I just returned from the 18th annual Women Writing the West conference, held this year in Albuquerque, NM. This is always the highlight of my writing year, traveling to a new state each year, catching up with old friends and making new ones.
WWW is a great support group, a non-profit association of women and men writing and promoting the Women’s West. As our website states: “Our stories are set in the Western United States — past and present — but our organization considers the “West” as more than a geographic location. The West represents a way of thinking, a sense of adventure, a willingness to cross into a new frontier.”
Our organization gives the WILLA Literary Award in several categories, one that I’m proud to say I won last year in Young Adult fiction. If you’ve published a book featuring a woman or girl set in the west in 2012, you are eligible to enter this prestigious contest.
As I left home last week to catch a plane to NM, I was greeted by the most beautiful sunrise. Unfortunately, I was driving on the freeway and wasn’t able to stop to take a picture. As the sun painted the horizon with burnt-orange brush strokes, a low-lying sea of fog hung over the water, indigo trees and mountains rising from it. It was a good omen for a good conference weekend.
I landed in Albuquerque to an equally spectacular sunset, which I was able to capture through the plane window.
At the conference, I heard a moving, inspirational keynote presentation by Susan Tweit on “Writing from the Heart” and met Anne Hillerman, daughter of novelist Tony Hillerman, and best-selling author Sandra Dallas (a WILLA Award winner). I also did a practice interview in front of the camera with Laureen Pepersack, which turned out not as terrifying as I thought it might!
A lovely weekend, filled with sunshine, friendship, information and support! We’re already planning next year’s event in Kansas City, MO!