Between the Lines – San Diego Writes

| July 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

San Diego may not be a renowned literary capital, but don’t underestimate the presence, the power, and the pens of our local scribes. Both writers and readers gathered in Torrey Pines on Saturday, June 11 for the presentation of the Seventeenth Annual San Diego Book Awards. San Diego County writers submitted approximately 230 entries, which judges narrowed down to 100 finalists and selected thirty-three award winners for the thirty categories of published and unpublished works of the past year.

The Theodor S. Geisel Award for the “Best of the Best” went to Drusilla Campbell, long-time San Diegan and current San Diego Writers, Ink president, for her novel “The Good Sister.” Campbell, who has been writing since she was a child, has three earlier novels and another one, “Little Girl Gone,” due to be released early next year.

Other fiction awards include “Cries in the Night: Mimi’s Travails” by Harold Bergsma for Best General Fiction and Ken Kuhlken’s “The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles” in the Mystery category. San Diego Writers, Ink, the hub of the local writing community, won the Anthology award for its third annual collection of story, essay and poetry selections by local writers. Other genres recognized were Action/Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, History, Science, Political/Legal, Short Story Collection, and several Children’s categories.

Two entries tied for the winning spot in General Nonfiction—Judy Reeves’ “A Writer’s Book of Days” and “Eureka!” By Marlene Wagman-Geller. Jeff Rossman was a Cookbook winner for “From Terra’s Table” (stoking my sadness at Terra Bistro’s move from Hillcrest to La Mesa—oh, that Lobster BLT). Other nonfiction winners include Tom Goad in the Business section for “The First-Time Trainer,” and in Local Interest, Nelson Copp for “Cycling the Trails of San Diego.” “Molly the Owl” by Eric Blehm, and Judith Josephson’s “Why Did Cherokees Move West?” tied for Children’s Nonfiction. Nonfiction awards were also given for Memoir, Biography, Travel, Science, Self-Help and Inspirational, and Spiritual.
A Poetry award was presented to Shabad Zeest Hashmi for “Baker of Tarifa.” In addition to these published works, recognition was also given to unpublished adult and children’s novels, short stories, memoir and poetry.

The San Diego Book Awards Association is a volunteer-operated nonprofit organization. Their primary activity is the annual awards selections and presentations, which this year set records in submissions, awards and event attendance. The organization also promotes literacy in the schools with a Read-4-Fun program that provides books to student readers.

If, as some like to say, San Diegans all spend their lives—or at least their summers—on the beach, take a closer look at those sun and surf worshippers. Many are scribbling in notebooks or pecking on laptops and iPads, producing future award winning books; others are reading their output, taking the “locavore” concept to a new level. A list of all this year’s and prior winners is available at so you too can support our local authors.

Category: Education

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