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Judy Alter

Judy Alter

 Judy Alter began donating her papers to the Southwestern Writers Collection/The Wittliff Collections in 1993. Alter writes for both adults and young readers and she is best known for her books on women and girls of the American West. Among her many honors are “best book” awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Western Writers of America, and the Western Heritage (Wrangler) Awards from the National Cowboy Museum. In 1996 the Dallas Morning News named her one of 100 Women Who Have Left Their Mark on Texas. In 2005 the Western Writers of America gave Alter the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

Listed below is an archival inventory of the Judy Alter holdings. Note that access to unprocessed materials is granted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Archivist for details about access to the Judy Alter Collection. 


Accession 1993-057

Research, manuscripts, correspondence and galley proofs for several works by Judy Alter, along with manuscripts for Alter’s early unpublished novels. Also included are editorial files for Larry L. King’s Golden Shadows Old West Museum, which was published in 1993 by Texas Christian University Press, where Judy Alter serves as Director.

  • Luke and the Van Zandt County War, manuscripts and galleys
  • Mattie research, correspondence, manuscripts, galleys
  • Unfinished novel loosely based on the life of artist Rufus F. Zogbaum
  • Draft for Elmer Kelton and West Texas: A Literary Relationship
  • A Man in the Window—unpublished novel
  • Book reviews from the El Paso Times and Dallas Morning News
  • Manuscripts for Growing Up in the Old West and Great Women in the Old West
  • Katie and the Recluse manuscript
  • Libbie research, manuscript for this novel based on the life of Elizabeth Bacon Custer
  • A Ballad for Sallie manuscripts and galley proofs
  • Material for Jeanne Williams Western Writers Series pamphlet
  • Clippings on Judy Alter
  • So Far from Paradise—manuscript and clippings for this novel commissioned by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in conjunction with the Texas Sesquicentennial in 1986.
  • Unfinished YA [young adult] novel: “My first attempt at fiction, probably 1975-76”
  • Unfinished YA novel 2
  • Dorothy Johnson material for Western Writers Series pamphlet
  • 10 folders on the Golden Shadows Old West Museum: manuscripts and galley proofs
  • Texas Folklore Society program 1993
  • “unfinished 2nd novel” 

Oversize materials:

  • Original illustrations for Luke and the Van Zandt County War
  • Publisher’s paste-ups for Eli Whitney


Accession 1993-199

Typed manuscript and galleys for After Pa Was Shot published by William Morrow and Co. in 1978.

 



Accession 1994-045

Typed manuscript (with emendations and printer’s notes) and cover for Libbie by Judy Alter.

 



Accession 1996-067

  • Books:
    Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine by C. Ray Stokes & Judy Alter
    The American Osteopathic College of Radiology: A Fifty Year History by Judy Alter
    Jessie: A Novel Based on the Life of Jessie Benton Frémont by Judy Alter (Advance reading copy)
  • Two typescript drafts (and correspondence from publisher) for Cherokee Rose, or Ride a Wild Horse by Judy Alter
  • Typescript for Jessie by Judy Alter

 



Accession 1996-143

Book: Libbie: A Novel of Elizabeth Bacon Custer by Judy Alter

 



Accession 1997-050

Notes, galley proofs, typescript, proofreader copy, and letter regarding Alter’s book Rodeos: The Greatest Show on Dirt

 



Accession 1999-102

One advance readers copy of Jessie: A Novel Based On the Life of Jessie Benton Fremont, accompanied by note

 



Accession 2004-170

Materials pertaining to the writing career of Judy Alter


Detailed list of items is listed below:

  • Typed manuscript titled Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography by Judy Alter. Attached to manuscript is a note that reads “Never published - the editor at Grober accused me of plagiarism and I never got another assignment from them. It was a trumped-up charge leveled at several other writers at the same time my lawyer wrote - it turned into quite a brouhaha.”
  • Incomplete untitled typed manuscript, a sequel to So Far From Paradise
  • Annotated typed manuscript titled The (Faithful) Fearful Heart by Judy Alter. Attached to manuscript is a note that reads “My one disastrous attempt at romance, trite!”
  • Typed manuscript titled Potter’s Wife: A novel of Chicago by Judy Alter. Attached to manuscript are rejection letters.
  • Typed manuscript titled Potter’s Wife by Judy Alter. Attached to manuscript is a note which reads “An early version of a novel I still hope will come to something”
  • Annotated manuscript titled Haley Goes to Camp by Judy Alter. Attached to manuscript is note that reads “This shows how far this had gone before publication was cancelled”.
  • Annotated untitled typed manuscript by Judy Alter. Attached to manuscript is note that reads “Publisher went out of business; book was never published. I had to get my lawyer to collect the work-for-hire fee”.
  • Annotated page proofs for Cissie Palmer: Putting Wealth to Work by Judy Alter
  • Typed short story titled Prisoners, which was published in Collective Heart
  • Typed manuscript titled The Perfect Coed by Judy Alter. Along with manuscript are various reject letters from publishers. Also attached to manuscript is a note that reads “My first and so far only attempt at my story - still want to do it”.
  • Annotated typed manuscript titled I Wish I Lived in Eleanor Lee’s House a novel by Judy Alter
  • Typed manuscript that was never published titled I Wish I Lived in Eleanor Lee’s House a novel by Judy Alter.
  • Typed manuscript titled So Far From Paradise a novel by Judy Alter. Attached to manuscript is a note that reads “This novel was commissioned by the “Fort Worth Star Telegram” and ran serially as a part of their sesquicentennial features. Later submitted on request, to this development company which was booking for Disney projects I think”
  • List of books, short stories, reviews, columns, and articles written by Judy Alter

 



Accession 2007-073

Material consists mainly of “working files for children’s books now in print”. Research material consists of newspaper clippings, information from the internet, and photocopies from various books and other sources. In a few instances, original file folders were kept because of notes or other writings that appear on them. Folder 20 has been flagged for sensitive material.


BOX # 811 folder 1
“Kemah” – notes, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.
 

BOX # 811 folder 2
“Australia” – notes, correspondence, research material, newspaper clippings and drafts.


BOX # 811 folder 3
“Becoming American” – notes and research material.
 

BOX # 811 folder 4
“Devil Amongst Us” – correspondence with Eakin Press, publishing contract, newspaper clippings, notes, royalty statements, and two copies of the children’s book catalog from Eakin Press, Fall 1996.
 

BOX # 811 folder 5
“Etta Place” – statements from Dorchester Publishing for Sundance, Butch and Me.
 

BOX # 811 folder 6
“Lamar” – notes, research material, and newspaper clippings of book reviews.
 

BOX # 811 folder 7
“Compass Point” – correspondence, notes, and research material.
 

BOX # 811 folder 8
“Cissy used files” – notes and correspondence.
 

BOX # 811 folder 9
“Missouri” – notes, draft, and research material.
 

BOX # 811 folder 10
“Crystal City/Buddy Guyler” – correspondence and newspaper clippings.
 

BOX # 811 folder 11
“Child’s World” – correspondence.
 

BOX # 811 folder 12
“Ellen Temple” – correspondence from publisher.
 

BOX # 811 folder 13
“Susan Wallace” – 1953 letter to Lewis Wallace from Blair Taylor.
 

BOX # 811 folder 14
“Edom” – notes, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.


BOX # 811 folder 15
“Gail Sheehy Focus Group” – correspondence.


BOX # 811 folder 16
“Spokane” – correspondence, travel material such as hotel receipts, rental car and plane information, two color photos and newspaper clippings.


BOX # 811 folder 17
“No. America” – notes and drafts, newspaper clippings, research material, and correspondence.

 
BOX # 811 folder 18
“Illinois” – notes, correspondence, research material and draft with notes.

 
BOX # 811 folder 19
“Wilder 2” – correspondence, research material, newspaper clippings, and draft with notes all relating to work on Laura Ingalls Wilder.

 
BOX # 811 folder 20
“Enslow Pubs” – material from publisher includes correspondence, writing agreements and research material.

 
BOX # 811 folder 21
“Ballad for Sallie” – invitations for book release, writing agreements, newspaper clippings, correspondence, reviews and three book covers for Ballad for Sallie.

 



Accession 2008-085

Material consists mainly of drafts from both “soon to be published” and unpublished material.

 

BOX # 1053 folder 1
“Passenger Ship” – includes handwritten notes, some pages from manuscript with editorial comments
 

BOX # 1053 folder 2
“Texas Women” – research material including newspaper clippings and printouts from various internet sources

 
BOX # 1053 folder 3
“Vaccines” – handwritten notes, research material from internet sources, and a writer’s agreement for the work

 
BOX # 1053 folder 4
“Women’s Rights” – handwritten notes, editorial comments, emails, and a writer’s agreement for the work

 
BOX # 1053 folder 5
“Dead Space” - draft Dead Space by Judy Alter with revisions 7/09/07

 
BOX # 1053 folder 6
Page proofs of Women’s Rights by Judy Alter

 
BOX # 1053 folder 7
Draft of Audie Murphy War Hero and Movie Star, with notes

 
BOX # 1053 folder 8
Page proofs for Surgery, Passenger Ships, and Vaccines by Judy Alter


BOX # 1053 folder 9
Dead Space by Judy Alter, marked “first draft February 2007 with handwritten notes

 
BOX # 1053 folder 10
Sue Ellen Learns To Dance and Other Stories by Judy Alter, with notes

 
BOX # 1053 folder 11
Life with Food, Books, and Kids by Judy Alter, with notes

 
BOX # 1053 folder 12
Manuscript of Potter’s Wife by Judy Alter, part 1 of 2

 
BOX # 1053 folder 13
Manuscript of Potter’s Wife by Judy Alter, part 2 of 2

 
BOX 1053 folder 14
Dead Space by Judy Alter, second draft 2/07

 


 

Accession 2009-030


Material contains drafts, research, and numerous newspaper clippings related to Alter’s writing; original file labels appear in quotation marks.

Box # 1097 folder 1
Label from folder was missing – contains drafts of speeches, or talks; numerous topics include women, writing, and women and the west [part 1 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 2
Label from folder was missing – contains drafts of speeches, or talks; numerous topics include women, writing, and women and the west [part 1 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 3
“Upcoming Engagements”

Box # 1097 folder 4
“Texas Writers Column” – notes, drafts, and numerous newspaper clippings of Alter’s column [part 1 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 5
“Texas Writers Column” – notes, drafts, and numerous newspaper clippings of Alter’s column [part 2 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 6
“Owen Wister Award”

Box # 1097 folder 7
“Judy Personal” [part 1 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 8
“Judy Personal” [part 2 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 9
“Judy Personal Two” [part 1 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 10
“Judy Personal Two” [part 2 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 11
“Judy Personal Three” [part 1 of 2]

Box # 1097 folder 12
“Judy Personal Three” [part 2 of 2]

 


 

Accession 2010-066

Material donated from Alter's files; items include magazines, writer contracts, reviews, newspaper clippings, limited correspondence, and some research material.  All original folder titles appear in quotation marks.

Magazines:
Box 1259 folder 1 Cowboys & Country Fall 95/Winter 96 and Spring/Summer 987; Old West Summer 95; and Hood 7 Somervell Today March 2009

Box 1259 folder 2 True West January 1994, March 1995, January 1996, February 1996, May 1996, and May 197

Box 1259 folder 3 Persimmon Hill Spring 1991, Autumn 1992, and Autumn 1993;
Texas Journal Spring/Summer 1991 and Spring/Summer 1999

Box 1259 folder 4 Texas Co-Op Power February 1996, May 2006, September 2006, November 2006, April 2007, January 2008, June 2008 [more than one copy of some issues]

Box 1259 folder 5 Round-UP June 1999, August 2000, June 2005 [two copies]; Louis L'Amour July 1995 [three copies]

Box 1259 folder 6 Forth Worth, Texas December 1998, February 1999, April 1999;  Aura of Fort Worth November/December 1993, January/February 1994, November/December 1994

Box 1259 folder 7 Aura of Dallas Fort Worth March/April 1994, May/June 1994, July/August 1994, September/October 1994, March/April 1995; Fort Worth, Texas February 1999, May 1999

files
Box 1259 folder 8 "Book Reviews"
Box 1259 folder 9 "John Barclay Armstrong"
Box 1259 folder 10 "Audie Murphy"
Box 1259 folder 11 "Cherokee" - relating to book Cherokee Rose
Box 1259 folder 12 "Custor Reviews" - relating to book Libbie
Box 1259 folder 13 "After Pa Was Shot - reprint"
Box 1259 folder 14 "Great African Americans"
Box 1259 folder 15 "Henrietta King"
Box 1259 folder 16 "Martin de Leon"
Box 1259 folder 17 "Extraordinary Women (of the American West)"
Box 1259 folder 18 "Publicity - Judy"

Box 1260 folder 1 material removed from untitled folder relating to "Pocohantas" manuscript, includes related correspondence

Box 1260 folder 2 "Oprah Winfrey"

Box 1260 folder 3 "Runaway Serape"

Box 1260 folder 4 "Sam H"

Box 1260 folder 5 "From Paradise"

Box 1260 folder 6 "Mattie"

Box 1260 folder 7 "Miscellaneous publicity"

Box 1260 folder 8 "Mattie -reprint"

Box 1260 folder 9 "Ma Ferguson"

Box 1260 folder 10 "Surgery"

Box 1260 folder 11 "Cookbook"

Box 1260 folder 12 "Women of the West 2000"

Box 1260 folder 13 "Short Stories"

Box 1260 folder 14 assorted newspapers and newspaper clippings

 


 

Accession 2011-155

 

Donation includes research files, manuscripts, and drafts of the author’s work.

Box 1377 folder 1 “Research for Extraordinary Women of the American West” –includes printouts from the internet and handwritten notes  [part 1 of 4]

Box 1377 folder 2  “Research for Extraordinary Women of the American West”  [part 2 of 4]

Box 1377 folder 3 “Research for Extraordinary Women of the American West”  [part 3 of 4]

Box 1377 folder 4 “Research for Extraordinary Women of the American West”  [part 4 of 4]

Box 1377 folder 5 “draft of 1st 8 chapters 8/21/08” of No Neighborhood for Old Women

Box 1377 folder 6 “partial rough draft” of No Neighborhood for Old Women

Box 1377 folder 7 “2nd pass 2/02/09” of Cooking My Way through Life with Kids and Books

Box 1377 folder 8 draft, with revisions, of Cooking My Way through Life with Kids and Books; includes one piece of correspondence

Box 1377 folder 9 draft of Skeleton in a Dead Space: A Kelly Jones Mystery

Box 1377 folder 10 draft of Texas is Chili Country

Box 1377 folder 11 draft No Neighborhood for Old Women  with notations

Box 1377 folder 12 draft Skeleton in a Dead Space “edited 11/8/09”

Box 1377 folder 13 “For Archive” – newspaper clippings

Box 1377 folder 14 “Overdue” – correspondence, short story The Library Cat’s Magical Christmas

Box 1377 folder 15 “Dead Space” – correspondence, publishers lists, limited printouts

Box 1377 folder 16 two copies of magazine Living with Panache article on Judy Alter page 16

Box 1377 folder 17 draft A Blue Plate Café Mystery

Box 1377 folder 18 draft Skeleton in a Dead Space: A Kelly Jones Mystery “later revised fall of 2010”

 


 

Accession 2013-091

This donation consists of manuscript drafts and speeches written by author Judy Alter. Included in this collection are early drafts for Trouble in a Big Box, Danger Comes Home, No Neighborhood for Old Women, Cooking My Way Through Life with Kids & Books, and Texas is Chili Country. Also included is unpublished material related to “Gail Borden” and a Certificate of Copyright Registration for Great Texas Chefs.

Box 1736 (1 of 1)
Box/Folder
1736/1 Letter from Alter to Steve Davis
1736/2 Speech for “A Celebration of Texas Writers: Exploring Women of the American West with Judy Alter” at
            Baylor University, April 16, 2012
1736/3 Speech for the opening of the UCC Women’s Luncheon, September 9, 2012
1736/4 Certificate of Copyright Registration for Great Texas Chefs
1736/5 Trouble in a Big Box-Draft, 10/5
1736/6 Trouble in a Big Box-Early Draft, December 14, 2011, plus a letter with comments from Genie
1736/7 Trouble in a Big Box-Draft, 12/1
1736/8 Trouble in a Big Box-Draft plus editor’s notes
1736/9 Danger Comes Home-Draft 3/27
1736/10 Danger Comes Home-Draft with some revisions
1736/11 Danger Comes Home-Draft, plus mentor’s comments, December 5, 2012
1736/12 No Neighborhood for Old Women-Draft, July 5, 2008
1736/13 Cooking My Way Through Life with Kids & Books-Draft
1736/14 A Frontier Childhood/Gail Borden-Draft, never published
1736/15 A Frontier Childhood/Gail Borden-Draft, “another version,” never published
1736/16 Texas is Chili Country-First Draft, revised September 2012