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Press Release: Author Matthew Kerns wins both Spur & Western Heritage Awards


Author Matthew Kerns Wins Both Spur Award and Western Heritage Award for "Texas Jack Takes an Encore" in Wild West Magazine

Chattanooga, Tennessee - March 5, 2023 - The Western Writers of America (WWA) have awarded author Matthew Kerns the Spur Award for his article "Texas Jack Takes an Encore" in the April 2022 issue of Wild West Magazine. On February 22, Kerns was announced as the winner of this year’s Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Magazine Article by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. Kerns' achievement marks the first time that an individual has won both prestigious awards for short nonfiction since 1982 when Alice J. Hall won both awards for her article “Buffalo Bill and the Enduring West" in National Geographic. This is only the third time in the long history of these awards that an author has won both prizes for the same article.

The Western Heritage Award recognizes outstanding works in Western literature, while the Spur Award is given to the best works of Western fiction and nonfiction. Both awards are highly coveted in the Western literary community and represent the highest honor an author can receive in their respective categories.

Kerns' article "Texas Jack Takes an Encore," tells the story of John B. Omohundro, also known as "Texas Jack," a real-life cowboy and frontiersman who became one of the first true "cowboy stars" in American history. Kerns' article explores Omohundro's life and career, his partnership with best-friend Buffalo Bill Cody, and his role in shaping the public's perception of the West and the cowboy as a cultural icon.

Matthew Kerns is an author and historian based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He has written extensively on the history of the American West, with a particular focus on the origins of the cowboy as a cultural icon. In addition to his work in Wild West Magazine, Kerns is the author of the book "Texas Jack: America's First Cowboy Star."

For more information on Matthew Kerns and his work, visit his website at

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Alan Baker
Alan Baker
Mar 06, 2023


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