View recent emails to members from Women Writing the West

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Here are the most recent Email messages which were sent to all members. Click the title to expand the message.

Women Writing the West January News
Happy New Year!


Now Accepting Entries for

The DOWNING Journalism Award

Open to all WWW Members and to the public

Select your finest article published in a printed publication in 2020.

Entries are accepted from January 1, 2021, through March 31, 2021.

The 2021 DOWNING Journalism Award Judge is

Mark Boardman, Editor of True West Magazine


In keeping with the rich history of Women Writing the West, The DOWNING Journalism Award is presented in honor of the late Sybil Downing, a noted journalist and author in Boulder, Colorado, who was also a founding member of Women Writing the West. 


WWW 2022 Catalog of Authors’ Books Submissions are Now Open

Time to Place Your Promotional Display,
Book Listing, or Member Focus Listing

Each year, Women Writing the West prints a Catalog of Authors’ Books to help promote the work of members. This dynamic and professional catalog is recognized for the quality of books it contains. WWW distributes more than 4,000 copies per year, making the catalog one of the best marketing values in the industry!


News to Know from WWW:

There’s still time to register for WWW’s first Wintering with WWW speaker, Jana Bommersbach, on January 19th. (Registration closes January 15).

Have a question for Jana? Send your question to Wintering with WWW Chair, Linda Jacobs,

Get all the info and register here …

February 16, 2021 Wintering with WWW Speaker will be Johnny D. Boggs. Registration Opens On January 20, 2021.

It’s time renew your WWW membership for 2021

Women Writing the West®
PO Box 1886
Durango, CO 81302
You are receiving this email as a member of Women Writing the West.
To ensure delivery, please add to your contact list.For questions or comments, please contact Administrator, Alice Trego at

Women Writing the West December News
Wintering With WWW Speakers Program

Now here’s something to look forward to during the winter months!
And, it’s Free!

 Each month, January – April 2021, we’ll gather on ZOOM to meet an entertaining speaker, chat together, and chase away the winter blues.

Our first Speaker -January 19, 2021
7:00 PM Mountain Time

Jana Bommersbach
Direct, funny, engaging, entertaining and one of Arizona’s most acclaimed journalists.

We will meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month (Jan. 19, Feb. 16, Mar. 16, and Apr. 20) at 7:00 PM Mountain Time.

Who Can Attend: WWW Members, of course (free).  AND you may invite your friends (free), so they can experience a night of WWW camaraderie.
Everyone must register in advance.

 Details are at Wintering with WWW  
Join us for some wintery fun!
Give the Gift of a Membership Card Do You Know a Writer? Spread the joy.
Women Writing the West—It’s an experience, not a thing.   For twenty-six years Women Writing the West has helped writers—with beginning to advanced skills—learn, share, and grow.
* Join Our Online Peer Community. Ask questions. Share ideas. Find answers.
* Gain Recognition and Rewards. Our Literary awards include The LAURA Short Fiction Contest — a benefit for members only.
* Network among our professionals and our member-forums.
* Thrive with Opportunities to showcase your works to Libraries.
* Enjoy Entertainment and education in our Wintering with WWW Speakers Programs in 2021. Or… if someone asks, “What do you want for Christmas?” let them know they can buy you a gift you can truly use all year long—WWW membership. New! Now you can purchase an experience to give to others … the WWW Membership Gift Card!
News to Know from WWW:  
Entry for The DOWNING Journalism Award opens January 1, 2021  
WWW is now an Amazon Smile charity. Learn more on the Members Only page  
It’s time renew your WWW membership for 2021
Women Writing the West®
PO Box 1886
Durango, CO 81302  

You are receiving this email as a member of Women Writing the West.
To ensure delivery, please add to your contact list.
For questions or comments, please contact Administrator, Alice Trego at

Women Writing the West November News


The application period for
The 2021 WILLA Literary Awards
is now OPEN.

The WILLA Literary Awards honors the best in literature, featuring women’s or girls’ stories set in the North American West. Entries are open to all persons worldwide and are not limited to WWW members or women specifically. ONLY books FIRST published and copyrighted in 2020 are eligible.

Entry deadline February 1, 2021
Application fee – $65 per entry
View The WILLA Literary Award Guidelines and Application

Winners and Finalists will be announced in August, and Awards presented at the 27th Annual Conference in October, 2021.

Questions? Please contact WILLA Chair Amy Nowak at

Click here to read more.


Here’s some holiday cheer to share. We are thankful…

For our new, beautiful WWW website and the gifts that made it possible.

Thankful to recognize women who molded the West (and still do) through our WILLA, LAURA, and DOWNING Awards. We appreciate your support of these programs.

Joyful to be able to discuss and educate about writing issues that matter to you. Thank you for your participation in our blog and conferences.

Thankful to be able to provide a space … a place in which writers (beginning or seasoned) can ask questions, find answers, and make new friends. We appreciate the lively, intelligent discussions in our social media and io groups.
Most of all, we appreciate your patience, time, talents, and gifts, moving us forward, bringing us together.

We are thankful for all of your gifts, large or small, as we move into whatever 2021 will bring.
Share Your Support.


Dear WWW Members,

Please Read the President’s Letter Here.

It is chock-full of great information, including notification of The LAURA Short Fiction Award and The DOWNING Journalism Award finalists (final placement will be announced at the WWW 2020 Virtual Conference–be sure to sign-up and attend!), and… (drum roll please!) the Winners and Finalists of The WILLA Literary Awards. My gosh, what an outstanding selection! I may need to buy another bookcase!

Happy reading everyone,

Amy Nowak

WWW 2020 President

Woo-hoo!  Have we got a conference planned for you!

While the shift to a virtual conference was a tough decision to make, it looks like we will be able to pull together a fantastic virtual conference in terms of content and value! 

The new information should be up on the website late this week along with the registration form. And, boy, will we be offering lots of “bang for your buck!”

Virtual conferencing might be new to many of our members but we’ve designed the format to make it as easy as possible. We’re reducing the price to encourage you to put your toes in and we’re planning a huge conference for the price…and no travel or hotel expenses! 

We know there are lots of questions about what the conference will look like so here’s a brief rundown.


  • Nearly all our original sessions (including Powerpoint presentation)
  • Margaret Coel and Michael & Kathleen O’Neal Gear virtual keynotes
  • Editor & agent panels and pitch appointments
  • Special added content highlighting Colorado Springs…a virtual visit
  • Purchase links to authors’ books in lieu of the bookstore
  • Virtual social hours so we can get together and visit on-screen
  • Finalist and award recipient readings
  • Virtual ceremonies to celebrate finalists and award recipients
  • All original Thursday add-on sessions
  • Annual membership meeting
  • Option to add-on post-conference access to recordings of all sessions


  • Conference in real-time, October 15-17, using Zoom
  • Concurrent and general sessions with ability to move between rooms
  • Built-in breaks to ease screen-fatigue
  • Upgraded security features on virtual platform
  • Advance tutorials for attendees and presenters


  • Online registration and downloadable forms just like usual
  • Registrants will receive a link to the conference program as we near conference dates
  • Program will have links to all sessions, social events, and ceremonies
  • Registrants select what they want to attend and access those “meeting rooms” via the links
  • Registrants can leave one room and join another at will
  • Links to multiple social hour rooms


  • Significantly lower fees than many of the other virtual conferences are charging (because we know this is new to many of you and we know COVID has hit some of us hard)
  • Full Friday and Saturday registration at reduced rate (anticipated $125-$150 for members; non-members $25 higher) with nearly all the original content
  • Thursday Add-ons at reduced rate
  • Recording Add-on to access all the concurrent sessions you can’t attend live


Lots of volunteers to help spread the work-load. NONE of these jobs are complicated but we need your help! Sign up ASAP requested (so we can get all in place and training done).

  • One MONITOR per session to welcome attendees, introduce presenters, monitor time and chat/hand-raising features, keep track of questions raised in chat features. Training provided.
  • One ROOM ASSISTANT per session to handle glitches, consult Zoom Online Help or phone support if necessary. Training provided.
  • SOCIAL HOSTS to oversee social hour rooms (assure everyone is welcome, etc.)
  • One or two planners per ceremony to help our WILLA, LAURA, and DOWNING Chairs create ceremonies that are entertaining for attendees and memorable for finalists and award recipients
  • A number of folks to serve as ZOOM BUDDIES to meet with registrants one-on-one prior to conference to answer questions about how the platform works and walk them through concerns (an addition to the training modules we will have available).
  • Ten to fifteen people to serve as MEETING HOSTS (five per day) to open virtual meeting rooms each morning and close them each evening and be on-call throughout day/check-in with co-hosts as well as being responsible for admin settings. Training will be provided. Sessions throughout the day will be run by the Monitors and Room Assistants (as official co-hosts) but we’ll need one host per room per day so we can limit our number of licenses under Zoom. If you can do more than one day, great! 

If you can help with any of these, contact Pam Nowak ASAP at to let her know you’re willing to lend a hand and what you’d like to help with. PLEASE step forward.


Registration fees and the schedule will be finalized this week. All the details and registration forms will be posted on the website as soon as we are “set.”

See you in October. You really won’t want to miss what we have planned!

Dear Members,
It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that yesterday evening I received notice of the passing of WWW Graphic Designer Jenny Hancey. If you receive inquiries, please respond accordingly.

Women Writing the West grieves this terrible loss of a dedicated and talented woman. The organization has been in touch with Jenny’s family to know how to announce this with sensitivity and compassion. Our hearts are broken. Please remember Jenny and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Amy Nowak WWW 2020 President

After hearing members’ valuable input and a large dose of deliberation, the WWW Board has made the agonizing decision to cancel the 2020 Conference in Colorado Springs as an in-person live event and shift focus to a virtual conference.

We feel it is simply too risky to continue planning a mass gathering given the predictions of a second wave of the virus in the fall, especially now that so many states are undergoing a surge of new COVID-19 cases. Many of you have expressed concerns about this very issue, despite your desires to re-energize with others. As well, extremely low registration numbers indicate the conference (as originally envisioned) would be a financial burden to the organization. It has become clear at this point that even though some of you are game to attend, that we simply will not have the numbers we would need to meet expenses.

The conference team is currently shifting gears to determine how best to create a virtual conference so that we can still participate in learning, sharing, and celebrating with one another. At present, a team is exploring various virtual platforms and committee chairs are reaching out to presenters, keynoters, and editors and agents. We’re hoping everyone will agree to be part of a virtual conference so we can still offer pitch appointments, lots of panels and presentations, some virtual social hours, keynote speeches, and award ceremonies to celebrate our award finalists and winners. You will have to cook your own food or get takeout (grin).

Once we’ve worked out the details, we will share information with all of you on what a virtual conference will look like and the costs involved. This is likely to take a few weeks to sort through and we ask for your patience as we transition our planning. In the meantime, save our conference dates!

For now, we want to assure you that we will issue refunds.
– For those who wish to cancel their conference registrations entirely, please let us know and we will issue a full refund via the same payment method you used. Contact Registrar Julie Van Laanen at to let her know you wish to cancel entirely.
– If you wish to attend the virtual conference we will refund the difference in fees as soon as we determine the fees for the virtual conference (we expect that to take a few weeks). That partial refund will necessarily be delayed until those details are worked out. Contact Registrar Julie Van Laanen at to let her know you wish to attend the virtual conference and desire a refund of the difference in fees.  
– For those who have delayed their decision and want to jump into the virtual conference, we will suspend new registrations until we work out the format and fees (we expect that to take a few weeks). Watch the website for the new form and your email for a notice that registration is reopening. 

Please be patient with us as we work out the details. We’re working hard to find a platform that will allow us to offer as much as we possibly can in the most user-friendly process.

The Board and the conference team wish to convey our deepest regrets that the live conference will not be held this year. It was not an easy decision to make but one we felt necessary and in everyone’s best interests.  

All the best,
Pam Nowak (2020 WWW Conference Chair) and Amy Nowak (2020 WWW President)
May I have your attention, please! horses-mouth

This year has presented lots of challenges for many, and Women Writing the West is no exception. The June WWW President’s message is stock-full of information you need to know, including an important change that’s coming for The WWW Member Directory, a WWW membership cost increase, and a conference update. Be sure to mosey on over to the following link or there’ll be “hay to pay!”

CATALOG: For submission to the 2021 catalog, THE DEADLINE IS EXTENDED TO AUGUST 1, 2020. We welcome submissions in all categories. So far, we have received no Member Focus Listings. We miss you! Thanks to everyone who has sent submissions. WWW will have another lovely catalog!
Beverly Lionberger Hodgins – Catalog Editor

CONFERENCE: We remain optimistic that the conference will happen this October and have a wonderful selection of sessions planned. Please check out the CONFERENCE TRIFOLD by clicking on the link below. We have EXTENDED the EARLY-REGISTRATION deadline and hope to see lots of registrations; the numbers will help us know how to plan. Please note: if the conference is cancelled by WWW due to COVID-19, all registrations will be refunded.
Pam Nowak – WWW 2020 Conference Chair

Best wishes,

Women Writing the West June Member News

Women Writing the West Conference Update

RE: WWW 2020 Conference
Dear Member of Women Writing the West,  

We wanted to reach out during this time of uncertainty to offer some reassurance and hope for reconnecting together again. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems inappropriate to promote this year’s WWW Conference with the high level of excitement it deserves. Even so, we may all need something to look forward to and enjoy some like-minded social connecting in October.  

At this difficult time, the conference team suggests bookmarking the conference web page and checking back often. However, registration remains open, and some members have already taken advantage of early-bird pricing. Pam Nowak, this year’s Conference Chair, and everyone else involved continues to make plans. There will be thought-provoking classes. The bookstore coordinator has secured a bookstore for members who are interested in promoting their material. All award category chairs are working to ensure that winners are recognized. Silent auction items are being gathered. The line-up of speakers is outstanding. If any conference format or date changes do occur–which is not something currently anticipated–the conference webpage is the first place to learn about it. Women Writing the West looks forward to getting through these tough days and reuniting once the crisis has passed.
Stay safe,  
Pam Nowak, 2020 Conference Chair and Amy Nowak, WWW 2020 President

2020 WWW Conference Registrar
Julie Bell VanLaanen

WWW members have long enjoyed the benefit of a private email listserv, but things changed this past year when Yahoo! removed the daily digest from its service. This caused frustration among some members who had relied on the digest to contain email delivery to a once daily format and prevent individual emails from cluttering their inboxes. It soon became clear that change was inevitable. I am happy to announce that WWW has transitioned its group email service to

More details and instructions are available on the Members Only page of the WWW website.

If you would like to subscribe to this new private email service, go to the Members Only page and click the button to Join Email Group. You will be sent an email invitation to join the group. After setting up an account, you may choose how you would like to have your WWW email delivered—yes, the digest option is back!

I’ve already joined and look forward to getting your email updates from this new group email service.



The new year is here! Start planning for and submitting your book listing, member focus listing and/or promotional book display for the 2021 catalog.

Deadline for submitting forms is JUNE 1, 2020.

Please go to and visit the CATALOG section for information on submitting a Book Listing, Member Focus Listing, or Promotional Book Display for the 2021 Catalog of Authors’ Books.

You may send an online form and pay online or you may send your forms and payment to me via postal mail. The correct form must accompany all listings and displays. If you wish to send a CD of your display image rather than email the image, send it via postal mail. There is a large locking mailbox at this address:

Women Writing the West Catalog
Beverly Lionberger Hodgins, Editor
1509 E. Cambridge Lane
Spokane, WA 99203-3937

Wishing you the best of the West in 2020,

Dear Member of Women Writing the West,

The WWW Board of Directors is often called to review policies and procedures that guard the values, mission, strategies, and goals of the organization. Included here are recent amendments to the WWW Bylaws that reflect this pursuit. These Bylaws are always available at the Members Only section of the WWW website.


Section 6 – Duties:

The treasurer shall be the chief financial officer and ensure that sound internal financial controls are in place and operating properly. The board of directors has authorized the engagement of a certified public accountant (CPA) who shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The treasurer shall serve as liaison to the CPA. Based upon the information provided by the CPA, the treasurer shall render a full and accurate account of all monies received and paid out by submitting a report at each board meeting. A complete financial report, including any independent review or audit requested by the board of directors, shall be presented to the membership at the annual membership meeting.


Section 6 – Special Committees: The president, with the approval the board, may create special committees appointed to perform a special function that is beyond the authority or capacity of a standing committee. The chairman of a special committee may create subcommittees as needed to expedite committee responsibilities, and all are accountable in the same manner as standing committees. Special committees generally expire on completion of its designated duties, though they can be renewed.


Section 4 – Quorum: Forty percent (40%) of the eligible members in good standing shall constitute a quorum at any special meeting of the membership. Twenty percent (20%) of the eligible members in good standing shall constitute a quorum at the annual membership meeting.

In the event the quorum is not met during the annual membership meeting, the annual membership meeting will go forward as usual during the conference; however, the vote will be postponed and take place at the The WILLA luncheon Award presentation. In this way, all business would be conducted at the time of the annual membership meeting, but the actual vote could take place later when a quorum of members would be present at the luncheon award presentation.

View Complete ByLaws

Thank you.

Amy Nowak
WWW 2019 – 2020 President