The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism created the special designation, “Flint Hills Balladeer” for Annie Wilson, "for her honorable endeavors to share the beauty of the Kansas Flint Hills through words and music, to inspire an abiding love for the Kansas Flint Hills, and to enhance and elevate the quality of life for those who call the Flint Hills home."  The Kansas Governor personally presented the award to Annie at a Flint Hills conference in 2013.

The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas conducts its New Songs Contest each year for songwriters from across the US, with 8 different categories according to song theme. 

Annie has entered every year.  When she wins a first place, she and band members or friends get to perform the winning song on a main stage during the Festival (and on Stage 11 Songwriters Stage).  2020 was a virtual performance.  

  • 2014 - 1st Place in Humor: "Dung Beetle Bill"  and 2nd place in Other: "Wife Who Works in Town" 
  • 2015 - 1st Place in Children's Song: "Doggie Paradise" ; 2nd place in Feeling Blue: "Stopping by the Homestead Ruins" 
  • 2016 - 1st Place in Religion or Spirit:  “Pocket World" 
  • 2017 - 1st Place in Humor: "Turkey Buzzard Bob" 
  • 2018 - 2nd Place in Love Songs: "Honeysuckle Morning"; 2nd Place in Children's Songs: "Wisper Lullaby” (co-writer Jerilynn Henrikson) 
  • 2019 - 1st Place in Better World: "Country Wave" 
  • 2020 - 1st Place in Other: "Coyote Serenade"; 1st Place in Better World: "Land of the Great Osage" (video) ; 2nd Place in Children's Songs: "Daisy the Bucket Calf"
  • 2021 - 1st Place in Children’s Songs: “Runaway Nell”; 2nd Place in Religion or Spirit: "Healing Horizon"; 2nd Place in Love Songs: “Our Forever’s a Little Bit Late”; 2nd Place in Feeling Blue: “Missed Too Many Moons”
  • 2022 - 1st place in Memories:  "Saloon Girls," and 1st place in Children's Songs:  "Don't Be a Cowbird"
  • 2023 - 1st place in Other: "Switchboard Operator"


The Santa Fe Trail Association designated Annie Wilson's song "Trail to Santa Fe" as the Official Song of the Santa Fe Trail Association

Dave Kendall created a music video with historical and contemporary images to illustrate the song, “Trail to Santa Fe.”  See VIDEOS

The Symphony in the Flint Hills published the lyrics of “Trail to Santa Fe” as the first article in their 2020 Field Journal focused on the theme - 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail.  They also created a music video of aerial drone images of remnant trail ruts throughout the Flint Hills. 

Listen & see lyrics and video on our Song Page for “Trail to Santa Fe."



The Flint Hills Discovery Center presented its 2020 "Friend of the Flint Hills" award to Annie Wilson and Emily Connell for their Flint Hills Map & Education Program.  

This project installed map 
exhibits of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie along with learning resources to over 183 Flint Hills region schools reaching 114,000 students.

Their goal was to give children pride and knowledge of their special home - the Flint Hills.

For more  info , see THE FLINT HILLS