• Testimonials

    WLA faculty are committed to graduate student mentorship and are eager to support student scholarship by offering valuable feedback and creating spaces for exchange and collaboration.
    Ho'esta Mo'e'hahne, 2018
    Owens Award recipient 2016

Western Literature Association Awards

2021 UPDATE: The WLA will be hosting engagement events and an awards ceremony in lieu of the 2021 Conference. The majority of the awards competitions will still be held. Please click on relevant links for specific application information.

The celebration of award winners will be at the center of our final virtual engagement event in October 2021. More info on this and other virtual 2021 events can be found here: http://www.westernlit.org/virtual-events-2021/.

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 monograph in western literary or cultural studies

Don D. Walker Prize: given to the best essay published in western North American studies 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 Crow Grover Awards: given to two outstanding papers that meet the criteria of each year’s conference and are submitted by graduate students

Creative Writing Award: 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: provide financial support for diverse and international graduate students to attend the annual WLA conference

WLA/Charles Redd Center K–12 Teaching 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

Composition of Award Committees



  • 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/