This annual award, which originated as the William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America, was first presented by the Clements Center in 1999. Since 2011, the competition has been administered by the Western History Association, which solicits entries, appoints the panel of judges, and notifies the winner.
Recently renamed in honor of the Center's Founding Director and past WHA President David J. Weber (1940-2020), the competition is open to any non-fiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present, copyrighted in the previous year. The purpose of the prize is to promote fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The author will receive $2,500 and an invitation to give the annual David J. Weber Prize Lecture at Southern Methodist University. The author need not be a citizen or resident of the United States; the book need not be published in the United States.