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2019 WWA Convention

  • 19 Jun 2019
  • 8:00 AM
  • 22 Jun 2019
  • 11:59 PM
  • Tucson, Arizona


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • This registration is for a guest of a WWA member who has also registered for the convention. It includes no meal tickets, which should be purchased separately. (The Homestead Auction and Dinner is included).
  • This is for anyone registering after June 1, 2018 for a single day attendance at the convention. There is no guarantee of any meals.
  • All registrations received after June 1, 2019 fall into this category. There is no guarantee of meals in this registration category.

All attendees must register. Pre-Registration must be received by May 31, 2019. All other registrations must be made in Tucson; There is no guarantee of space at meals, special events or tours for registrations made in Tucson.

(Anyone attending events without registering will be billed at cost plus 10%.)

WWA 2019 Convention Schedule

Hilton Hotel East

7600 East Broadway

Tucson, Arizona

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Registration

9 a.m.-Noon: WWA Board Meeting

1-2 p.m.: Homestead Foundation Board Meeting

1–2 p.m.: Panel: Literature, Latigo, and Lonesome Landscapes: Southwest Books of the Year 

Moderator: Susan Cummins Miller. Panelists: Ann Dickinson, Bruce Dinges, Vicki Ann Duraine, Gregory McNamee, Helene Woodhams.

Southwest Books of the Year is a guide to the best in Southwest literature, history and culture selected by a panel of librarians, scholars and writers.  Panelists discuss what constitutes the Southwest region and its literature, the process for writers to submit their books for consideration, categories and notable past selections.

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Panel: Historical Photography: The Agony and Ecstasy of Image Research and Use in the Publishing Industry 

Moderator: Stuart Rosebrook. Panelists: Bob Boze Bell, Chris Enss, Steve Friesen, John Langellier

For writers of all genres, historical photography is a cornerstone of research, storytelling and, in many instances, inspiration.  Join the panel in a discussion on the use of historical photography.

3:45-4:30 p.m. Panel: Tombstone in History and Legend 

Moderator: Doug Hocking. Panelists: Jane Eppinga, Sherry Monahan, Rod Timanus, Victoria Wilcox.

Wyatt Earp was national news the day after the Gunfight near the OK Corral. Investors were raising money on the East Coast. By some counts Tombstone was the biggest town between St. Louis and San Francisco, and it was cosmopolitan. The panelists represent diverse perspectives on keeping the history and legend alive.

3:45-4:30 p.m.: Panel: Mission San Xavier del Bac

Moderator: C.K. Crigger. Panelists:Paul Schmelzer, Deni Seymour, Clague Van Slyke III.

            Learn the history of one of the most significant attractions in Southern Arizona, the San Xavier Mission. Located 10 miles south of downtown Tucson, the mission is the oldest intact European structure in the state. 

5-6 p.m.: Welcome to Arizona Reception

7:30 p.m.: Old West Photos by Tillie

9 p.m.-close: Roundup Room music

Thursday, June 20, 2019

All Day: Vendors 

8-11 a.m.: Registration

7:30-9 a.m.: Breakfast and Craft of Writing Roundtables (Ticket required)

First come, first serve. Pick the subject that interests you and learn while you eat.

Topics and Presenters

  • Working with Libraries - Jan Cleere
  • Social Media - Kellen Cutsforth 
  • Preparing a Marketing Plan - Erin Turner 
  • Takeaways: Book marks, postcards, other collateral materials - Monty McCord 
  • Marketing for New Authors -Nancy Plain
  • Gorilla Marketing: How to market on a shoestring budget - Chris Enss
  • Marketing through Podcasts - Chris and Mandi Wimmer 
  • Working with Bookstores - C.K. Crigger
  • Marketing through Speaker EventsWilliam GronemanIII
  • Building an Author Brand -Paul Schmelzer
  • Promoting on your Personal Website - L.J. Martin

9 a.m.-noon: Old West Photos by Tillie

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Panel: Marketing - Saddle up and Find your Fans

Moderator: Nancy Plain. Panelists: Anne Spieth, Krista Soukup.

It’s one thing to write a book, but a completely different endeavor to promote it. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you will glean insights into what to expect on the book marketing trail. 

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Panel: Comic Books

Moderator: Kellen Cutsforth. Panelists: Michael Frizell, Jeffrey Mariotte, David Morrell.

This panel will cover the business of comics, how pitches are done and how a comic comes to fruition.

2-4:30 p.m.: Tour: Arizona State Museum 

As the oldest and largest anthropological research museum in the U.S. Southwest, the Arizona State Museum, established in 1893, houses millions of objects, including world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of American Indian basketry.

6-9 p.m.: Homestead Dinner and Auction  (Ticket required)

Score big – while helping the 501(c)(3) Homestead Foundation. The Homestead supports WWA by providing educational and award support. This annual auction is the primary way WWA raises revenues for the Homestead Foundation. 

9:30 p.m.-close: Roundup Room music.

Friday, June 21, 2019

8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Vendors

9-11:10 a.m.: Registration

9-10 a.m.: Panel: Editor-Agent Roundup

Moderator: Chris Enss. Agents, editors and publishers expected to attend include editors of regional and national presses.

            Annually one of WWA’s most popular panels. Learn from editors, agents and publicists about the latest trends in Western fiction and nonfiction, what editors are looking for and the dos and don’ts. Sign up for editor-agent interviews immediately after this panel. WWA members have priority. Pick ONE editor; if you want to meet with another editor, return to the back of the line and sign up with another editor if any slots remain open.

10:15-11:00 a.m.: Keynote Address“The Big Tent: Why I love Western Writers of America” by Owen Wister Award recipient Will Bagley. 

Will Bagley, a journalist known for monumental nonfiction books about the Mormon West and overland trails, is a three-time winner of WWA’s Spur Award for Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows;The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War, 1857-1858; and With Golden Visions Bright Before Them Trails to the Mining West, 1849–1852,all published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Spur Finalist and Hall of Fame Luncheon. Ticket required

1:15-2:15p.m.:Managing your Creations: Estate Planning for Authors.

Moderator: Candy Moulton. Presenter: Ethan Ellenberg.

This business will provide authors with the information they need to know in how to manage and exploit their rights in the new publishing world and how to manage an author estate. 

Ethan Ellenberg opened his literary agency in late 1984 after holding jobs at Bantam and Berkley/Jove. He is an acknowledged expert on the practical aspects of publishing, including the publishing agreement and royalty accounting, and a longtime industry observer and author advocate.

3-10 p.m.: Old Tucson Tour, Costume Contest and Script Reading(Ticket required)

            Originally built for Arizona (1940), a 1940 Western starring Jean Arthur and William Holden, Old Tucson has been used in more than 400 films, television series and commercial productions, includingRio Bravo, High Chaparral and Tombstone. We encourage everyone to dress for the Old West. 

4-5 p.m.: General tours

5-6:30 p.m.: Dinner at High Chaparral

5:15-6:15 p.m.: Dinner Interview

            Join moderator Rob Word as he talks about making motion pictures at Old Tucson with actors Robert Carradine, Peter Sherayko, and executive producer Howard Kazanjian.  

6:45 p.m.: Old West Costume Contest. 

7-8:30 p.m.: Script reading Americana West.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

10a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Vendors.

8:30-9 a.m.: Coffee, Tea, Juice and Pastries.

9-10 a.m.: General Business MeetingAll members invited

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Panel: Writing Outside the Lines. 

Moderator: Robert Aquinas McNally. Panelists: Julia Bricklin, Katya Cengel, Kristi Eaton.

Many Western genres are built around recyclable story lines that writers often incorporate without even thinking about what they are doing. So, what happens when stories draw writers in directions that lie outside the norm, ones that require them to break the mold and take an unconventional look at the material? Dare a writer even go there?    

10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Editor-Agent Interviews.

10:30 a.m.-noon: WWA Board Meeting

1-1:45 p.m.: Presentation: Writing about the Jewish West (Rosewood C)

Presenter: Abraham Hoffman

In recent years, Western writers have increasingly included minorities as characters in their novels, and historians are paying attention to people of the Jewish faith in their contributions to Western history.  This presentation discusses opportunities for learning more about the roles played by Western Jews.

1-1:45 p.m. Craft of Writing Roundtables

First come, first serve. Pick the subject that interests you.


  • Researching: Living your writing (re-enactment research) - Terry A. Del Bene 
  • Writing a Nonfiction Book Proposal - Michael F. Blake
  • Writing BiographyJan Cleere
  • Writing for magazines - Bill Markley 
  • Writing music - Carol Markstrom 
  • Writing Mystery - Susan Cummins Miller 
  • Researching the Archives - Heidi Osselaer 
  • Writing short fiction - Vicky J. Rose
  • Writing poetry - Red Shuttleworth 
  • Writing Place and Character - Craig Johnson 

2-3 p.m. Career Clinic with Ethan Ellenberg.

            New York agent Ethan Ellenberg will host an open forum for this session, answering business questions related to contracts, royalties, subrights, agent problems and other publishing issues in a group setting. This session is geared to the career Author who would like a “second opinion” on a real problem, but all writers are invited to attend. 

3:30-4:30 p.m.: Panel: Border Narratives: A River of Stories

Moderator: Kirk Ellis; Panelists: Francisco Cantu, Susan Compo, Luis Alberto Urrea

The U.S.-Mexico frontier has been a rich source of Western storytelling for generations, with plenty of overlap between traditions and languages. A diverse panel of authors discusses the portrayal of the Southwest borderlands in fiction, nonfiction and film. 

6 p.m.: Cocktail Hour

7-9:30 p.m.: Spur Award Banquet (Ticket required)

9:30 p.m.-close: Roundup Room music


All announcements regarding the schedule made prior to, or at the convention in Tucson, take precedence over this preliminary schedule.

Western Writers of America, Inc., © 2019

                                                                     Western Writers of America Inc., is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 271 CR 219, Encampment , WY 82325
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