On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Western Writers of America held a historic induction of the first class of living authors to the Western Writers Hall of Fame at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock during WWA’s annual convention.
Last year, the board of directors that oversees the Western Writers Hall of Fame voted to induct the 2015 Owen Wister Award recipient, Win Blevins, into the Hall of Fame, which is housed at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. The Wister and its previous incarnation, the Saddleman Award, honor lifetime achievement for writing about the West. Previously, writers had to be dead at least 10 years to be eligible for induction.
Among this year’s other Hall of Fame inductees are Judy Alter, Matt Braun, James A. Crutchfield, David Dary, Max Evans, Andrew J. Fenady, John Jakes, Leon C. Metz, N. Scott Momaday, Robert M. Utley, Dale L. Walker, Richard S. Wheeler and Jeanne Williams, all previously recognized by WWA with either a Saddleman Award or a Wister.
Also included in this year’s list of inductees are non-writers John Wayne, John Ford and Clint Eastwood.
Recently deceased Wister or Saddleman honorees not already in the Hall of Fame, including Robert J. Conley, Fred Grove, Tony Hillerman, Elmer Kelton, David Lavender, Jory Sherman and Norman Zollinger, will be posthumously inducted, along with Edward Abbey, who was voted into the Hall of Fame this year by WWA’s membership.
Other writers being recognized this year are S. Omar Barker, Bill Gulick, Dee Brown, Alvin Josephy Jr., Benjamin Capps, José Cisneros, Tom Lea, Elmore Leonard, Nelson Nye, Gordon Shirreffs and Don Worcester.
Previously inducted Hall of Fame members include Andy Adams, Eve Ball, Willa Cather, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), Bernard DeVoto, J. Frank Dobie, Edna Ferber, Will Henry, Helen Hunt Jackson, Jack Schaefer, Wallace Stegner, John Steinbeck and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
For more information, log on to www.WesternWriters.org.