Colorado Press Women Invite NMPW Members to a Fall Conference

Weekend event planned in historic Trinidad

Colorado Press Women will host a weekend getaway Oct. 4-6 at the historical city of Trinidad in southern Colorado. Trinidad, 10 miles from the New Mexico border and on the Santa Fe Trail, was founded in 1862 soon after coal was discovered in the region. Currently, it’s undergoing redevelopment and historical preservation under the name of La Puerta de Colorado (The Gateway to Colorado).

Dana Crawford, known for spearheading the preservation of one of the oldest blocks in Denver and the creation of Larimer Square, has purchased a handful of buildings downtown and is working as a consultant on the redevelopment.

Currently in the planning stages, activities for the weekend may include a visit to the city’s newspaper office, a meeting with a city representative who will explain the town’s growth and its destination for artists, tours of the A.J. Mitchell Museum of Western Art and the Trinidad History Museum, and a trolley or walking tour through the city’s historic district.

On Friday, Oct. 4, attendees may want stop at the site of the 1914 Ludlow Massacre (about 10 miles north of Trinidad on I-25), to learn how John D. Rockefeller’s Colorado Fuel and Iron Company’s guards and the Colorado National Guard machine-gun fired into protesting miners and their families.

Meals will be at area restaurants, including the infamous Italian restaurant Rino’s that features singing waiters. CPW member Lee Anne Peck has relocated to the area and will entertain the group at her home for Sunday brunch. Twenty miles west of Trinidad on Scenic Highway 12, Peck will feed members brunch at her home in Weston, Colorado, before they travel to I-25 via LaVeta and Walsenburg. Fall colors will be in full view.

More details will be announced closer to the event. Email Sharon Almirall at by August 20 to indicate interest in attending the CPW weekend. The organizing committee needs rough numbers to research accommodations and reserve tours. Registration costs will be minimal, designed to cover the group meal at Lee Ann’s house, group tours and other minor expenses. All other costs will be direct pay to vendor (hotel, restaurant meals, museum entry, etc.). Spouses and guests are welcome.

Join New Mexico Press Women for a salute to legendary author Tony Hillerman on the 94th anniversary of his birth

Join New Mexico Press Women for a salute to legendary author Tony Hillerman on the 94th anniversary of his birth on Saturday May 25 at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW) at 3 p.m.

Anne Hillerman

Anne Hillerman

Anne Hillerman, the New York Times bestselling author will be there to discuss her father Tony Hillerman and his work, as well as her own five books, which bring together modern mystery, Navajo traditions, and the evocative landscape of the desert Southwest. Her fifth book featuring Navajo police officers Bernadette Manuelito, Jim Chee and the legendary lieutenant Joe Leaphorn has just been released. Hillerman will talk about The Tale Tellers at the celebration.

James McGrath Morris is an author of biographies and narrative nonfiction. He is currently writing a biography of writer Tony Hillerman.

James McGrath Morris

His latest book is “The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and A Friendship Made and Lost in War.” Morris’s books include the New York Times Bestselling Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press, which was awarded the Benjamin Hooks National Book Prize; Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power—which the Wall Street Journal deemed was one of the five best books on American moguls and Booklist placed on its 2010 list of the ten best biographies; The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism—a Washington Post Best Book of the Year; and, Jailhouse Journalism: The Four Estate Behind Bars.

2019 NMPW Communications Contest Results

Awards for finalists were presented to those who attended the annual conference banquet on April 27. Certificates and Sweepstakes awards will be mailed to those who did not attend the banquet. Click the link to download the list of awards.

Congratulations to all the finalists! The Sweepstakes winners (entrants with the highest total number of points) were as follows:


First Place, Wendel Sloan

Second Place: Diane Joy Schmidt, Claudette Sutton (tie)

Third Place: Sherry Robinson

Honorable Mention: Colleen Keane


First Place, The Eastern New Mexico News

Second Place, New Mexico Political Report

Third Place, New Mexico In Depth

Honorable Mentions: Tumbleweeds, LPD Press

Sue Boggio, Mare Pearl Win NMPW Zia Award for Long Night Moon

Mare Pearl

Mare Pearl

Mare Pearl and Sue Boggio have won the 2019 Zia Book Award for their book Long Night Moon. The book is the third in a trilogy that explores the lives of two extended northern New Mexico families in a fictional town. The other books in this series Sun and Shadow and a Growing Season are available at booksellers and online. Pearl and Boggio worked together at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center before beginning their literary journey.

Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl grew up together in West Des Moines, Iowa, where they began writing stories together at the age of ten.  Both are retired after long careers in health care at the University of New Mexico.  Boggio lives in Albuquerque, while Pearl resides in Bosque Farms.


Anne Hillerman

Anne Hillerman

Finalists for the Zia Book award this year include Anne Hillerman, with Cave of Bones, an exciting mystery that follows the adventures Navajo detectives Bernadette Manuelito and Jim Chee with help from their retired legendary college Joe Leaphorn. Hillerman is a long-time member of New Mexico Press Women, and the daughter of Tony Hillerman.

After spending many years as an editor and reporter with the Albuquerque Journal and The New Mexico in Santa Fe and as a nonfiction author, Anne Hillerman published her first novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter, in 2013.  A New York Times bestselling author, Anne belongs to many writers’ organizations and served on the board of Western Writers of America.  In 2018, she was named favorite local author in the Albuquerque Journal’s Readers’ Choice Awards.  She has lived and worked in Santa Fe for many years, with frequent trips to the Navajo Nation

Melody Groves

Melody Groves

Melody Groves was also a finalist with her book, She Was Sheriff, the adventures of a women wanted to get married and have kids, but who became the chief law enforcer in a northern California community just as gold is discovered. Groves says this is a work of fiction with a female character so strong she sat on Groves shoulder demanding to have her story told.

Melody was born and raised in Las Cruces.  She is a graduate of New Mexico State University (B.S. Education), and she is also a graduate of the University of New Mexico (M.A. Education). Melody taught in Albuquerque until leaving the classroom to become a full-time freelance writer. A deep love of anything cowboy and Old West creates a fertile playground for her imagination.

Christine Engla Eber

Christine Engla Eber

The fourth finalist was Christine Engla Eber’s novel, When a Woman Rises. In When a Woman Rises, a Chiapas woman, Magdalena, tells her life story and the story of a friend who has disappeared to her daughter Veronica. He story affirms that when a woman rises—no man is left behind, and a community is nourished.

In 1987, Christine Engla Eber lived for a year with a family in San Pedro Chenalhó, doing fieldwork for her PhD in Anthropology. She shared daily life with women and their families, witnessing the difficulties they faced. It changed her life. After all these years, she continues visiting with her friends in San Pedro Chenalhó, working with weaving and fabric collectives; and she has created a non-profit Weaving Justice to sell their work in the U.S. Now, as a respected anthropologist, she writes of their communities. She is the recipient of the 17th Annual Governor’s Award for outstanding New Mexico women.  Christine and her husband live in Las Cruces, NM.

The 2019 Zia Book Award was announced on April 27 at the annual conference of New Mexico Press Women.

Zia Award finalists from left: Zia Award winner Mare Pearl, Anne Hillerman, Melody Goves and Zia Award Chair Natasha Cuylear.

Zia Award finalists from left: Zia Award winner Mare Pearl, Anne Hillerman, Melody Goves and Zia Award Chair Natasha Cuylear.

The Zia Book Award is given by New Mexico Press Women to women writers living in New Mexico in one of three categories: children’s literature, non-fiction and fiction. To accommodate this schedule, a book published in the last three years is eligible. The award this year was for fiction. Awards for children’s literature will be presented in 2020. Judges are independent of affiliation with NMPW.

Judith Van Gieson Headlines New Mexico Press Women Banquet

Judith Van Gieson, author of 13 mystery novels set in New Mexico will be the featured speaker at the 2019 New Mexico Press Women Annual Conference. Van Gieson’s first eight books featured Albuquerque lawyer Neil Hamel and were published by HarperCollins.

Her next five books featured UNM librarian Clair Reynier and were published in paperback by Signet and in hardcover by UNM Press. Her fifth Claire Reynier mystery The Shadow of Venus won the Zia Award in 2004. Three of her Neil Hamel books were optioned for films. The Wolf Path was optioned for a feature film by La Bajada Entertainment. The Lies That Bind was optioned by CBS. She will discuss her experiences with the film industry at the awards banquet on Saturday evening.

If you want to know more about here work please visit her website.

The deadline for 2019 NMPW Conference “A Salute to the New Mexico Film and Media Industries” registration is Monday, April 22 at midnight.