2005 Spur Awards Honor Best Westerns
By Western Writers of America
Mar 19, 2005, 12:12

Scottsdale, AZ -- An 86-year-old woman from Tucson, Ariz., won her first Spur Award while Richard S. Wheeler collected his fifth from Western Writers of America.

Winners in 15 categories were announced March 19 by WWA President Rita Cleary during the National Festival of the West.

Ednah New Rider Weber, a Pawnee and raised on a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, won the Juvenile Nonfiction category for RATTLESNAKE MESA...STORIES FROM A NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDHOOD (Lee & Low). Wheeler, of Livingston, Mont., added to his collection with VENGEANCE VALLEY (Pinnacle), which won for Original Mass-Market Paperback. Wheeler previously has earned Spurs for FOOL'S COACH, SIERRA, MASTERSON and DRUM'S RING.

Since 1953, Western Writers of America ( has promoted and honored the best in Western literature with the annual Spur Awards, selected by panels of judges. Awards, for material published last year, are given for works whose inspiration, image and literary excellence best represent the reality and spirit of the American West.

Winners and finalists will be honored June 14-18 at the WWA Convention in Spokane, Wash.

Other winners:

Western Novel: Rick Steber of Prineville, Ore., BUY THE CHIEF A CADILLAC (Bonanza Publishing).

Novel of the West: Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear of Thermopolis, Wyo., PEOPLE OF THE RAVEN (Forge).

First Novel: D.L. Birchfield of Oklahoma City, FIELD OF HONOR (University of Oklahoma Press).

Nonfiction-Biography: Thom Hatch of Calhan, Colo., BLACK KETTLE: THE CHEYENNE CHIEF WHO SOUGHT PEACE BUT FOUND WAR (John Wiley & Sons).

Nonfiction-Contemporary: Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler of Las Cruces, N.M., THE TEXAS RANGERS AND THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION (University of New Mexico Press).

Nonfiction-Historical: Richard Steven Street of San Anselmo, Calif., BEASTS OF THE FIELD (Stanford University Press).

Short Nonfiction: Jim Doherty of Chicago, BLOOD FOR OIL, from JUST THE FACTS (Deadly Serious Press).

Short Fiction: Larry D. Sweazy of Noblesville, Ind., THE PROMOTION from TEXAS RANGERS (Berkley).

Juvenile Fiction: Mary Cronk Farrell of Spokane, Wash., FIRE IN THE HOLE! (Clarion Books).

Drama Script: John Fusco of Burbank, Calif., HIDALGO (Touchstone Pictures ... Disney).

Documentary Script: Laura Verklan of North Hollywood, Calif., WILD WEST TECH: DEADWOOD TECH (executive producer Dolores Gavin, The History Channel).

Poetry: Walt McDonald of Lubbock, Texas, A THOUSAND MILES OF STARS (Texas Tech University Press).

Storyteller: Deborah Hopkinson of Corvallis, Ore. and illustrator Nancy Carpenter of Brooklyn, N.Y., APPLES TO OREGON (Simon and Schuster Children's Books).


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