Corrales resident Jim Tritten’s photo graces this month’s cover of Military Writers Society of America magazine as the organization’s Writer of the Year. On the heels of that, he was recognized by SouthWest Writers as the recipient of its annual Parris Award, the organization’s most prestigious award.
The Parris Award has been given for the past 40 years to a published writer “who has given outstandingly of time and talent to other writers,” past recipients include Tony Hillerman and Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.
The Parris Award is named for Parris Afton Bonds, a charter member of the group, established in 1983, who gave tirelessly of her time encouraging aspiring writers, according to a news release.
“I was pretty blown away to be included in that list,” said Tritten, who received the award from SouthWest Writers on Oct. 14. The non-profit organization was established to assist published and unpublished writers.
Consideration for the award included a significant body of published work, efforts to further the organization and providing encouragement to other writers.
Tritten co-edited and contributed stories to “Holes in Our Hearts,” a collection of stories and poems by everyday New Mexicans about their own military experience, or how a friend or family member serving in the military affected their lives. He helped solicit stories, secure funding and organize a book tour of sorts since it was published earlier this year.
“In both cases, the award was not for the book, but it never would have occurred without the book,” he said.
The criteria for the Michael D. “Moon” Mullins Award handed out by Military Writers Society of America award was similar. It required “distinguished” writing in any form, “displaying respect for the military and military family understandings, abilities, and appreciations.”
Tritten, a retired Navy officer, continues doing exactly that. In conjunction with SouthWest Writers, he will be leading workshops teaching people how to write military memoirs, the first of which will be on Nov. 4.