Winfred Blevins

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Winfred Ernest Blevins, Jr. (born 21 October 1938)[1] is an American author of historical fiction, narrative non-fiction, historical fantasy, and non-fiction books, as well as short stories, novellas, articles, reviews, and screenplays. He has written many books about the western mountain trappers,[2] and is known for his "mastery of western lore."[3] His notable works include Stone Song, So Wild a Dream, and Dictionary of the American West. According to WorldCat, the Dictionary of the American West is held in 728 libraries.[4] Blevins has won numerous awards, including twice being named 'Writer of the Year' by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers[5] and two Spur Awards for Novel of the West.[6][7] His Dictionary of the American West received an award from Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers under the category of Writer of the Year, 2002.

Win Blevins

Early life and education[edit]

Blevins, of Cherokee and Welsh-Irish descent, is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. After attending school in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved to New York, where he received a Master’s degree from Columbia University, graduating with honors, and continued to California where he attended the Music Conservatory of the University of Southern California.[5]

Journalism and writing career[edit]

Win Blevins started his writing career as a music and drama reviewer for the Los Angeles Times. He then became the entertainment editor and principal theater and movie critic of the Hearst newspaper in Los Angeles.[8] His first book was published in 1973 and since then he has made a living as a free-lance writer. He has written articles for magazines,[9][10] essays,[11] published twenty-nine books, one a dictionary, several travel guides to the West, and the rest novels, including fantasy, historical fiction and modern works of the west such as his contemporaries Rudolfo Anaya, John Nichols, Scott Momaday, Max Evans and Barbara Kingsolver write. For fifteen years he was an editor at Macmillan Publishing. Recently, Win spent two years as Gaylord Family Visitor Professor of Professional Writing at the University of Oklahoma.[12] He has also written seven screenplays.


Most of Win Blevins' books were originally published as hardbacks, and were subsequently made available as mass-market paperbacks, trade paperbacks, book club editions, foreign editions, audio books, and e-books. Almost all are still in print.

  • Give Your Heart to the Hawks, Nash Publishing, 1973. Narrative non-fiction.
  • Charbonneau: Man of Two Dreams, Nash Publishing, 1975. Historical fiction.
  • The Misadventures of Silk and Shakespeare, Jameson Books, 1985. Historical fiction.
  • The Yellowstone, Bantam, 1988 (Rivers West series), Bantam Books. Historical fiction.
  • Roadside History of Yellowstone Park, 1989, Mountain Press Publishing Company. Guide Book.
  • Powder River, Bantam, 1990 (Rivers West series). Historical fiction.
  • The Snake River, Bantam, 1992 (Rivers West series). Historical fiction.
  • The High Missouri, Bantam, 1994 (River West series). Historical fiction.
  • Dictionary of the American West, 1993, Facts on File. See expanded edition from TCU and a revised edition on Kindle under title Westopedia.
  • History from the Highways: Wyoming, with Thomas Schmidt, 1993, Pruett Press. Guide Book.
  • Stone Song: A Novel of the Life of Crazy Horse, TOR-Forge Books, 1995. Historical fiction. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 774 libraries[13]
  • The Rock Child, TOR-Forge Books, 1998. Historical fiction.
  • RavenShadow, TOR-Forge Books, 1999. Historical fantasy.
  • Dictionary of the American West, expanded edition, Sasquatch Books, 2001. Expanded to include the Pacific Northwest, especially Alaska. Brought back into print by Texas Christian University Press, 2008.

The Rendezvous Series[edit]

  • So Wild a Dream, TOR-Forge Books, 2003. Historical fiction. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 1094 libraries, his most widely held book.[14]
  • Beauty for Ashes, TOR-Forge Books, 2004. Historical fiction.
  • Dancing with the Golden Bear, TOR-Forge, 2005. Historical fiction.
  • Heaven Is a Long Way Off, TOR-Forge Books, 2006. Historical fiction.
  • A Long and Winding Road, TOR-Forge Books, 2007. Historical fiction.
  • Dreams Beneath Your Feet, TOR-Forge Books, 2008. Historical fiction.

Natural History[edit]

  • Buffalo, Rio Nuevo, 2005 (Looks West series). Natural history.

Cherokee Pre-History Fantasy[edit]

  • Zadayi Red, TOR-Forge Books, 2009, published under the pen name Caleb Fox. Historical fantasy.
  • Shadows in the Cave, TOR-Forge Books, 2010, TOR-Forge Books, published under the pen name Caleb Fox. Historical fantasy.

As General Editor[edit]

Blevins also created, edited, and co-published the series Classics of the Fur Trade.

  • The River of the West: The Adventures of Joe Meek, volume one—The Mountain Years, by Frances Fuller Victor, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1983. Autobiography.
  • Journal of a Mountain Man, by James Clyman, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1984. Journal.
  • The River of the West: The Adventures of Joe Meek, volume two—The Oregon Years, by Frances Fuller Victor, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1985. Autobiography.
  • Edward Warren, by Sir William Drummond Stewart, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1986. Fiction.
  • The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie, by James Ohio Pattie, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1988. Memoir.
  • The Long Rifle, by Steward Edward White, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1990. Historical fiction.


  • So Wild a Dream- Spur award, 2004.[15]
  • Stone Song –Spur Award, Mountains and Plains Booksellers award for best fiction of 1995.[5][16]
  • Dictionary of the American West – Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers (Writer of the Year) 2002.[5]
  • Heaven Is a Long Way Off - Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers (Writer of the Year) 2006-2007.[5]


Win has published two novels and an article in True West Magazine[17] under the pen name, Caleb Fox.

Personal life[edit]

Blevins has five children and a growing number of grandchildren. He lives with his wife, the novelist Meredith Blevins, among the Navajos in San Juan County, Utah. Win has been a river guide, mountain climber, and sailor. His greatest loves are his family, music and the untamed places of the west. He considers writing for a living to be a great blessing.


  1. ^ "Blevins, Winfred 1938– - Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Fiction Book Review: A Long and Winding Road by Win Blevins, Author . Forge $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0577-0". 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  4. ^ "Dictionary of the American West (Book, 1992)". []. 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Win Blevins on Native American Authors". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  6. ^ "Spur Award-Winning Westerns » Pop Culture@Ascpl". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  7. ^ "Spur Awards « Western Writers of America". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  8. ^ "Blevins, Win 1938–." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. Ed. Amy Elisabeth Fuller. Vol. 188. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 59-61. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Native Peoples". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  10. ^ "Frank Waters: Man and Mystic - Ohio University Press & Swallow Press". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  11. ^ "Hot Off The Press". 2007-09-02. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ "Stone song : a novel of the life of Crazy Horse (Book, 1995)". []. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  14. ^ "So wild a dream (Book, 2003)". []. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  15. ^ "Spur Awards « Western Writers of America". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  16. ^ "Regional Book Award Winners". Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  17. ^ "Caleb Fox, Author". 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2013-11-25.