Willa Awards - Contemporary Fiction

The Willa Awards are given annually by Women Writing the West. They are awarded in several categories, including Contemporary Fiction and Historical Fiction, for outstanding literature featuring women's stories.

Award Year Authors(s) Title
2012 Summer Wood Raising Wrecker
2011 Jamie Lisa Forbes Unbroken
2010 Sandi Ault Wild Sorrow The third novel featuring resource agent Jamaica Wild finds her hunkering down in a blizzard at an abandoned Indian school--where she finds the corpse of a former school teacher.
2009 Jana Richman The Last Cowgirl Dickie Sinfield returns to her Utah hometown for her brother's funeral where she must face her strained relationship with her family and her own life in a journey of self-discovery.
2008 Janet Peery What the Thunder Said
2007 K.L. Cook The Girl from Charnelle It's 1960 in the Panhandle town of Charnelle, Texas — a year and a half since sixteen-year-old Laura Tate's mother boarded a bus and mysteriously disappeared. Assuming responsibility for the Tate household, Laura cares for her father and three brothers and outwardly maintains a sense of calm. But her balance is upset and the repercussions of her family's struggles are revealed when a chance encounter with a married man leads Laura into a complicated relationship for which she is unprepared. As Kennedy battles Nixon for the White House, Laura must navigate complex emotional terrain and choose whether she, too, will flee Charnelle. --Publisher comments (William Morrow & Company)
2006 Laura Pritchett Sky Bridge Libby is a bagger at the supermarket in town. She is also a new mother - not of her own child, but of her little sister's. Tess did not want the baby, but Libby convinced her not to have an abortion by promising to raise it - a promise Tess thought was crazy and Libby believed she would not have to keep. Now Tess has left for Durango and Libby pays rent to share a house with her mother on land neither of them own. She drives into town a few days a week to work at the supermarket - where everyone thinks she's heroic - and sometimes sees her boyfriend, Derek, but for the most part is alone with Amber, the baby. A steady flow of Libby's dreams and worries about Tess wash over the baby like warm bath water.
2005 Mary Sharratt The Real Minerva Minerva, Minnesota, in 1923 is the picture of Willa Cather-like gentility: the Northern Pacific Railway runs through a town center dominated by church steeples and the Hamilton Creamery and Pop Factory. But Minerva is also a small town of limited opportunity, a place where the status quo is firmly entrenched and rigidly enforced. Against this tableau of midwestern placidity and calm, three Minerva women assert their dignity and independence against all odds.
2004 Ruth Ozeki All Over Creation A dramatic story of a prodigal daughter's homecoming to a heartland of genetically modified crops.
2003 Debra Magpie Earling Perma Red Louise White Elk dreams of both belonging and escape, and of discovering love and freedom on her own terms. "Perma Red" is a love-crossed saga about a young woman coming of age under perilous circumstances, and about the consequences of her often contradictory desires.
2002 Paul Scott Malone This House of Women
2001 Margaret Coel The Spirit Woman When Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley look into the disappearance of a history professor who was visiting the Wind River Reservation, they are led into a twenty-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of another historian, and then even further into the past-as they unravel a controversy surrounding the young Shoshone woman named Sacajawea...
2000 Annie Proulx Close Range A collection of stories set in Wyoming. They range from The Mud Below, on an itinerant rodeo cowboy, to People in Hell Just Want a Drink of Water, which is on a family feud.
1999 Pam Houston Waltzing the Cat A collection of interrelated stories on a woman who is lucky in adventure, but unlucky in love. Lucy O'Rourke risks her life in a variety of dangerous sports and emerges a winner, but in love she always falls for the wrong man.