Chattanooga author Matthew Kerns has been awarded the Spur Award by the Western Writers of America for his cover story, “Texas Jack Takes an Encore” in Wild West Magazine. Mr. Kerns' piece, published in April 2022, delves into the life of Texas Jack Omohundro, hailed as the first iconic cowboy in American history.
The Spur Award is presented annually by the Western Writers of America to honor "exceptional works that exemplify the spirit and legacy of the American West."
"Mr. Kerns' in-depth exploration of Texas Jack Omohundro's life has garnered praise for its meticulous research, engaging narrative and profound contribution to Western history," officials said.
In April, Mr. Kerns won the Western Heritage Award for the same article, the first time since 1982 that an author has won both prestigious literary awards for short nonfiction.
"Mr. Kerns' cover story sheds light on the captivating journey of Texas Jack Omohundro, who became a legendary figure through his unparalleled adventures in the untamed frontier, his depictions on stage and in print of cowboy life, and his partnership with legendary Wild West figures Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok," officials said. "Through meticulous examination of historical records, Mr. Kerns unraveled the tales of Omohundro's daring exploits, painting a vivid picture of the cowboy's indomitable spirit and unyielding determination."
The Spur Award ceremony, held in Rapid City, SD last Saturday, brought together authors, industry professionals and enthusiasts to celebrate outstanding achievements in Western literature. "Mr. Kerns was presented with the Spur Award amidst a gathering of his peers, affirming the exceptional quality of his work and its significant impact on preserving the heritage of the American West," officials said.
"It is with great honor and gratitude that I accept the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America," said Mr. Kerns. "I am thankful to have the opportunity to share the remarkable story of Texas Jack Omohundro with readers across the country, and honored to be recognized by the Western Writers of America. This award serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of the American West and the power of storytelling, and to stand in the company of the remarkable authors who have been previously awarded is an incredible honor."
"Mr. Kerns is an accomplished author with a passion for uncovering forgotten tales from Western history," officials said. "His meticulous research, coupled with his ability to craft compelling narratives, has made him a rising figure in the genre. Mr. Kerns' book, Texas Jack: America’s First Cowboy Star, and this award-winning article in Wild West Magazine, exemplifies his dedication to preserving the rich heritage of the American West and ensuring that the stories of its legendary figures continue to captivate and inspire."