"Women Writing the West" is the theme for the 11th annual High Plains BookFest presented by the YMCA Writer's Voice.
"For the first time in seven years since the Parmly Billings Library established the High Plains Book Awards, 60 percent of the nominated authors are women," said Writer's Voice Director Corby Skinner. "It's a perfect time to honor women writers with a BookFest theme that reflects their contributions to the western vernacular," he adds. Keynote speakers for Friday, October 25 are three women writers whose 2012 novels garnered national acclaim: Pam Houston (Colorado), Alyson Hagy (Wyoming), and emily m. danforth (Montana)
In conjunction with the BookFest, the Parmly Billings Library established the High Plains Book Awards in 2006 to recognize regional authors and/or literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
"164 books published in 2012 were nominated for our 2013 competition. That's double the number of entries from last year," said DeeAnn Redman, Assistant Director of the Parmly Billings Library.
The 2013 awards include two new categories, Best Culinary Book and Best Young Adult Book. The other categories are Best Fiction; Best Nonfiction; Best Poetry; Best First Book; Best Woman Writer; Best Art & Photography; and Best Short Stories.
The top books in each category are then judged by a panel of published writers with connections to the High Plains. "Finalists in all categories are invited to the BookFest. Attending writers read at the BookFest and are guests at the High Plains Book Awards banquet. It's a terrific weekend for writers and readers to celebrate literature of our region," said Book Awards chair Virginia Bryan said.
Each winner takes home a $500 award. Awards are underwritten by the Parmly Billings Library Board of Directors, Friends of the Parmly Billings Library, the Yellowstone Art Museum, Sharon Ille, Stella Fong and Joe Dillard, MSU-Billings, the Parmly Billings Library Foundation, the Ucross Foundation and the Writer's Voice of the Billings Family YMCA.
The High Plains BookFest takes place October 24-26, 2013 at various venues in downtown Billings. The High Plains Book Award banquet will be at the Yellowstone Art Museum on Saturday, October 26th. For more information contact Corby Skinner at firstname.lastname@example.org