Bill Markley
Western Writers of America author Bill Markley

 Western Writers of America 2014 Convention, June 24-28 Sacramento, California

Western Writers of America  is the friendliest organization I have ever belonged to in my life. It’s one of those organizations that when asked to do something, I don’t mind doing it.

In 1953, a small group of traditional western fiction writers founded WWA to promote the literature of the American West. Today, WWA has more than 650 members who include historians and other nonfiction authors, young adult and romance writers, poets, songwriters, and screenwriters. It’s motto Literature of the West for the World ® reflects the essence of the organization promoting all forms of western literature and actively presenting it to the world. A major aspect of this promotion is the annual presentation of the prestigious Spur Award in over 16 fiction and nonfiction categories. Winners are announced in March and the awards are presented at the annual convention that this year will be held June 24-28, in Sacramento, CA.

As I said, WWA is the friendliest organization I have ever belonged to. I attended my first convention in 2002, in Helena, MT. I arrived at the convention not knowing a single soul and left with lifelong friends.

If you write or aspire to write about the west, I strongly encourage you to consider joining WWA. I would not be as advanced in my writing career today, if it was not for WWA. I also strongly advise attending this year’s convention as I mentioned above it will be held in Sacramento this June. The sessions will range from California history to marketing strategies, there will be a session where attendees can make one-on-one appointments with publishers and agents. On top of this, it is a great way to network with writers and folks in the publishing business. I can’t say enough good things about WWA, I love it.

August 2008, I participated in the Fort Pierre to Deadwood Trail ride taking seventeen days to traverse 250 miles. That ride started out with most folks as complete strangers to each other, but it soon became a traveling community everyone helping each other to make it to Deadwood. If there was a break in equipment, people were on it to fix it, if someone couldn’t ride due to an injury or sick animal, others insisted that person ride in their wagon. It was the American “Can Do” Spirit helping each other achieve their individual and community goals. That’s what I see Western Writers of America as—a community of writers helping each other reach their individual and community western writing goals.

You can find Western Writers of America at

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