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For Immediate Release


CONTACT:  Chris Enss (e-mail:

GRASS VALLEY, CA, UNITED STATES, January 29, 2024 / -- New York Times best-selling and award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick and western author, artist and editor Bob Boze Bell of True West magazine will be honored this fall by the Will Rogers Medallion Award (WRMA) with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement and Golden Lariat awards, respectively.

Named in honor of Oklahoma native and American humorist, social commentator and performer Will Rogers (1879–1935), the WRMA annually recognizes outstanding creative works and authors devoted to chronicling the legacy of the American West and its peoples. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors the exemplary careers of creators whose works embody the western spirit. The Golden Lariat is given to individuals for support of WRMA and its goals.

Kirkpatrick’s 40-plus books have sold more than two million copies and have earned prestigious national writing awards, including the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the WILLA Literary Award from Women Writing the West, the Carol Award from American Christian Fiction Writers and five Will Rogers Medallion Awards, the majority for inspirational fiction. Her fact-based historical novels address such timeless western themes as hardiness, faith, commitment, hope, and love.

Bell developed a fascination with the American west as a child growing up in Arizona and reading True West magazine, which he later acquired in 1999 and still publishes today. In 1992 he wrote, illustrated and published The Illustrated Life & Times of Billy the Kid, the first of his 10 books, all based on western historical themes. He has been an active supporter and promoter of WRMA and its programs.

WRMA Executive Director Chris Enss said, “The Will Rogers Medallion Award program is proud to recognize Kirkpatrick and Bell’s generous contribution to the Western genre. Their work is inspired and worthy of celebration.”

The Lifetime Achievement and Golden Lariat awards will be presented October 19 in the Fort Worth Stockyards district when WRMA holds its annual awards banquet. Each year WRMA gold, silver and bronze medallions are presented to authors, poets, songwriters and filmmakers in 20-plus categories in recognition of outstanding works portraying the American West and its peoples.

A Wisconsin native who now lives in Oregon, Kirkpatrick graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in communications and public address and later earned a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in clinical social work. Prior to her writing career, she worked with Native American families on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central Oregon as a mental health and early childhood specialist.

Kirkpatrick’s additional writing honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times, the Caldera Achievement Award from the Nature of Words, and the Distinguished Northwest Writer recognition from the Willamette Writers Association.

Born in Iowa, Bob Boze Bell moved to Arizona before he was a year old and grew up along Route 66. After graduating from high school in Kingman, he majored in art at the University of Arizona in Tucson, enhancing his youthful talent in illustrating. In addition to his work for True West, Bell’s art and writing have appeared in Arizona Highways, New Times, Playboy, Wild West, and National Lampoon.

Additionally, Bell has illustrated numerous book and CD covers and has appeared as a western authority on western-themed programs on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and the Westerns Channel. He is known as a proponent of all things western both in his professional and personal life.

Through its awards program, WRMA seeks to encourage, enhance and expand creative works devoted to the deep legacy of the American West. Additional information on WRMA and its award programs is available from Executive Director Enss at



Will Rogers Gold Medallions Announced


FORT WORTH—Gold medallion recipients of the 2023 Will Rogers Medallion Awards (WRMA) were announced during the organization’s annual awards banquet in Fort Worth’s fabled Stockyard District this past weekend. 


The honorees were selected from entries from 21 states and four countries.  A complete list of all award recipients is available at the Will Rogers Medallion Award website at


Entries are now being accepted for the 2024 WRMA competition with entry forms and instructions at


Top 2023 WRMA Recipients, their hometowns and publishers are:


Lifetime Achievement Award:  Larry J. Martin, Montana.

Golden Lariat:  Craig Johnson, Ucross, Wyoming, for outstanding service and dedication to the art of storytelling about the American West.

Illustrator of the Year:  Bob Adams, El Paso, Texas.


Western Fiction—Modern (Post-1900):  The Texas Job, Reavis Z. Wortham, Prosper, Texas, Poisoned Pen Press.

Western Fiction—Traditional (Pre-1900)Rio Hondo, Preston Lewis, San Angelo, Texas, Five Star.

Western Humor—Written:  Outlaw West of the Pecos, Preston Lewis, San Angelo, Texas, Wolfpack Publishing

Western Romance:  In Honor’s Defense, Karen Witemeyer, Abilene, Texas, Bethany House/Baker Books.

Western Mystery:  The Secret in the Wall, Ann Parker, Livermore, Calif., Sourcebooks.

Inspirational Western Fiction:  Texas Faith, Andrew Roth, Bakersfield, Calif., Elk Lake Publishing.

Western Short Story:  “Irish Kelly and the Heartbreak Kid” from Rebel Hearts Anthology, Sharon Sala, Wolfpack Publishing.

Western Nonfiction (TIE): Billy the Kid:  El Bandido Simpático, James B. Mills, Australia, University of North Texas Press, and From Sand Creek to Summit Springs:  Colorado’s Indian Wars, Linda Wommack, Littleton, Colo., Caxton Press.

Western Short Nonfiction:  “The Kid’s Mom,” Melody Groves, Albuquerque, N.M., Wild West Magazine.

Western Biography & Memoir:  Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody:  Plainsmen of the Legendary West, Bill Markley, Pierre, S.D., TwoDot.

Western Maverick:  Blood West, Thomas D. Clagett, Santa Fe, N.M., Five Star. 

Young Readers—Western FictionTenmile, Sandra Dallas, Denver, Colo., Sleeping Bear Press.

Young Readers—Western Fiction/Illustrated:  The Rowdy Randy Wild West Show, Casey Rislov and Illustrator: Zachary Pullen, Casper, Wyo., Mountain Stars Press.

Young Readers—Western NonfictionWoopaa!, Joy K. Gallegos, Anthony, N.M., Lil’ Bit of Heaven Books.

Young Readers—Western Nonfiction/IllustratedThe River That Wolves Moved: A True Tale From Yellowstone, Mary Kay Carson, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Illustrator: David Hohn, Portland, Ore., Sleeping Bear Press.

Western Photographic Essay:  Face to Face with the American West, Editor: CJ Hadley, Carson City, Nev., Writer/Editor: Carolyn Dufurrena; Designer: John Bardwell; RANGE Magazine and Range Conservation Foundation.

Western Cookbook The Tombstone Cookbook:  Recipes and Lore from the Town Too Tough to Die, Sherry Monahan Fuquay Varina, N.C., TwoDot.

Western Film—Drama Dead For a Dollar, Writer:  Walter Hill; Producers:  Carolyn McMaster, Neil Dunn, Jeremy Wall, Calgary, Alberta; Production Co:  CHAOS & Polaris Pictures.

Western Film—DocumentaryThe Battle of Red Buttes, Writers:  Candy Moulton and Bob Noll; Producer:  Candy Moulton, Encampment, Wyo.; Boston Productions (BPI).

Cowboy Poetry-RecordedWisdom in the Wind, Sherl Cederburg, Hot Springs, S.D.; Producer: Butch Hause.

Cowboy Poetry-Written A Bard in Boots, Darrell Arnold, Colorado City, Ariz., Arizona Cowboy Connection.



Will Rogers Medallion Award Festivities

Oct. 20-21, Fort Worth


FORT WORTH—Ten editors and publishers will discuss trends in Western fiction and nonfiction during a panel open to the public as part of the Will Rogers Medallion Award (WRMA) festivities here Oct. 20-21. 


The panel is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, in the Aloft Hotel, 334 W. Third St.  The presentation is free to the public, though seats are limited. 


Scheduled panel participants are:  Mike Bray, CEO, Wolfpack Publishing; Ronald Chrisman, director, University of North Texas Press; Casey Cowan of Roan & Weatherford Publishing Associates; Ben Gibson of The History Press; Kristine Hall, publisher, Lone Star Literary Life; Dana Joseph of Cowboys and Indians Magazine; David Lauterborn, editor, Wild West Magazine; Thomas Lemmons, editor-in-chief, Texas A&M University Press; Jessica Sharpe of Bethany House Publishing; and Nick Wale, chief publicist, Dusty Saddle Publishing. 


The panel will discuss the publishing industry as a whole and the popularity of the Western genre specifically, including trends and needs.  Additionally, the participants will cover what they look for in submissions and in successfully promoting a book once it is published.  The panel will be moderated by award-winning western author Preston Lewis and his award-winning editor wife Harriet, both WRMA board members.


The WRMA weekend will culminate at 6 p.m. Saturday evening with the banquet and award ceremony recognizing outstanding work in 22 literary and film categories in the banquet room of Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, 301 Stockyards Blvd.  More than 50 authors, including a dozen from Texas, will be recognized during the ceremony.


In addition to the medallions, the WRMA board will present celebrated authors and westerners Larry J. Martin with its Lifetime Achievement Award and Craig Johnson with its Golden Lariat Award for support of WRMA in its mission to preserve the spirit of the American West through literature.


Named in honor of American humorist, social commentator and performer Will Rogers (1879–1935), the WRMA gold, silver, bronze and copper medallions annually recognize excellence in creative works on the American West in line with the American values displayed by the awards’ namesake. 






For Immediate Release


Will Rogers Medallion Finalists Named/Authors from 21 States Honored


FORT WORTH—Creative works by authors from four countries and 21 states have been named finalists for the 2023 Will Rogers Medallion Awards (WRMA) celebrating excellence in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and photography of the American West.


Named in honor of American humorist, social commentator and performer Will Rogers (1879–1935), the WRMA gold, silver, bronze and copper medallions will be presented to the finalists during the 2023 awards banquet Saturday, Oct. 21 in the Fort Worth Stockyards.  WRMA annually honors creative works in 20 categories.


In addition to the medallions, the organization at its October ceremony will honor celebrated authors and westerners Larry J. Martin with its Lifetime Achievement Award and Craig Johnson with its Golden Lariat Award for support of WRMA to convey the spirit of the American West through literature.


The 2023 WRMA finalists come from the United States, Germany, Canada and Australia.  The WRMA honorees represent the following states: 


In announcing the finalists, WRMA Executive Director Chris Enss said, “The books, screenplays, short stories, articles and poetry finalists in this year’s Will Rogers Medallion Award program represent the best in Western writing and proudly pays honor to the legacy of the cowboy performer for whom the award is named.” 


Recipients (with multiple awards in parentheses) by state or country are:


Australia:  James B. Mills.

Canada:  Carolyn McMaster, Calgary, Alberta.

Germany:  Manuela Schneider.

Arizona:  Darrell Arnold, Colorado City; and Carol Markstrom, Tucson.

Arkansas:  Clarissa Willis, Rogers.

California:  Chris Enss (3), Grass Valley; Walter Hill, Beverly Hills; Nik James, Laguna Niguel; Ann Parker, Livermore; Andrew Roth, Bakersfield; and Rob Word, Los Angeles.

Colorado:  Valerie Beard, Kim; Sandra Dallas, Denver; and Linda Wommack, Littleton.

Georgia:  Mark Warren, Dahlonega.

Kansas:  Ron Schwab, Manhattan; and Clyde W. Toland, Iola.

Missouri:  Ruth M. Sherwood, Springfield.

Montana:  John Hansen, Hamilton.

Nevada:  Ella Cara Deloria, McDermitt; CJ Hadley, Carson City; Gail Heath, Henderson; Victoria Jackson, Elko; Robert Lee Murphy, Henderson; and Sharon Sala, Las Vegas.

New Mexico:  Thomas D. Clagett, Santa Fe; Joy K. Gallegos, Anthony; and Melody Groves, Albuquerque.

Montana:  Larry J. Martin, Clinton.

North Carolina:  Sherry Monahan, Fuquay-Varina.

Ohio:  Mary Kay Carson, Cincinnati; and David Hohn, Cincinnati.

Oklahoma:  John Mort, Coweta; Timothy Lange, Broken Arrow; Zachary Pullen, Broken Arrow; and Casey Rislov, Broken Arrow.

Oregon:  Carole T. Beers, Grants Pass; Curtis W. Condon, Forest Grove; B.K. Froman, Beavercreek; Shanna Hatfield, Freewater; Robin Betty Johnson, Portland; Kristin McNess Moran, Bend; Dani Nichols, Bend; Jill Charlotte Stanford, Sisters; and Helen F. Wand, Gresham.

South Carolina:  Laurie Loewenstein, Pawleys Island.

South Dakota:  Sherl Cederburg, Hot Springs; Yvonne Hollenbeck, Clearfield; and Bill Markley (2), Pierre.

Texas:  Bob Adams, El Paso; Michael Barr, Fredericksburg; Barbara Brannon, Spur; Lynn Dean, San Antonio; Patrick Dearen, Midland; K.S. Jones, Kerrville; Gail Kittleson, San Antonio; Preston Lewis (3), San Angelo; Alice Liles, Muleshoe; Gina Lister New Braunfels; Shannon McFarland, Universal City; Chris Mullen, Richmond; Karen Witemeyer, Abilene; and Reavis Z. Wortham, Prosper.

Utah:  Michael Norman, Salt Lake City.

Washington:  Carol Crigger, Spokane Valley; and P.A. O’Neil, Olympia.

Wyoming:  Mary Fichtner, Cheyenne; Roslan Fichtner, Cheyenne; Kathleen O’Neal Gear, Cody; Candy Moulton, Encampment; John D. Nesbitt, Torrington; and Robert E Noll Jr., Encampment.


For a complete list of the winners with their qualifying works and publishers, please visit the WRMA website at


The 2023 WRMA medallions will be presented in October in the following Western categories: Cowboy Poetry-Recorded; Cowboy Poetry-Written; Western Fiction-Traditional; Western Fiction-Modern (Post-1900); Western Mystery; Western Fiction-Short Story; Western Non-Fiction; Western Biography/Memoir; Western Fiction-Young Readers; Western Fiction–Young Readers-Illustrated; Inspirational Western Fiction; Western Non-Fiction-Young Readers; Western Non-Fiction-Young Readers Illustrated; Western Photographic Essays; Western Cookbooks; Western Graphic Novels/Illustrations, Visual Humor & Iconic Images; Western Humor-Written; Western Fiction Romance; Western Film-Drama; Western Film-Documentary; and Western Short Non-fiction


The awards were established in 2003 to honor the legacy of Indian Territory and Oklahoma native Will Rogers who began his career as a cowboy and trick roper who gradually evolved into a nationally beloved humorist, social commentator, syndicated newspaper columnist and Hollywood actor.  Through its awards program, WRMA seeks to encourage, enhance and expand creative works devoted to the deep legacy of the American West and its peoples.  Since its creation, the WRMA honors have become among the most prestigious in the field. 


Entries for the 2024 WRMA competition will open Nov. 1 at


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