• Testimonials

    I had rarely encountered such a friendly environment at a literature conference.
    Renata Goncalves Gomes, 2015
    Owens Award recipient 2013

Creative Writing Award

Instituted in 2001, the Creative Writing Award celebrates the creative writers among our members.

You can submit poetry, short story, memoir, or other creative nonfiction. Please submit the piece that you are planning on reading at the conference (in other words, this is your conference paper).

The award comes with a small stipend.

To be eligible for the award, a piece cannot have been accepted for publication in any form by the submission deadline. 


— You must be a WLA member.

— You must include a statement that your submission has not been accepted for publication at this time.

— Please submit your entry in full length (no longer than 10 double-spaced pages) to info@westernlit.org with the subject heading “CREATIVE WRITING AWARD SUBMISSION” by August 1, 2023.

Judging Committee:


Recipients of the Creative Writing Award

Year RecipientPiece
2022Lawrence Coates“A Great Man among His People”
2021Melody Graulich"The Magpie"
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”

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