Marsha Ward, courtesy of Heather Zahn GardnerMarsha was born in the sleepy little town of Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up with chickens, citrus trees, and lots of room to roam. She began telling stories at a very early age, regaling her neighborhood chums with her tales over homemade sugar cookies. Visits to her cousins on their ranch and listening to her father’s stories of homesteading in Old Mexico and in the Tucson area reinforced Marsha’s love of 19th Century Western history and literature.

Over the intervening years, Marsha became an award-winning poet, freelance writer, journalist, editor, and novelist, with over 900 pieces of published work, including her acclaimed novel series, The Owen Family Saga, and other works of fiction. She publishes primarily with WestWard Books. Her novels, novellas, collections, and short stories are available for purchase at Amazon, Kobo Books, and the other major online retailers.

After fifty+ years in the city, Marsha now makes her home in a small town beneath Central Arizona’s inspiring Mogollon Rim. When she is not writing, she loves to travel, give talks, meet readers, and sign books.
Author Photo by Heather Zahn Gardner


Writing Background

Marsha Ward has been a writer and editor for four different newspapers published for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • The Latter-day Sentinel
  • The Latter-day Sun
  • The Latter-day Journal
  • The Beehive, Arizona Edition

Marsha also was the editor and publisher of a newsletter for writers, Aztec Peak; and a small magazine, WestWard Quarterly, The Magazine of Family Reading. The latter is now edited by Shirley Anne and Richard Leonard and published by an arm of their Christian ministry, Laudemont Press.

Marsha works with other writers as a mentor, creative consultant, editor, workshop presenter, lecturer, contest judge, coach, and writing teacher. In 1986 she founded American Night Writers Association, Inc. (also known as ANWA), a network for writers of the LDS faith. Marsha was the facilitator of the group for many years. She then became the first President, and recently retired as the Chair of the Membership Committee and a Member of the Board of Directors. She has served on the Executive Committee of LDStorymakers, Inc., the LDS writers’ guild; and in leadership capacities with several other writers’ organizations.

Marsha taught creative writing at Irving School and newspaper writing at Carmel Charter School. She has read her work at Yavapai College and the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona.


Awards

Marsha has won many writing prizes in local, state, and national literary competitions.  Among her accomplishments are the following awards and honors:

  • March, 2016: Marsha was named the recipient of the 2015 Whitney Lifetime Achievement Award. She was unable to attend the Whitney Gala in May, but Deb Eaton, the President of American Night Writers Association, accepted the Award on her behalf.
  • February, 2015: Novel Gone for a Soldier was named a Finalist in the Historical Novel category of the 2014 Whitney Awards.
  • May, 2014: Novel Spinster’s Folly was honored as a Finalist in the Western Fiction category of the 2014 International Book Awards.
  • November 2013: Novel Spinster’s Folly was the Winner in the Western Fiction category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards.
  • February 2013: Novel Spinster’s Folly was named a Finalist in the category of Historical Novel in the 2012 Whitney Awards, which honor outstanding books by LDS novelists. The Whitney Awards are sponsored by LDStorymakers, the authors guild for LDS writers.
  • October 2010: Novel Trail of Storms was named a Finalist in the Western Fiction category of the “Best Books 2010” Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
  • February 2004: Novel Ride to Raton was voted Fourth in Top Ten Finalists in the 2003 Readers’ Poll in the category of “Novel – Mainstream”, at Preditors & Editors.
  • March 2003: Poem “My Mother’s Bureau Drawer,” was named the Winner of the national Alice Abel Literature Competition in Poetry, sponsored by American Mothers, Inc..
  • November 2002: Poem “My Mother’s Bureau Drawer,” was named the Winner in the Poetry Competition sponsored by Arizona Association of American Mothers Inc.
  • March 2002: Poem “My Mother’s Bureau Drawer,” was named the Winner in the Annual Poetry Contest sponsored by Superstition Mountain Scribes.
  • 2001: “War Party,” was named a Finalist in Short Fiction Awards sponsored by ByLine Magazine.

Memberships

Marsha is a member of:

  • American Night Writers Association, Inc. (ANWA)
  • Arizona Professional Writers, Rim Country Chapter
  • LDStorymakers, Inc.
  • Western Writers of America, Inc.

and other writing groups

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