About Us

History of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association

The first group of outdoor writers in the state organized for the first time shortly after World War II. The late Fred Maly, then outdoor editor of the San Antonio Express News, called together various state outdoor writers and editors to travel together to various outdoor events to collect information for their paper’s outdoor news pages. The first included a tackle show in Chicago and a Canada fishing trip. The group disbanded in its second year.

It was until the early ‘50s when a few outdoor editors on several large dailies around the state began meeting for informal hunting and fishing trips that the ideal of a formal association began to materialize. It was during a hunt at Henry LeBlanc’s duck camp near Port Arthur that the group came into being. It seems that some of the writers in attendance were disgruntled over the recent duck regulations set by the state. The longer they carped, the more determined they became to pass a strongly worded resolution telling the “dirty SOBs in Austin” what they thought and just what they could do with their new duck regulations.

The late L. A. Wilke, who began his outdoor writing career in the 1920’s, and was the consummate gentleman, convinced the group to tone down the resolution, addressing it to the “Gentlemen In Austin.” It is still unclear whether the resolution did any good but it did serve as the catalyst to formalize the group now know as The Texas Outdoor Writers Association. In 1959 the small group elected George Kellam, then editor of the Fort Worth Star Telegram as president. The group has remained active since that time.

The group promotes ethics and fellowship among its members and provides a means of exchanging information and techniques that improve the quality of their professional efforts.

TOWA PAST PRESIDENTS

 


L.A. WILKE AWARD RECIPIENTS

2017: Marty Malin
2018: Ralph Winingham