On this site:


Montana's Enduring Frontier

Cowboy Girl





Red Lodge

About John

Get this feed:

Subscribe to John Clayton's Blog by Email


Award season 

Several organizations that focus on writing of the West have recently named their 2005 book award winners. They include:

Mountains and Plains Booksellers

Pacific Northwest Booksellers

Western Writers 'Spur' Awards

Montana Book Award

Last year I was extremely excited about the awards because Gary Ferguson's "Hawk's Rest" (in which I make a cameo appearance) became the first book to win the Mountains & Plains AND the Pacific Northwest awards at the same time. Freak of geography maybe, but still a great piece of trivia.

This year I'm sad to say that I haven't read any of the award-winners; indeed I'm unfamiliar with many of them. But I would like to express two forms of happiness.

Marcus Stevens' "Useful Girl" has been on my wish-list since I heard him read from it in Billings last summer. I briefly met Stevens and he struck me as a really nice guy very dedicated to craft, which I especially value in an era when such qualities seem so irrelevant to bookselling.

Likewise, several years ago I briefly met Hannah Hinchman, and found her a warm, engaging person committed to art and place. She writes copiously illustrated books that must be terribly expensive to produce.

This week I finally got around to seeing the movie "Erin Brockovich" and all I could think was, "Julia Roberts won an Oscar for THIS?" Apparently the Oscars are mostly about star power. Perhaps these victories by Stevens and Hinchman suggest that Western literature is not yet at that sad stage.

Join the discussion at

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?