Women Writing the West is an organization of writers and other professionals who write and promote writing about the West with emphasis on the experiences of western women and girls. We invite you to join our writing community. Membership is open to all persons, worldwide.

Join Women Writing the West

Apply for Membership or Renew Your Membership

Questions? Please contact WWW Administrator, Alice Trego, admin@womenwritingthewest.org.

Periodically, WWW sends all-member emails that are filled with noteworthy information. Since WWW communicates with its members exclusively through email, please add web@womenwritingthewest.org to your contacts/safe-sender/whitelist, or whatever method you use to ensure inbox delivery of WWW emails. Additionally, for your convenience these emails may be accessed on the WomenWritingtheWest.org Members Only page by clicking on “Recent WWW Member Emails.”

Lynn Downey, 2023 WWW President

In March of 1994, the United States celebrated the thirteenth annual Women’s History Month. The presidential proclamation stated, “On this occasion, we celebrate the lives of women too long missing from our history books. We listen to the voices of women too long absent from our national memory. Most important, we look forward to a day when society need not remind itself to note the extraordinary accomplishments of women.”

In that same year, a group of writers and friends, who understood how long women had been missing from western literature and history, got together in El Paso, Texas. They formed what would become Women Writing the West, and within a year held the new group’s first annual conference.

They talked about the importance of women to the history, culture, and promise of the American West, and had a simple goal: to create an organization to uplift and encourage western women writers, and amplify the stories they needed to tell.

Nearly thirty years later, we are the beneficiaries of this vision.

Women Writing the West helps members connect with other writers, with editors and agents, teachers, publishers, and mentors. And we offer many benefits:  

-Prestigious awards for books, short fiction, and journalism
-Monthly email updates about members and events
-A blog
-Critique groups
-Social media
-An email discussion group
-An online bookshelf called the Book Corral
-A high school writing contest
-WWW merchandise such as clothing, stationery, mugs, and more

We hold a conference every October, and present online educational events and talks throughout the year.

Women Writing the West is also something else: fun! Whether we get together in person or virtually, WWW members are a joyful group, and form friendships which last for decades. If you want to hear these stories from members themselves, take a look at the video on our website called, “Why Women Writing the West?”

I am pleased to announce that the 2023 Women Writing the West conference will be held virtually, October 12-14, and our theme is Look to the Horizon: The Promise of the West. For updates, keep checking the website and look for future communications.

Whether we write fiction or non-fiction, whether we write about ancestors, historical figures, or the characters who come to the page from our minds and hearts, we create the women’s West with our words. We write the West every day with our lives, our relationships, our work, and our service to others. There would be no West without women.

Share your story with us, and join Women Writing the West!

Lynn Downey
2022-2023 WWW President


A supportive and welcoming community of writers and other writing professionals who share a passion for the stories of the Women’s West, and will happily answer questions, lend their expertise, and will sympathize, motivate and celebrate with you on your writing journey.

An annual conference featuring respected writers, agents, publishers and other book professionals, plus camaraderie and just plain fun. Past locations include Albuquerque, Denver, Seattle and Tucson.

The WILLA Literary Awards (open to anyone), The DOWNING Journalism Award (open to anyone) and The LAURA Short Fiction Awards (open to members only) and LAURA Journal.

A way to connect with other writers of the Women’s West through our active online community, including the WWW email group, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and blog. Get answers to questions about research, writing, promotion, marketing, and giving talks and presentations. Learn how other writers work and keep up with publishing industry news. Find support, encouragement and inspiration in a welcoming setting.

Links to members’ websites, a blog featuring writing by members on the Women’s West, along with member news.

In Memoriam

western scenery

To Get the Most Out of Your WWW Membership:

  • Participate in the online community: Read and respond to posts on the email group; share your news and writing through the Facebook group and on the blog. Follow the Twitter feed and check out member books and event photos on Pinterest.
  • Attend the annual conference to meet face to face, talk with agents and publishers, and be inspired by speakers and panels.
  • Advertise your books and your work in the annual catalog.
  • Enter your book in The WILLA Literary Awards and your short stories in The LAURA Short Fiction Award. The DOWNING Journalism Award honors nonfiction journalistic articles.
  • Have a link to your website on the Members’ Websites page.
  • Join other members in your area for organized gatherings or simply meet for coffee.
  • Volunteer to help–learn new skills and make friends.
  • And have fun!

Submitting to the WWW Blog

The Blog Submission Guidelines have been updated. As of 2022, the WWW Blog is accepting submissions from both Members and Non-Members, on topics of interest to Women Writing the West. Details and suggested topic are available on the Blog page, or by clicking below. For more information, contact Blog Coordinator, Ann Edall Robson.

Read the WWW Blog

 Diversity and Inclusion

Every writer knows that every person has a story, and each story is unique. But there are similarities too. We are all born. Some in large cities, some on remote islands, some in frigid climates, some in steamy heat near the equator . . . and we are all born hungry. We all need to be fed. How we are nourished depends on what’s available, but also on what we choose to swallow and what we choose to spit out. Preferences begin at a very early stage of life.

WWW Presidents

1995-96 Sybil Downing
1996-97 Sybil Downing
1997-98 Jerrie Hurd
1998-99 Carolyn Bauer
1999-2000 Carolyn Bauer
2000-01 Paula Boyd
2001-02 Paige Ramsey-Palmer
2002-03 Cynthia Leal Massey
2003-04 Gail Jenner
2004-05 Sarah Rickman
2005-06 Jane Kirkpatrick
2006-07 Jacque Boyd
2007-08 Kathleen Ernst
2008-09 Sheila Foard
2009-10 Alice D. Trego
2010-11 Suzanne Lyon
2011-12 Pamela Tartaglio
2012-13 Erin Gray
2013-14 Cynthia Becker
2014-15 Anne Schroeder
2015-16 Doris Baker
2016-17 Linda Jacobs
2017-18 Carmen Peone
2018-19 Irene “Cindy” Sandell
2019-20 Amy Nowak
2020-21 Barbara K. Froman
2021-22 Betsy Randolph

WWW bookmark

Read the History of the Women Writing the West Logo

Women Writing the West Logo without text

Founding Members

Sierra Adare
Natalia Aponte – TOR/Forge
Jane Valentine Barker
Carolyn Bauer
Sarah Bird
Cindy Bonner
Glenn G. Boyer
Irene Bennett Brown
Corinne Brown
Susan Butruille
Jenna Caplette
Jane Chelius – Jane Chelius Literary Agency
Rita Cleary
Margaret Coel
Jane Candia Coleman
Sandra Dallas
John Dofflemyer – Dry Crik Review
Sybil Downing
Karen Emanuelson
Patricia McMartin Enders
Edna Fiore
Kathleen O’Neal Gear
Gary Goldstein
Ann Gorzalka
Harry Helm
Charlotte Hinger
Jerrie Hurd
Judith Janay
Deana Jensen
Erin Jourdan – TOR/Forge
Julie Wallin Kaewert
Jane Kirkpatrick
Alice P. Kober
Dr. Victoria Krueger
Page Lambert
Elaine Long
Mary Lynn Mardis
Dee Marvine
Paul McCarthy
Kay McDonald
Gwendolyn J. Morgan-Jones
Lesley Kellas Payne
Bobette Perrone
Gwen Peterson
Nancy Cathers Phillips
Nell Brown Propst
Linda Quinton – TOR/Forge
Mary Ramstetter
Susan C. Reneau
Glenda Riley
Janet E. Robertson
Lucia St. Clair Robson
Irene “Cindy” Sandell
Karen Sorenson
Linda Sparks
Beth Sullivan – Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
AJ Verdelle
Linda A. White
Jeanne Williams
Jann Arrington Wolcott
Women of the West Museum