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


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.

An annual Catalog of Members’ Books, distributed to libraries, bookstores, and handed out at major book festivals. Our marketing efforts can greatly extend your own.

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.

A speakers’ bureau and links to members’ websites. A blog featuring writing by members on the Women’s West, along with member news.

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.
  • Sign up for the speakers’ bureau and a link to your website.
  • 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

 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.

Diversity is sometimes obvious, sometimes veiled, and sometimes it is a revision or acceptance of once hidden desires. Where we are born may influence obvious diversity through style of dress, patterns of speech, food, even politics and faith. Less obvious are personal decisions to embrace, modify, or question cultural norms entirely. These choices shape each story.

Inclusion embraces diversity. As writers, we ask questions. We want to get at the heart of the story. We research every distinctive, sometimes obvious, sometimes veiled reality to find nuggets others may have overlooked. We mine the depths of possibilities because we want to reveal the whole story. As writers, we cherish diversity. And we rely on each other to encourage us along the way. In this vein, we uphold and celebrate every person who joins our organization. Women Writing the West encourages its members to fearlessly proclaim their own distinct truth.

Women Writing the West Anti-Discrimination Policy

  • Any member who disparages any other member’s experience, in word or spirit, on the WWW website, members’ only email list, forum or other WWW social media sites will have their post removed and receive an explanation as to why this was done. A second occurrence will merit another warning and the post will be removed. On the third offense, online posting privileges for all of these sites will be suspended for six months. The arbitrator of any such claim shall be the Board of Directors. Specifically excluded from WWW review are non-WWW operated social media posts.
  • Any member who demonstrates racist, inflammatory, or derogatory attitudes or actions toward others at any WWW sanctioned event or webspace will have their membership revoked without reimbursement. The arbitrator of any such claim shall be the Board of Directors.

The WWW Board of Directors is committed to developing programs and employing outreach efforts intended to diversify our membership and cultivate inclusion so that all members may have opportunities to thrive. WWW invites diverse perspectives and is dedicated to creating an inclusive community that is accessible to all. WWW supports all writers of women’s fiction and non-fiction, and will not in any way censor an author’s decision to write historically accurate depictions. We strive to build an environment of acceptance, empathy and compassion. We welcome suggestions and invite dialogue of how the organization can better serve WWW members in this and other endeavors.


Section 1 – Eligibility: Membership shall be open to any person over the age of 18 who believes in the stated purpose. Membership shall not be denied because of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin.

Download WWW Diversity and Inclusion Statement (pdf file)

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

WWW bookmark

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 Petersen
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