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.


Conference Registration Update

The 2019 NMPW Conference registration DEADLINE is midnight, Monday, April 22. See conference details on our Conference page.

The banquet speaker will be the award-winning novelist Judith Van Gieson. Three of her thirteen mystery novels have been optioned for movies. She will discuss her experiences with the film industry.

Join us to celebrate New Mexico Press Women’s 70th anniversary. We will be honoring eight long-time members at the banquet.

Finalists for the NMPW Zia Book Award Announced

Four outstanding New Mexico women writers will be honored for their work in fiction on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 12:15-1:35 p.m. at the Canyon Club at Four Hills, in Albuquerque.
The 2019 Zia Book Award finalists are (in alphabetical order):
Cave of Bones, by Anne Hillerman;
Long Night Moon, by Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl;
She Was Sheriff, by Melody Groves; and
When a Woman Rises, by Christine Eber.
An overall winner will be announced at the event, with the other finalists receiving Honorable Mention awards.
The awards will be presented during the 2019 New Mexico Press Women’s Annual Convention. Anyone interested in attending the convention or the awards luncheon can get more information on the NMPW 2019 convention page.