The Elmer Kelton Award

The Elmer Kelton Award recognizes the best creative work set primarily in West Texas. Works of fiction eligible for award include novels, poetry, collections of short stories, or drama. The book must emphasize a West Texas theme or setting.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • The book must have been published within the past two calendar years.
  • The individual must have been a member of the Association for at least one full year prior to the application deadline.
  • Publishers or authors should submit three copies of each nominated book.

The award winner will receive a $500 cash award and a certificate.

The award application is due on January 10th.

The award winner will be announced at the annual meeting of the Association during the presidential luncheon.

    The award was renamed in 2013 in honor of our longtime member - noted and prolific author Elmer Kelton. More information about Mr. Kelton can be found on his official website. Only those years in the award was given out are listed below.

    2023 - Patrick Dearen, Grizzly Moon

    2022 - Patrick Dearen, The End of Nowhere

    2021 - Patrick Dearen, Haunted Border

    2016 - Preston Lewis, The Fleecing of Fort Griffin
    2014 - Patrick Dearen, The Big Drift
    2013 - Patrick Dearen, To Hell or the Pecos

    Prior to 2013, the award was called the R. C. Crane Award for Best Creative or Fiction Work on West Texas. Only the years the award was given out are listed below.

    2004 - Patrick Dearen, When the Sky Rained Dust

    2002 - Preston Lewis, Blanca is My Name, or, How I Saved the Buffalo on the Texas Plains

    2001 - Preston Lewis, They Call Me Old Blue

    2000 - Walt McDonald and Janet Neugebauer, Whatever the Wind Delivers


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