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Western Writers honor South Dakota Historical Society Press

The South Dakota Historical Society Press has been named the 2020 John M. Cleary Homestead Honoree for its outstanding support of the Western Writers of America (WWA) and the literature of the American West.

One of the premier publishers of works on South Dakota and the Northern Great Plains, the press operates out of the State Historical Society’s Research and Publishing program at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

“The Homestead Foundation is pleased to salute the South Dakota Historical Society Press for its dedication to providing readers with a wide range of diverse and inspirational books that celebrate the history and people of the Mount Rushmore State,” wrote Chris Enns, WWA vice president.

With nearly 100 titles to its credit, the press continues to build on its legacy of bringing the region’s history and heritage to a broad audience. Its high-quality books for adults and young readers have been recognized with numerous awards, including several Spur Awards from the WWA.

Among the press’s most notable successes are Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography,” edited by Pamela Smith Hill; a biography series on prominent regional figures; and illustrated children’s books focusing on American Indian culture. The press also publishes scholarly works dealing with the region’s political and social history.

“For nearly 25 years, we have brought attention to the importance of our region’s history and culture,” says Nancy Tystad Koupal, director and founder of the press. “History happens here, and we are honored to receive this recognition from the Western Writers of America.”

In addition to the award, this year’s WWA convention, set for Sept. 4-6 in Rapid City, will highlight the work of the press by featuring several of its authors as speakers. Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve and S.D. Nelson will talk about sharing the history and culture of American Indian peoples, Lori Ann Lahlum and Molly P. Rozum will explore woman suffrage, and Koupal will join a panel discussing myth making.

Find out more about the South Dakota Historical Society Press at and follow its activities on Facebook (SDHS Press) and Twitter (@sdhspress). Information about the Western Writers of America can be found at

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

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