Wordcraft Circle Honors and Awards

Wordcraft Circle is proud to announce the winners for the 2015 Honors and Awards! The winners were selected from an open nomination process and awarded by a panel of Wordcraft Circle members, scholars, writers, and storytellers. These awards are dedicated solely to the work and words of Native and Indigenous writers and storytellers.

The highest honor, Wordcrafter of the Year, was awarded to Allison HedgeCoke. This award honors the legacy of Dr. Lee Francis III, Wordcraft Founder, and is awarded to an individual who demonstrates excellence in each of Wordcraft’s Core Areas: education, mentorship, promotion, and activism. The award recognizes the many literary contributions of Ms. HedgeCoke including eight books of her own authorship and six published anthologies of other indigenous authors, the last of which were release in the past year. The award carries a small cash prize and additional benefits. Other awards include the the Bright Star Youth Award and the Pathfinder Award given to the writer(s) who are pushing the boundaries of Indigenous literature with their work.

Awardees will be honored on the evening of December 5th, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico as part of the Returning the Gift gathering. The gathering will feature workshops by several of the honorees, as well as featured readings during the day on Saturday the 5th. The evening will also celebrate the work of Diane Glancy, the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. Past awardees of NWCA include: Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Robert Conley, and many more. 

If you wish to attend the Honors and Awards Banquet, CLICK HERE for tickets!

Wordcrafter of the Year

Allison Hedge Coke

Bright Star Youth Award

NACA Radical Poets (Youth Poetry Group)

Sovereign Nation of the Year

Lummi Nation

Pathfinder Award

Erica Wurth – Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend

Deborah Miranda – Raised by Humans

Publisher of the Year

West End Press

Legacy Award

Robert Conley – Will Usdii: Thoughts from the Asylum


The Road Back to Sweetgrass – Linda Legarde Grover

Genre: Mystery

Sinking Suspicions – Sara Sue Hoklotubbe

Genre: Thriller

The Darkness Rolling – Win Blevins & Meredith Blevins


Native Women and Land: Narratives of Dispossession and Resurgence – Stephanie Fitzgerald


Lisa Charleyboy – Dreaming In Indian


Braiding Sweetgrass – Robin Kimmerer

Young Adult

The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving – Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Picture Book

Hungry Johnny – Cheryl Minnema

Sweetest Kulu – Celina Kalluk

Middle Grades

No Name – Tim Tingle


Sliver of a Full Moon – MK Nagle

Graphic Novel

Three Feathers – Richard Van Camp

Trade Paperback

Super Indian Vol 2 – Arigon Starr

Comic Book

We Speak In Secret – Roy Boney Jr.


Why I Return to Makoce – Lois Red Elk


Worn Cities – Alice Azure

Spoken Word

Janet Rogers