Choctaw Cultural Center Produces First Book

10 Authors pen Stories by Choctaw Women

Published September 14, 2022

DURANT, Okla. – The Choctaw Cultural Center is taking a new path beyond its facility walls to educate about tribal culture. The center has published its first book, Stories by Choctaw Women.

The 200-page paperback, released earlier this month, will be available at the center’s Hvshi Gift Store, the Choctaw Store in the Choctaw Nation Headquarters, and in Choctaw Travel Plazas across the Choctaw Reservation. The anthology features original writings by 10 contemporary Choctaw women.

A book signing with the authors is also planned for the Sept. 24 Art Market at the Choctaw Cultural Center, said Leslie Stall Widener and Celia Stall Meadows, editors and contributors to the book.

In addition to Meadows and Widener, works are featured by Francine Locke Bray, Jennifer P. Byram, Marianne Locke, Sandra Riley, Margaret Riley Santhanam, Lynda Kay Sawyer, Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer, and Stacy Wells. The authors reside in Oklahoma, Texas, and California.

Stories by Choctaw Women contains a range of genres, including fiction, both historical and contemporary; nonfiction essays; family letters, and poetry. A glimpse at the variety includes:

  • “Influenza!” is a short story told from the points of view of the oldest sister in two households separated by a century. Their fates are shown when the two families are afflicted by the contagious flu viruses of their eras, the Spanish Flu in 1919 and COVID in 2020.
  • “Pageant Papers” tells a mother’s story of a forgotten pageant, held at Wheelock Academy in 1932, and a 10-year search to find a record of the event.
  • “To Susan and Her Sisters,” is a glimpse into a young Choctaw girl’s coming of age in the late 1800s in Indian Territory. Told through a collection of letters, a nostalgic and heart-warming time is captured.

To follow updates on Stories by Choctaw Women, visit Choctaw social media and


Stories by Choctaw Women book

Stories by Choctaw Women is the first book published by the Choctaw Cultural Center.