LAS CRUCES – Four New Mexican women were honored for their outstanding non-fiction books at the New Mexico Press Women annual spring conference, held this year at the Ghost Ranch Conference Center where the theme was “The Power of Storytelling.”
The Zia Award is given annually to one or more woman book authors who live in or have ties to New Mexico. Each year the contest focuses on one of three genres: non-fiction, fiction or children’s literature.
Receiving the 2015 Zia Book Award for non-fiction was Tanya Ward Goodman for Leaving Tinkertown, her memoir about growing up in the Sandia Mountains and returning home following her father Ross Ward’s diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. “The book is a loss story, a love story and a meditation on identity,” Goodman said.
Sherry Robinson was named First Runner-up for I Fought a Good Fight: A History of Lipan Apaches, her well-researched, thorough but non-academic book on natives who call themselves the People and second book on Apaches.
Melody Groves was named Second Runner-up for Butterfield’s Byways: The First Stagecoach Line and Overland Mail Route Across America, her narrative of the establishment of mail service from coast to coast and all the stops along the way.
Judith Fein received an Honorable Mention for The Spoon From Minkowitz: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands, her memoir and travel story about seeking her Jewish roots in what remains of the Ukrainian shtetls that reads like a novel with magical realism.
Ward Goodman is an essayist and freelance television scriptwriter who lives in Los Angeles. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Brain. Leaving Tinkertown is Ward Goodman’s first book and it was published by University of New Mexico Press.
Robinson began her journalism career on the Navajo Reservation as a stringer for the Gallup Independent, and subsequently worked for nine other newspapers including the New Mexico Business Weekly. Robinson spent years writing about Native American issues before her interest became a passion and journey to becoming a book author. I Fought a Good Fight is Robinson’s third book and it was published by University of North Texas Press.
Groves, by her own admission loves anything cowboy and Old West. She is a contributing editor for Round Up and writes for Wild West, American Cowboy, True West, and New Mexico Magazine. Born and raised in Las Cruces, Groves is the author of the fiction book series The Colton Brothers Saga, and is a contributing writer for “American Westward Expansion,” a collegiate history encyclopedia. Butterfield’s Byways was published by The History Press and is Groves third non-fiction book.
Fein is an award-winning international travel journalist who has contributed to 105 publications including the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. A long-time resident of Santa Fe, Fein and her photographer husband Paul Ross speak and teach about travel, creativity and photography among other subjects. She is considered a travel authority and has appeared on television and radio programs. The Spoon from Minkowitz is Fein’s second book and was published by GlobalAdventure.us.
The 2016 Zia Award will be given to one or more women authors of an outstanding book in fiction. Eligible titles will have been published in 2013, 2014, or 2015.
NMPW is the state affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women, organized to provide professional development, networking and First Amendment advocacy for women journalists and communicators. NMPW, an inclusive media organization, is open to women and men.