Western Writers of America announces 2017 Spur Awards

Paul Andrew Hutton’s critically acclaimed “The Apache Wars” won the 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Historical Nonfiction book, and Taylor Sheridan’s Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Hell or High Water” won for Best Western Drama Script, Western Writers of America announced.

Winners and finalists were announced Saturday at the Tucson Festival of Books and will be honored June 21-24 in Kansas City, Missouri, at WWA’s convention, during which Pulitzer Prize finalist Louise Erdrich will be presented the Owen Wister Award for lifetime contributions in Western literature.

Johnny D. Boggs tied the late Elmer Kelton with a record seventh Spur, this one for “Return to Red River” (Mass-Market Paperback). It was Hutton’s sixth Spur, while Dusty Richards won his third, for “The Mustanger and the Lady” (Traditional Western Novel), and best-selling mystery writer C.J. Box earned his first, for “Off the Grid” (Contemporary Western Novel).

Since 1953, Western Writers of America has promoted and honored the best in Western literature with the annual Spur Awards, selected by panels of judges. Awards, for material published last year, are given for works whose inspiration, image and literary excellence best represent the reality and spirit of the American West.

Other winners:

Biography: “Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary” by Joe Jackson.
Contemporary Nonfiction: “New Deal Cowboy: Gene Autry and Public Diplomacy” by Michael Duchemin.
First Nonfiction Book: “The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American
Firefighting” by Fernanda Santos.
First Novel: “Jasper Spring” by James T. Hughes.
Historical Novel: No award given.
Juvenile Nonfiction: “The Wolves of Currumpaw” by William Grill.
Juvenile Fiction: “Trouble Returns: A Ruby & Maude Adventure” by Nancy Oswald.
Storyteller (Illustrated Children’s Book): “Seasons of the Bear: A Yosemite Story” by author Ginger Wadsworth and illustrator Daniel San Souci.
Short Nonfiction: “‘Master of Ceremonies’: The World of Peter Biggs in Civil War-Era Los Angeles” by Kendra Field and Daniel Lynch.
Short Fiction: “Odell’s Bones” by Troy D. Smith.
Poetry: “Ain’t A Hermit” by Floyd Beard.
Song: “Halfway Down The Devil’s Road” by Jim Jones and Allan Chapman.
Documentary Script: “The Drift: An American Cattle Drive” by Geoff O’Gara.