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Best Writer 

Rick Bass

Back in 2012, Rick Bass was among seven protesters arrested during a sit-in at the Montana Capitol demanding an end to coal mining on state land. The petroleum engineer-turned-writer has earned an esteemed reputation for not only sticking to his environmental convictions, but for turning that passion into beautiful prose. His body of work includes well over two dozen short stories, novels, novellas and nonfiction pieces, the settings of which range from his native Texas to the scenic Swan Valley. He’s racked up scores of literary prizes and awards, and even collaborated with acoustic foursome Stellarondo to set some of his rich narratives to music. Bass has done it all while living the kind of quiet good life we’d all love to lead in the secluded Yaak Valley. Fellow writers like Carl Hiaasen have called him a national treasure. Clearly he’s also one of the jewels of the Treasure State. Rick Bass: facebook.com/authorrickbass

Finalists, Best Writer


2. Erika Fredrickson: missoulanews.com

3. James Lee Burke: jamesleeburke.com


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