Dateline: Las Vegas, Nevada, June 25-29, 2013 – Hundreds of the country’s top Western writers gathered at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for the Western Writers of America 60th Annual Convention.
Western novelists, historians, screenwriters, songwriters, and the agents and editors who represent them, enjoyed five days of Western camaraderie and networking.
This year the much-debated topic was the recently released Johnny Depp movie, The Lone Ranger. WWA members are serious historians and know their facts when it comes to the “old West”, so there were lively debates about the movie and just who was the real Lone Ranger.
On Friday, seventy Western writers signed their books at Barnes & Noble in Henderson. The event was kicked off by a few words from Mark P. Hall-Patton, Clark County Museum Administrator, and a regular guest on the hit TV series Pawn Stars.
Bob Wiseman, the Las Vegas author of the award-winning cookbook Healthy Southwestern Cooking, said, “This is a rare opportunity to meet some of the best known writers of the old and contemporary West.”
Bill and I represented the contemporary West with our book, The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler. Other writers taking part in the signing included Thomas Cobb, author of Crazy Heart, adapted into an Oscar-winning movie starring Jeff Bridges; and Kirk Ellis, Emmy-winning screenwriter of HBO’s John Adams.
Western Writers of America (WWA) was founded in 1953 to promote and recognize literature of the American West. The membership includes novelists, historians, essayists, journalists, songwriters, screenwriters, editors, agents, and others. Annual conventions are held each June in a different Western community. Past winners of WWA’s prestigious Spur Award include Jane Smiley, Larry McMurtry, Stephen E. Ambrose, Tony Hillerman, and Elmer Kelton.