Ann Stebner Steele, the recipient of the 2023 Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award and India Hayford, the recipient of the 2023 Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award. (Wyoming Arts Council)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Two Wyoming residents have been chosen as the recipients of the 2023 Doubleday and Blanchan writing awards, the Wyoming Arts Council announced Tuesday.

Casper resident India Hayford won the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award for her entry “Stone and Other Stories,” while Laramie resident Ann Stebner Steel was selected for the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award for “Land Until the Sky Comes Down,” according to an April 18 release. 

Hayford is a naturalist, historical reenactor, teacher and artist, per the WAC, which says her short stories and feature articles have appeared in various regional and national publications. For the last eight years, she’s written a quarterly wildlife newsletter distributed nationally titled “The Howl.”

Stebner Steele is a writer, horsewoman, backpacker and water-lover, the WAC says. A fifth-generation Wyomingite, she loves the wide horizons, dynamic skies and sage-covered hills across her home state. Her works have been published in Souvenir Lit Journal, Western Confluence Magazine, and Orion. 

The Doubleday Award is given for the best writing by a woman writer, while the Blanchan Award is given for the best writing that is informed by a relationship with the natural world, according to the WAC, which says the juror for this year was Laura Pritchett.