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2017 PastWords Awards

Awards to be presented at the HWA Annual Conference at a special dinner Saturday, September 23rd, 2017.


The awardees include novelist Larry McMurtry; Larry’s son, songwriter James McMurtry; fantasy writer George R.R. Martin; nonfiction author Hampton Sides; and U.S. Congressman John Lewis, writer Andrew 
Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell, the creative team behind the three-volume graphic novel, March.

HWA created the award, PastWords, to recognize creators who have produced an outstanding body of work. "The awardees represent some of the best writers and artists in America," said HWA Executive Director Theresa Guzman Stokes. "Style-wise, they couldn't be more different. But they all have one thing in common: they bring the past to life."


HWA 2107 Speaker Series: Parris Afton Bonds

Author Parris Afton Bonds swiped her first adult novel from her parent's bookshelf. The title—The Golden Hawk by Frank Yerby—was the perfect choice for a budding romance writer: It featured a swashbuckling pirate looking for vengeance, loot and love.

After pecking out a three-page book at age five, Bonds got married, started a family—and wrote two novels, Sweet Golden Sun and Savage Enchantment. Leslie Wanger, an editor at Popular Library, wanted to buy one. She called the struggling author on Valentine's Day. “I was ironing one of my husband's shirts when she called, and I thought she was trying to SELL me books. I almost hung up on her. Then when I realized she wanted to BUY my book, I started crying. I also burned a hole in my husband's shirt.”

In 1980 Bonds, Rita Clay Estrada and a few other writers launched the Romance Writers of America, now the largest organization for genre writers in the world. (Romance novel sales topped $1 billion in 2013.) Bonds served as vice president of the Houston, Texas group.



 Speaker Series Interviews

Jodi Daynard

Looking for a Unique Conference Experience?

Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 
September 21-24, 2017

Early Bird registration extended! (ends this Sunday 7/9/17 at Midnight)

The HWA conference is an annual conference in locations selected with their historical settings in mind. This year we have the exciting opportunity to be located in one of the most interesting and historically rich locations around!

Hyatt Tamaya Resort is located on the Santa Ana Pueblo, just outside of Albuquerque New Mexico. This resort is on a beautiful property with walking trails, stables, and plenty of activities to enrich your imagination.


The conference programming will focus on supporting quality historical writing – fiction and nonfiction, research, the submission process, the road to publication, and the life of a historical writer. There will be a mix of sessions on the craft of writing and era specific knowledge (food, clothing, language) as well as the business side of publishing including self/indie publishing, marketing and publicity and social media techniques.

The multi-day conference will also offer:

  • pre-conference Master Class workshops,
  • keynote lunch and dinner events
  • a book signing event featuring books by conference presenters and participants
  • creative ways for attendees to network and collaborate
  • a vendor exhibit floor combined with the conference bookstore
Join us for an exciting and informative time!

Conference Information

From Lancelot Schaubert, HWA blogger and author and producer of COLD BREWED and THE JOPLIN UNDERCURRENT come these twenty-six articles on the craft.

Read All About It!

Director's Corner

Indie vs Traditional: Thoughts on the Debate

At least once a week I’ll come across an email, article, or blog post debating the merits of being a traditionally published author or an Indie author. It seems everyone has an opinion on which is best; yet it seems it is always all one or the other. Certainly, there are merits for the both sides of the argument, but I can’t help wondering why authors feel there is only one right choice for all their work.
I have four children, and my husband and I did everything we thought best to raise them. Even as babies, it was apparent that they weren’t all alike; each had a different timeline for walking and talking, different interests, and very different personalities. We fed them, clothed them, taught them manners and (hopefully) empathy for others. We saw to their education, and advised them when they had issues with friends, school, jobs, and other life issues. As they grew towards adulthood, they learned differently and have had different career paths. Sometimes those journeys veered away from the intended goal to morph into something totally different. Yet, each has succeeded in their own way and they are all productive adults.
My writing is similar to my children. (There is a reason we call our books our babies!)

read more

Historical Genre

Fiction? Nonfiction? Both? HWA is the place for you! Our focus is on the historical writer - in all genres. Check out our Membership Benefits. As a member you  can join our blog and forums for information and discussion on everything on historical writing. No matter your interest -from writing for magazines to historical paranormal. If your setting (or your time-travel!) is at least 50 years in the past, it's considered historical.