn’t keep that joy to myself. Ultimately, the WLA Conference is an incredible experience for those graduate students who are willing to make progress with their theses and dissertations and their careers in Literature and Culture. It is a chance to get to know some very kind and important faculty as well as fellow students in your area of study. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again soon in Victoria!

—Renata Goncalves Gomes Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina University of California, Berkeley

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  • Western Literature Association (WLA)

    Founded in 1965, the Western Literature Association (WLA) is a non-profit, scholarly association that promotes the study of the diverse literature and cultures of the North American West, past and present.

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  • Western American Literature (WAL)

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    Published by the Western Literature Association, Western American Literature is the leading journal in western American literary studies.

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