Writer Rod Miller in his high school rodeo days

Writer Rod Miller at the
National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association finals 

Self-portrait by writer Rod Miller

About the Author


Born and raised in a small town in Utah, writer Rod Miller has lived in the West his entire life—mostly in Utah, with time spent in south central and southeastern Idaho and western Nevada.

He grew up among horses and cattle in a cowboy family. While in high school he took up riding bareback broncs in the rodeo arena, and continued the sport through college, where he rode for the Utah State University Rodeo intercollegiate rodeo team. For several summers he also rode in PRCA rodeos around the West and worked behind the chutes and as chute boss for a rodeo stock contractor.

With a degree in Broadcast Journalism, Rod worked for a few years in radio and television stations then drifted into advertising agencies where he worked for nearly four decades. His work as a copywriter, broadcast producer, and creative director earned well over 300 awards for creativity in local, regional, national, and international competition.

In the mid-90s, curiosity led him to try his hand at writing cowboy poetry, an art he had long appreciated. Soon, his poems started appearing regularly in Western magazines including American Cowboy, Western Horseman, Range, and others. Rod also filled a term as Guest Editor for Poetry for American Cowboy magazine. Several anthologies include Rod’s poetry, which ranges from cowboy poems in traditional styles to wider-ranging verse about the American West. Selected poems appear in his collections Goodnight Goes Riding and Other Poems and Things a Cowboy Sees and Other Poems, and in a limited edition chapbook, Newe Dreams

The same curiosity resulted in attempts at short fiction, and several anthologies published his stories, and many are collected in The Death of Delgado and Other Stories.

Along the way, Rod wrote—and continues to write—magazine articles, essays, and book reviews for publications including Saddlebag Dispatches, True West, Ranch & Reata, American Cowboy, Range, Western Horseman, Roundup, Cowboys & Indians​, and Utah Historical Quarterly, as well as short pieces of nonfiction for a couple of anthologies and an encyclopedia.

Curiosity again led Rod to tackle book-length works, and he has written novels and historical works about the West, including the Spur Award and Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award winners and finalists.


Writer Rod Miller often conducts workshops, lectures, readings, and other presentations to readers and writers alike, and has been featured at events throughout the West. 


AWARD WINNERS 

  • “Black Joe,” Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner, Best Western Short Fiction, 2020
  • “Lost and Found,” Western Writers of America Spur Award Winner, Best Western Short Fiction, 2018
  • Rawhide Robinson Rides the Tabby Trail, Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award, Best Juvenile Western Novel, 2015
  • Rawhide Robinson Rides the Range, Western Writers of America Spur Award, Best Western Juvenile Novel, 2015
  • Goodnight Goes Riding and Other Poems, Westerners International Fred Olds Poetry Book of the Year, 2014
  • Things a Cowboy Sees and Other Poems, Academy of Western Artists Buck Ramsey Book of the Year, 2013
  • “Tabula Rasa,” Western Writers of America Spur Award Winner, Best Western Poem, 2012
  • “The Death of Delgado,” Western Writers of America Spur Award Winner, Best Western Short Fiction, 2012
  • Writer of the Year, Utah League of Writers, 2012
  • Things a Cowboy Sees and Other Poems, Westerners International Fred Olds Poetry Book of the Year, 2011


AWARD FINALISTS

  • Rawhide Robinson Rides a Dromedary, Western Writers of America Spur Awards Finalist, Best Western Juvenile Novel, 2019
  • “And the River Ran Red,” Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist, Best Western Song, 2019, with Brenn Hill
  • “The Knowing,” Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist, Western Poetry, 2018
  • Father unto Many Sons, Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist, Best Western Novel, 2018
  • Rawhide Robinson Rides a Dromedary, Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist, Best Western Novel, 2018
  • Rawhide Robinson Rides the Tabby Trail, Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist, Best Western Juvenile Novel, 2016
  • “Song of the Stampede,” Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist, Best Western Poetry, 2015
  • The Assassination of Governor Boggs, Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist, Best Western Novel, 2011
  • “The Death of Delgado,” Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist, Best Western Novel, 2011
  • “A Border Dispute,” Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist, Best Western Short Fiction, 2006


OTHER HONORS

  • Cowboy Poets of Utah Pioneer Heritage Award, 2019
  • Western Writers of America Branding Iron Award, 2014
  • League of Utah Writers Writer of the Year, 2012