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Spur Awards

Image of the Spur Award

The Spur Awards, given annually for distinguished writing about the American West, are among the oldest and most prestigious in American literature. In 1953, when the awards were established by Western Writers of America, western fiction was a staple of American publishing. At the time awards were given to the best western novel, best historical novel, best juvenile, and best short story.

Since then the awards have been broadened to include other types of writing about the West. Today, Spurs are offered for the best western novel (short novel), best novel of the west (long novel), best original paperback novel, best short story, best short nonfiction. Also, best contemporary nonfiction, best biography, best history, best juvenile fiction and nonfiction, best TV or motion picture drama, best TV or motion picture documentary, and best first novel (called The Medicine Pipe Bearer's Award).

Its annual convention occurs during the last week of June in a western city. At that time, members, guests, editors, and agents gather together to renew friendships, do business, attend panels, go on field trips, and conduct the organization's business. Each convention concludes with the Spur Awards banquet, the moment when the WWA honors those who win the coveted awards.

Spur Award History 1959-2012.