Willa Awards - Historical 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 Sandra Dallas The Bride's House Dallas' novel traces the experiences of three generations of women who live in a Victorian Colorado house, from Nealie, a hired girl torn between two suitors; to motherless Pearl, whose grieving father sabotages her happiness; to proud Susan, who resolves to protect the house's secrets and legacy.
2011 Brian Leung Take Me Home
2010 Kim Wiese My Name is Falon: One Woman's Saga from Scotland to the Texas Frontier The story of a Scottish pioneer woman on the frontier.
2009 Fern J. Hill Charley's Choice: The Life and Times of Charley Parkhurst
2008 Rilla Askew Harpsong Harlan Singer, a harmonica-playing troubadour, shows up in the Thompson family's yard one morning. He steals their hearts with his music, and their daughter with his charm. Soon he and his fourteen-year-old bride, Sharon, are on the road, two more hobos of the Great Depression, hitchhiking and hopping freights across the Great Plains in search of an old man and the settlement of Harlan's long-standing debt.
2007 Elizabeth Crook The Night Journal Meg Mabry has spent her life with her back turned to her legendary family legacy. In the 1890s her great-grandmother Hannah Bass composed starkly revealing diaries of her life on the southwestern frontier, first as a Harvey Girl at the glamorous Montezuma Resort in New Mexico and later as the wife of brilliant, and often absent, railway engineer Elliot Bass. Hannah's daughter Claudia "Bassie" Bass published the accounts to great acclaim. When Meg reluctantly accompanies Bassie on an excavation of the old Bass property and discoveries cast doubt on the family history, Meg finally succumbs to the allure of the history and delves deeper into the stories.
2006 Sandra Dallas New Mercies Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china are still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders. And the houses have names...and memories. Nora Bondurant is running away - from her husband's death, from his secrets, and from the ghosts that dog her every step. When she receives a telegram informing her that she has an inheritance, Nora suddenly has somewhere to run to: a house named Avoca in Natchez, Mississippi. Before, she knew little about her father's people. Now she's learning that the lure of Natchez runs deep, and that, along with Avoca, she's inherited a mystery. Nora's aunt, Amalia Bondurant, was killed in a murder/suicide, and the locals are saying nothing more - except in hushed, honeyed tones.
2005 Jane Candia Coleman Tombstone Travesty: Allie Earp Remembers
2004 Ann Parker Silver Lies As 1879 draws to a close, this Rocky Mountain boomtown has infected the world with silver fever. It's not much different than the dot.com mania or the corporate scams that heat up over a century later. Unfortunately for Joe Rose, a precious-metals assayer, death stakes its own claim. Joe's body is found trampled into the muck behind Inez Stannert's saloon.
2003 Paulette Jiles Enemy Women The Colleys are farmers in the Missouri Ozarks. Although Southerners, the family tries to remain neutral, a fact ignored by the Union militia who confiscate their livestock and arrest their daughter, Adair, on charges of "enemy collaboration." Yet as Adair soon discovers, fate can be a double-edged sword.
2002 Micaela Gilchrist The Good Journey The Good Journey is the sweeping and enthralling story of two extraordinary people, set against a West that was still to be won. It is at once a love story, the intimate portrait of a marriage and a fascinating recreation of the Black Hawk wars, the long, bloody clash between one of the great Native American leaders and his principal opponent, a tough, resourceful and determined American general with deeply conflicted feelings on the subject of Indians.
2001 JoAnn Levy For California Gold
2000 Isabel Allende Daughter of Fortune A Chilean woman searches for her lover in the goldfields of 1840s California. Arriving as a stowaway, Eliza finances her search with various jobs, including playing the piano in a brothel.
1999 JoAnn Levy Daughter of Joy: A Novel of Gold Rush California