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Awards News


  From the Academy of Western Artists:

The Academy of Western Artists would like to congratulate John Dofflemyer, Lemon Creek, California, and Linda Hasselstrom, Hermosa, South Dakota, this year’s Buck Ramsey Cowboy and Cowgirl Poets of the Year. The 20th Annual Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Western Awards will be held March 12, 2016 in the Brown Lupton Ballroom at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. The event is open to the public and more information is available at

John Dofflemyer’s forebears began raising cattle in the southern Sierra Nevada foothills of Tulare County in 1852, where he and his wife Robbin are engaged in a cow and calf operation on Dry Creek, a tributary of the Kaweah River. To recognize and celebrate rural and contemporary cowboy poetry on the page, John was the founding editor and publisher of the quarterly,
Dry Crik Review. Author of sixteen collections of poetry and included in many anthologies, his Poems from Dry Creek published by Starhaven and Proclaiming Space published by Dry Crik Press received Wrangler Awards from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for "Outstanding Poetry Book of 2008 and 2012" respectively. He has participated in the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering since 1989. To educate and share ranch life, John and Robbin have maintained the weblog, Dry Crik Journal—Perspectives from the Ranch with photographs and poetry since 2005.

Linda M. Hasselstrom, a South Dakota rancher, writes and conducts writing retreats in person and by email from her Windbreak House Retreats, ( established in 1996. Her most recent poetry collection, Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet with Twyla M. Hansen won the Nebraska Book Award, Poetry, 2012, and was a finalist for both the High Plains Book award and Women Writing the West’s WILLA. Bitter Creek Junction won the Wrangler for Best Poetry from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. An advisor to Texas Tech University Press and Rural Lit RALLY, Hasselstrom is a regular performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, has published 15 books and edited others. Her poetry and nonfiction has appeared in dozens of collections; she can be heard on Bar-D Roundup CDs Vol. 6 and 10 from The Great Plains Native Plant Society ( is establishing a shortgrass prairie botanic garden on her ranch. Hasselstrom’s newest book is The Wheel of the Year: A Writer’s Workbook, (Red Dashboard Press).;

Find features on John Dofflemyer here and on Linda Hasselstrom here at

Posted 12/31




From the Will Rogers Medallion Award committee (

At the 12th annual Will Rogers Medallion Award Banquet hosted Saturday evening, October 24, in Ft. Worth, 35 authors were presented Will Rogers Medallion Awards Honoring Excellence in Western Media in 11 categories. “This is the largest and strongest group of winners we have had since the inception of the Award,” noted Charles Williams, executive director. “It is a tribute to the enduring appeal of the West and to the high quality of literature being produced today.”

The winners, by category, include:

Cowboy Poetry

1st place:
Rhyming The Range by Yvonne Holenbeck (self)

2nd place:
The Cowgirl Brand by Dawn Nelson (Gray Dog Press)

3rd place:
Homegrown and Other Poems by Bryce Burnett (DriverWorks Ink)

Western Fiction

1st place:
Spirit Of Steamboat; Waiting For Signs; A Serpent's Tooth; and Any Other Name by Craig Johnson (Viking Penguin Random House)

2nd place:
Looking For Lynne by John L. Moore (self)

3rd place:
The Big Drift by Patrick Dearen (TCU Press)

4th place:
Buffalo Grass Rider: Rough River Gold by Allen Russell (Rough River Press)

5th place:
Ragtime Cowboys by Loren D. Estleman (Forge Books)

Biographies & Memoirs

1st place:
The M Bar by Harry Webb & C.J. Hadley (RANGE Magazine)

2nd place:
The Horse Lover by H. Alan Day (University of Nebraska Press)

3rd place:
Western Women Who Dared To Be Different by Gail Woerner (Wild Horse Media Group)

Western Nonfiction

1st place:
Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls by Alvin R. Lynn (Texas Tech University Press)

2nd place: Death Of A Texas Ranger by Cynthia Leal Massey (Globe Pequot Press)

3rd place:
Necessary Evil by Joe Johnson (Missouri History Museum)

4th place:
The Death Row All-Stars by Chris Enss & Howard Kazanjian (Rowman & Littlefield)

5th place:
Old 300: Gone To Texas by Paul N. Spellman (self)

Photographic Essays

1st place:
Charles M. Russell: Photographing The Legend by Larry Len Peterson (Univ. of Oklahoma Press)

2nd place:
Unbranded by Ben Masters (Texas A&M Press)

Inspirational Fiction

1st place:
Romancing The Widow by Davalynn Spencer (Harlequin Heartsong Presents)

2nd place:
Vanishing Raven by Stephen Smart (High Mule Publishing)

3rd place:
Girls and Gunsmoke by Mikki Daniel (MD Productions)

Western Romance

1st place:
Walls For The Wind by Aletha Williams (Whiskey Creek Press)

2nd place:
Wrangle by Jonnie Martin (self)

3rd place:
The Rail Queen by B J Scott (self)

Western Fiction—Younger Readers

1st place:
Texas Grit by S.J. Dahlstrom (Paul Dry Books)

2nd place:
Journey To Galveston by Melodie A. Cuate (Texas Tech University Press)

3rd place:
Eagle Talons, The Iron Horse Chronicles by Robert Lee Murphy (Five Star Publishing)

4th place: T
exas: Cowboys and Campfires by Nancy Sifford Alana (self)

5th place:
Trouble On The Tracks by Nancy Oswald (Filter Press, LLC)

Western Fiction—Young Readers, Illustrated

1st place:
My Pony Bucks by Jay Hahnkamp, Illustrated by Bonnie Shields (Keokee Co. Publishing)

2nd place:
Pioneer Pups by Nancy Kay Arnold, Illustrated by Ellen Berger (Acacia Publishing)

Western Cookbook

1st place:
Family Tree Recipes by Dawn Nelson (Gray Dog Press)

Originally created to honor outstanding volumes of Cowboy Poetry, the Will Rogers Medallion Award soon expanded into other categories as interest and reader demand increased. Will Rogers was an accomplished author as well as a cowboy entertainer, and the purpose of the Award is to honor this facet of his legacy as well as to highlight current books that embody strong content, excellent production values, and enduring interest. The Twelfth Annual Award Show, hosted in the Ft. Worth Stockyards during Red Steagall’s Twenty-Fifth Cowboy Gathering, attracted authors from as far away as Canada, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Montana. “As writers, as Westerners, and as Americans, we owe a tremendous debt to Will Rogers, and this is our way of acknowledging and honoring that debt,” said Mr. Williams.

Posted 11/2





  The Western Music Association ( has announced the recipients for its 2015 awards, which were given at the organization's annual convention, November 11-15, 2015:

2015 Instrumentalist of the Year
Jeanne Cahill

2015 Male Performer of the Year
Bill Barwick

2015 Female Performer of the Year
Kristyn Harris

2015 Duo or Group of the Year
Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band

2015 Entertainer of the Year
Dave Stamey

2015 Crescendo Award
Hailey Sandoz
Leah Sawyer

2015 Radio DJ/Radio Program of the Year
Judy James - Cowboy Jubilee & Western Heritage Radio

2015 Western Album of the Year
Down the Trail - Kristyn Harris

2015 Swing Album of the Year
Cowgirl Swing - Mikki Daniel

2015 Song of the Year
Socios - Written by Doug Figgs, Mariam Funke & Ethan Smith

2015 Songwriter of the Year
Doug Figgs

2015 Male Poet of the Year
Andy Nelson

2015 Female Poet of the Year
Sam DeLeeuw

2015 Male Yodeler of the Year
Marty Kosel
David Sawyer

2015 Duo Harmony Award
Notable Exceptions - Judy Coder & Jennifer Epps

2015 Trio Harmony Award
Simple Gifts - The Sawyer Family

2015 Youth Ensemble Award
Kristyn Harris, Leah Sawyer & Hailey Sandoz

2015 Marilyn Tuttle "Best of the Best" Harmony Award
The Hanson Family

2015 Trio Harmony Award
Simple Gifts - The Sawyer Family

2015 Presidents Award
Robert Fee

2015 Pioneer Trail Award
Hal Cannon

2015 Cowboy Poetry CD Award
Dale Page,
Once We Were Kings

2015 Cowboy Poetry Book Award
Waddie Mitchell,
100 Poems

The Georgie Sicking Award was given to Mary Matli.

The Western Wordsmiths awards were:

Valerie Beard Cowboy Poetry Jackpot Novice Division
Almeda Bradshaw Cowboy Poetry Jackpot Professional Division
Floyd Beard Peoples' Choice (Woody) Award

Results can also be found at

Posted 11/6



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