Jory Sherman To Receive 2013 Owen Wister Award

Feb 09, 2013, 18:11 ET from Western Writers of America

ENCAMPMENT, Wyo., Feb. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Writers of America will present Jory Sherman with its highest honor, the 2013 Owen Wister Award for lifetime contributions to Western literature, during the organization's annual convention in June in Las Vegas.

From his early years as a Beatnik era poet in San Francisco to the present, when he is still writing at age 80 at his home on the shores of Texas's Lake Bob Sandlin, Sherman has been putting words to paper. His body of work – an amazing number of books, poems, articles and essays, including well more than 400 novels – includes the Spur Award-winning novel Medicine Horn, a fur-trade story that was the first of a series he called The Buckskinners.

"Jory Sherman has inspired many writers throughout the years," novelist Matt Braun said. "He writes novels of excellence, and his work ethic has made him one of the most prolific authors of all time. He ranks among the top Western writers of any generation, and his lifetime contribution to the literature of the American West clearly deserves the honor of the Owen Wister Award."

The publication of Grass Kingdom proved to be a turning point in Sherman's writing life. It was a major historical novel, the first in Sherman's epic Barons of Texas series dealing with the ranching Baron family of Texas through several generations. That series cemented his reputation as a distinguished storyteller of the American West.        

But writing fiction is only one facet of a varied career. Sherman is also a book packager, and at one point his Taneycomo packaging company was generating 52 titles a year for various paperback houses. The most notable of these was the Rivers West series, published by Bantam, with stories set upon the great rivers of the American West.

"Jory generously gave of himself in encouraging other writers," WWA President Dusty Richards said. "He showed many of us better ways to express ourselves."

Since 1953, Western Writers of America ( has promoted and honored Western literature. It has more than 600 members who write, publish and produce fiction, nonfiction, songs, poetry and screenplays.

The Wister Award is a bronze statue of a buffalo created especially for Western Writers of America by artist Robert Duffie. It will be presented June 29 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino.

SOURCE Western Writers of America