Thomas Cobb’s “With Blood in Their Eyes” won the 2013 Spur Award for Best Western Long Novel, and Robert M. Utley’s “Geronimo” won for Best Western Nonfiction-Biography, Western Writers of America has announced.
It is Cobb’s second Spur and Utley’s third. The University of Arizona Press published “With Blood in Their Eyes.” Yale University Press published “Geronimo.”
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. Previous winners include Elmer Kelton, Lucia St. Clair Robson and Larry McMurtry.
Winners and finalists in 17 categories will be honored June 25-29 at the WWA convention in Las Vegas, Nev.
Will Bagley, Nancy Plain and Red Shuttleworth all won their third Spurs, with Bagley’s “With Golden Visions Bright Before Them: Trails to the Mining West, 1849-1852” (University of Oklahoma Press) for Best Western Nonfiction-Historical, Plain’s “Light on the Prairie: Solomon D. Butcher, Photographer of Nebraska’s Pioneer Days” (University of Nebraska Press) for Best Western Nonfiction-Juvenile and Shuttleworth’s “Johnny Ringo” (Riverhouse) for Best Western Poem.
Brett Cogburn’s “Panhandle” (Pinnacle) won for Best First Novel, and Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” claimed Best Western Drama Script.
Short Novel: “Tucker’s Reckoning” by Matthew Mayo (New American Library).
Juvenile Fiction: “Wide Open” by Larry Bjornson (Penguin Group).
Storyteller Award (illustrated children’s book): “Pecos Bill Invents the 10-Gallon Hat” by author Kevin Strauss and illustrator David Harrington (Pelican).
Mass Market Paperback: “The Coyote Tracker” by Larry Sweazy (Berkley).
Audiobook: “Ring of Fire” by Cotton Smith, (Books in Motion).
Nonfiction-Contemporary: “Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History” by Deanne Stillman (Nation Books).
Short Fiction Story: “The Hog Whisperer” by John Mort (Flint Hills Review)
Short Nonfiction: “Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912” by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Western Historical Quarterly).
Documentary Script: “The Dust Bowl” by Dayton Duncan (Florentine Films/PBS).
Song (TIE): “Texas is Burnin’” by Jim Jones (Jim Jones Music) and “Any Name Will Do” by Mary Kaye (Knaphus Enterprises).
Finalists for the awards are as follow:
Best Western Long Novel
The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin, HarperCollins
Country of the Bad Wolfes, James Carlos Blake, Cinco Puntos Press
Best Western Short Novel
Lonesome Animals, Bruce Holbert, Counterpoint Press
City of Rocks, Michael Zimmer, Five Star Publishing
Best Western First Novel
Wide Open, Larry Bjornson, Penguin Group
The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin, HarperCollins
Best Western Juvenile Fiction
Blooming Prairie, Candace Simar, North Star Press of St. Cloud
And There I’ll Be A Soldier, Johnny D. Boggs, Five Star Publishing
The Adventures of Buffalo Joe and The Blackbird With the Broken Wing, written and illustrated by Jamie Anne Blake, Homestead Publishing
Big Buckaroo and Moose, The Cow Dog, Rachelle “Rocky” Gibbons, illustrated by Jason Hutton, Tate Publishing
Best Western Mass Market Paperback
Redemption: Hunters, James Reasoner, Berkley
The Secret of Lodestar, Tim Champlin, Berkley
Best Western Poem
“Night Singer, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico,” Steve Dieffenbacher, Wordcraft of Oregon
“Nat Maringo,” Robert Brown, Brave New Genre Inc.
Best Western Audiobook
Trouble in Texas, Tom Nichols, Books in Motion
Best Western Nonfiction-Historical
Doreen Chaky, Terrible Justice: Sioux Chiefs and U.S. Soldiers on the Upper Missouri, 1854-1868, The Arthur H. Clark Company
Joan Nabseth Stevenson, Deliverance from the Little Big Horn: Doctor Henry Porter and Custer’s Seventh Cavalry, University of Oklahoma Press
Best Western Nonfiction-Contemporary
Michael W. Childers, Colorado Powder Keg: Ski Resorts and the Environmental Movement, University Press of Kansas
Ruben Martinez, Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company
Best Western Nonfiction-Biography
Paul L. Hedren, Ho! For the Black Hills: Captain Jack Crawford Reports the Black Hills Gold Rush and Great Sioux War, South Dakota State Historical Society Press
Catherine Holder Spude, “That Fiend in Hell”: Soapy Smith in Legend, University of Oklahoma Press
Best Western Short Fiction Story
Susan K. Salzer, “The Saint of Pox Island,” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Lori Van Pelt, “The Day Delgado Rode In,” Outlaws and Lawmen: La Frontera Publishing Presents the American West
Best Western Short Nonfiction
Paul Andrew Hutton, “Libbie Custer: ‘A Wounded Thing Must Hide’,” Wild West
James E. Potter, “‘Wearing the Hempen Neck-Tie’: Lynching in Nebraska, 1858-1919,” Nebraska History
Best Western Nonfiction-Juvenile
Kay Moore, The Great Bicycle Experiment: The Army’s Historic Black Bicycle Corps, 1896-97, Mountain Press Publishing Company
Lois Ruby, Strike!: Mother Jones & the Colorado Coal Field War, Filter Press
Best Western Drama Script
Bill Kerby, Ted Mann, and Ronald Parker, Hatfields & McCoys, Thinkfactory Media/History Channel
Graham Yost, Elmore Leonard, Dave Andron, Fred Golan, Benjamin Cavell, Taylor Elmore, Jon Worley, Nichelle D. Tramble, Ryan Farley, Ingrid Escajeda, VJ Boyd, Justified, Third Season, FX Network
Best Western Song
Jerry Faires, “The Last Real Cowboy in Old Santa Fe,” Silversmith Records