Julie W. Weston
I grew up in Kellogg, Idaho, where our home was a block from the mine entrance to the Bunker Hill Mine and next door to the hospital where my father doctored the miners and other townspeople. The mountains, the mines, the people: all shaped me.
During a long labor strike, I worked after school for a local lawyer who represented a new union. When I left Kellogg, I knew some day I would be a lawyer. Although my first short story was published in the local newspaper when I was twelve years old, I didn’t know then that I would some day be a writer, too, telling the stories of the people of Idaho.
After the birth of my daughter, Melanie, I attended the University of Washington, gaining my law degree there, at a time when few women went to law school. After many years as a tax, corporate and business lawyer, I began writing pieces other than legal memoranda and contracts. I always loved words and books and reading. Finally I could spend time immersed in all three.
My lawyer husband and I left the full-time practice of law to explore our artistic sides with photography and writing. Occasionally we have collaborated on projects and plan more collaborations in the future–his photography and my writing.
Now we live full-time in Idaho, the home of my heart.
My short stories and essays have been published in IDAHO Magazine, The Threepenny Review, Boston Literary Magazine (an ezine), The Saint Ann’s Review (along with Gerry’s photographs), River Styx, Rendezvous, Clackamas Literary Review and Rocky Mountain Game & Fish, among others. A story of mining appeared in Our Working Lives, an anthology. Both an essay and a short story have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes.
My awards include: Honorable Mention in the 2009 Idaho Book Award, Finalist in the Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest, Cutthroat Magazine; Honorable Mention in the Red Hen Press Defender of the Earth Award; Prose for Papa (Hemingway)(first place); Willamette Fiction Contest (second place); Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contests (two seconds and a third), among others.
In 2015, my book Moonshadows placed with Idaho Author Awards for Best Cover! It also was named a Finalist in the May Sarton Literary Award. In January, 2016, True West Magazine named MOONSHADOWS as Best of the Rest in Fiction in the mystery category! What an honor! My publisher, Five Star Publishing, tied with the University of Oklahoma Press as Best of the WEST in publishing!
Also in 2015, my short story “Sleeping Horses” won Honorable Mention in the New Millenium Writing 40th Year Awards.
I have a fiction and a creative nonfiction project in progress.
I am a woman of the West, of the high desert of south-central Idaho, filled with sagebrush, wildflowers in spring, snow in winter, and silence. My Idaho West is clean air, days of sunshine, long twilight evenings, rippling rivers and rainbow trout, a red fox and her kits, and the possibility of wolves. It is room to breathe, to ski, to think, to fish, to write.
My other West for over 50 years was Seattle, green green green and, on a good day, blue skies, blue waters and snow-covered Mount Rainier. It is filled with traffic, often gray clouds and rain, city smells and noises, broken sidewalks, wet pavement, coffee shops, art, music, and people. It chokes, inspires, crushes and uplifts.
The West is my home.