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Alumnus Preston Lewis Earns Medals for Western Humor December 2, 2021

Posted by Mia Moody-Ramirez in : Uncategorized , trackback

By David McHam

Two historical novels by Preston Lewis, a 1972 Baylor journalism graduate, earned medals for western humor at the annual Will Rogers Medallion Awards (WRMA) presentation in October in Fort Worth.

First Herd to Abilene, a novel on a Texas trail drive to the railhead in Kansas in the aftermath of the Civil War, received the WRMA Gold Medallion for western humor.  North to Alaska, a novel on the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush, earned a Silver Medallion.  The two books are the fifth and sixth in Lewis’s comic western series The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax.  Both were published by Wolfpack Publishing.  The fourth volume in the series, Bluster’s Last Stand on the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also received a WRMA Gold Medallion for western humor in 2019.

The award-winning books are among 44 historical, western and juvenile novels Lewis has published under his own name and various pseudonyms since graduating from Baylor.  Last year two of his short stories—“A Grave Too Many” and “The Hope Chest”—also received WRMA Gold Medallions in the short fiction category.  The short stories were published in separate anthologies by Five Star Publishing.  Lewis’s other writing honors include two Spur Awards, the premier prize in literature of the West, from Western Writers of America (WWA) for nonfiction article and for western novel.

Lewis is a past president of both WWA and the West Texas Historical Association, which has presented him three Elmer Kelton Awards for best creative work on West Texas for two of his juvenile novels and another comic western, The Fleecing of Fort Griffin.

Earlier this year, he was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters, which was established during the state’s 1936 Centennial to celebrate Texas literature and to recognize distinctive literary achievement.  Lewis is one of 14 new members inducted in the class of 2021.

Lewis is past president of Western Writers of America and the West Texas Historical Association, which has presented him three Elmer Kelton Awards for best creative works on West Texas.  In addition to his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor, he earned a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in history from Angelo State University.

He and his wife Harriet, also a 1972 Baylor grad, reside in San Angelo, Texas, where he retired after spending 35 years in higher education communications and marketing at Texas Tech University and Angelo State University.


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