WELCOME to the website of Women Writing the West®, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization that supports authors and other professionals in promoting the contributions made by women to the history, culture and growth of the American West..

Explore the Women's West in the pages of this website, where you'll find books honored with our WILLA Literary Awards , our current catalog of books written by members of Women Writing the West, our LAURA Journal of award-winning short fiction, and learn about the DOWNING Journalism Award. Keep up with what's happening with WWW and our members, on our blog .

We invite you to join our writing community. Membership is open to all, worldwide.


The term "Women's West" is borrowed from the ground-breaking book of the same title, edited by Susan Armitage and Elizabeth Jameson and published by University of Oklahoma Press. That book and the flood of scholarly work it triggered presented an entirely different view, literally a rediscovery, of women in the West. More than simply a recognition that women played broader and more complex roles than being wives or prostitutes, the new view of the Women's West speaks to the diversity of women of all cultures and all time periods. It acknowledges the rich variety of ways women responded to, and continue to respond to, the western experience.

The Women's West is based on a tradition that includes such fine writers as Willa Cather, Mary Austin, B.M. Bower, Mari Sandoz, Dorothy Johnson, Juanita Brooks, Laura Ingalls and Rose Wilder, and Helen Hunt Jackson. Women Writing the West exists to nurture today's writers of the Women's West, and those to come.

Purpose: To address, educate, co-ordinate and support writing that acknowledges and documents the recognition of women and their contribution to the history, culture and growth of the American West; to preserve the historical importance through writing and other literary skills available through publishing and the use of seminars, meetings, newsletters, conventions, competitions, and other communications tools.