• Testimonials

    Publications, important professional connections, and new research interests and teaching ideas have grown from my participation in WLA.
    Jenny Emery-Davidson, 2008
    Taylor Award recipient 2000

Creative Writing Award

Instituted in 2001, the Creative Writing 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/no longer than 10 double-spaced pages). The winning entry will be read as part of a panel, so the time to read the piece may not exceed 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.

Once accepted, please send the entire piece to both of our presidents at WLAConference2020@westernlit.org.

Recipients of the Creative Writing Award

Year RecipientPiece
2020Raul B. Moreno"Sleepier Than Me"
2019Joshua Dolezal"Darkness and Light"
2018Sydney Thompson"Thataway"
2017Cheyenne Marco"Water Signs"
2016Erin Flanagan"The Rule of Threes"
2015Michael Branch"Dark Cliffy Spot: Naming a Place, Placing a Name"
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”


  • 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.

  • Western American Literature (WAL)

    (The Journal)

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

  • Black Lives Matter

    The Western Literature Association (WLA) is in solidarity with Black communities, after the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the ongoing pattern of systemic racism and injustice that targets black and brown bodies. ...http://www.westernlit.org/black-lives-matter/