At the July 31 meeting of the central board, members
of the California
|The California Writers
Club (CWC) announced 15 recipients of its prestigious Jack London Award
at the biennial Jack London Awards Luncheon on July 31, 2011 in Oakland,
CA. These honors, established in 1973, recognize dedication “above and
beyond” to the organization. The governing body of the CWC presents them
to exceptional members nominated by their branch peers.
Keynote speaker Susan Snyder, head of public service at The Bancroft Library at the University of California and author of “Beyond Words, 200 Years of Illustrated Diaries” just released by Heyday Books, discussed the Bancroft’s collection of CWC documents. Her comments on club history and heritage gave added context to the contributions of the 2011 awardees.
California Writers Club president Robert Garfinkle and Jack London Awards chair Nancy Curteman conducted the ceremony, acknowledging the following recipients:
Dick Amyx. South Bay Writers wholeheartedly nominates Dick Amyx as our 2011 Jack London Award winner. As we “sail on” pursuing our mission, Dick has been a stalwart, insightful participant in moving us forward.
Dick led our Anthology team, overseeing and directing efforts that culminated in the branch’s first anthology. Who Are Our Friends?, published in our centennial year, was a big effort and all of us cheer, “very well done.”
For three years he served on our Board of Directors, a smart man with a prudent approach—pointing out the blind spots, otherwise eluding us, and assisting in avoiding the downside results. When he saw an inequity, financial risk or better opportunity, he announced it and with aplomb he argued his point. At the same time Dick was collaborative, engaging and a practical force, urging with reason the upside that has brought us success.
When asked, Dick easily stepped into one of the most important roles a branch has—that of newsletter editor. From October 2007 through October 2010, he maintained a team, saw to the schedule, motivated his contributors and produced a newsletter the branch was quite proud of, and WritersTalk for three years, reflected the best of our branch. He continued an outreach and grew contributions with various techniques including theme issues and the semiannual “Challenge.” A twenty-page issue was usual, with a majority of content submitted by non-editing members.
During our run at the 2010 EoE Writers Conference, Dick served as kibitzer on our committee. He helped us organize, suggested process, and advised with regard to publicity; and as we barreled headlong into the State’s economic recession, unemployment of over 12%, he helped put on the brakes, was hard on the pedal and saved the branch good bit of money, not to mention a load of credibility.
South Bay Writers is proud to nominate Dick Amyx this year, for the California Writers Club prestigious Jack London Award.
Anthology team leader
Kathryn Atkins. Jack London winner Kathryn Atkins brings energy and creativity, along with an outgoing personality and strong background in marketing, to every task when working on behalf of CWC Long Beach. In her role as vice president, membership chair, and newsletter editor of Currents, her tireless effort has enabled the branch to begin, survive and thrive. Kathryn, whose poem "Piano Hands" was chosen for West Winds Centennial, describes herself this way: "I’m a late bloomer. Not exactly a Grandma Moses late, but late. I started writing seriously at age 53 when I took a UCI extension class and then a writing workshop. Having collected a BS in Marketing and an MBA both from Cal Berkeley back in my twenties, I had starved my muse for many years. The professional writing corner turned for me when I took the writing books’ advice to heart, studied a few of our local rags, and pitched the editors...just like they said to do, and voilà. I penned a column in the Orange County Register for a year and a half until the section I wrote for folded. A few more articles for business magazines eventually landed me not only the consulting job I have today, which includes gobs of writing, but also, I’m certain, the teaching gig I had at Cypress College last fall. It all counts. In sum, business is my game, writing is my aim, and I’ve happily blended the two with my current job. Another positive is that I get to give back to our writing community through my work with California Writers Club. How lucky can I be?
David Baker. During the mid-1980s, after receiving an MA from San Francisco State, David co-authored two U.S. History textbooks for eighth-graders, one published by Addison-Wesley, the other by Globe-Fearon. He then went to live in Japan, where he had been an undergraduate, and worked as a contributing editor and translator at a bi-monthly magazine read mostly by high-school students learning English. In his spare time, he wrote The Obligation, a suspense novel he is now rewriting.
David returned to the Bay Area in 1998 and joined CWC-Berkeley. His articles introducing monthly-meeting speakers have appeared in Write Angles, the branch’s newsletter, since January, 2002. For the past seven years, he has also led the branch’s Critique/Support Group, whose members were helpful when he wrote Soldiers of the Covenant, a second suspense novel, in which a skeptic and an evangelical confront an underground militia preparing for the end of days. The manuscript is currently being evaluated by two agents and one editor.
When David isn’t writing, he joins his wife Koko for hikes in the Sierra or for treks—to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal, around Mont Blanc, up the West Highland Way in Scotland. He has discovered over the years that problem sentences depriving him of sleep improve along the trail.
Foster is the 2011 CWC San Francisco/Peninsula branch’s recipient of the
Jack London Award for her generous service to the club. Ann joined CWC
in 2007. She has worked tirelessly, usually wearing several hats. Her
contributions are too numerous to list entirely, but Ann has served
multiple terms as treasurer. She has been the branch’s representative to
the Central Board. When no one else could take over membership chair
duties, Ann stepped up. She has run meetings when the president and vice
president were unavailable. She has judged writing contests.
Ann was born in La Marque, Texas. As a teenager, Ann moved with her parents and two brothers to Fort Worth. She earned a B.A. in English at the University of Texas, Arlington.
Ann is passionate about chocolate to the point that she makes her own chocolate syrup. She likes wildflower walks. She loves a good book but prefers (usually) her husband, Bruce. They both like traveling and visiting museums. And as many club members know already, Ann very much enjoys horseback riding.
In her day job, Ann teaches adults reentering the workforce.
On top of all this, Ann is a gifted writer. She writes fiction and narrative non-fiction.
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Tanya Egan Gibson. A charter member of Marin branch, Tanya exemplifies the phrase, “hard working volunteer.” She has served on the Marin branch board in a variety of capacities but her forte has been her job as Program Chair, bringing notable speakers to Marin branch meetings from all over the Bay Area. Wherever she goes, she promotes the branch and California Writers Club. She is also our networking guru, giving freely of her time and expertise, helping individuals and participating in branch workshops. She stimulates Marin branch members with great ideas, a positive attitude and an energetic look at the creative process of writing and the dynamics of networking.
A best selling author and busy mom, Tanya always seems to find the time to help, whether it’s a phone/email consultation, posting on our Facebook page, or mentoring members.
Marin branch is honored to have Tanya Egan Gibson as a member and as our 2011 Jack London Award recipient.
Harold Grice is one of
those hard-working and generous volunteers who is always there when CentralCoast Writers needs him the most. He served two terms as
president of the branch, and then graciously agreed to come back as
vice-president when no one else would take the job. He has
single-handedly revived Central Coast’s tradition of Saturday workshops,
providing an income stream and source of new members, as well as
carrying out our educational mission. Whether it’s presiding over the
barbecue at our summer picnic or donating his own private-label wine for
our Christmas potluck, Harold is always ready to step in and help
where needed. Harold is working on a
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George is the
CWC Mt. Diablo Branch Jack London award winner for 2011.
David George is a recent Mt. Diablo Branch Past-President of the California Writers Club and is serving his third year as Vice President of the State CWC Organization. He has also served on the board and as an officer of the CWC Berkeley Branch. In various branch-and state-level capacities, David has continuously served the CWC since 2004, including as Branch Representative, NorCal Group representative, Vice President, and President, and as a State CWC Director, Vice President, State Membership Chair, Acting President, Central Board Online Forum Moderator, and a member of nearly every Central Board sub-committee.
David has written over 50 short stories and poems and has been published in creative writing venues and newspapers. Mr. George's short stories have won awards, including Best Short Story, Jack London Writing Contest. One of his modern-day fables about the natural world, "The Acorn" was selected for inclusion in the "CWC Westwinds Centennial" anthology. A novel exploring his Irish family roots is in progress.
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Sharon Herdina. The
Inland Empire executive board was unanimous in its nomination of Sharon Herdina for the 2010 Jack London Award. A member since 2006, Sharon has
served as historian, as chair of the scholarship committee, and most
recently as Programs chair. Sharon has done a yeoman job in every
capacity, working tirelessly in service to the branch. Last year she put
together a wonderful program of speakers for our meetings. She also
helped coordinate additional activities such as our very successful
Writing Day and our holiday gift-wrapping event at Borders.
Sharon studied speech pathology at Illinois State University and Cal State L.A. Although she is semi-retired, her services are still sought after at respected institutions such as Casa Colina, and she has many appreciative students.
For many years Sharon has written poetry for special occasions for family and friends. Another of her specialties is the memoir, which features coming-of-age pieces about life in the Midwest. In addition to her delightful poetry and her warm smile, Sharon always brings something special to the table at our CWC functions—her fabulous desserts!
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Lani Longshore, a founding member of the CWC Tri-Valley Branch, has been a vibrant and vital part of the branch since its charter in 2006. She has continuously been on the board, first serving as secretary and then as treasurer, even though she’s the first to admit that she hates to balance her checkbook. The following year she was a dynamic president who brought humor and snippets about writing to every meeting. Lani chairs the anthology committee and maintains the website. Her endless enthusiasm for the branch and the welfare of its members is like an everlasting beacon of light.
In her personal life, Lani has been a
quilter for over twenty years. She writes quilting musical comedy, sings
and dances as part of the two-person Broken Dishes Repertory Theater,
and is writing a science fiction novel – Death by Chenille –
about quilters saving the world. Her endless desire to share her
quilting knowledge with others takes her to the Federal Correctional
Institution in Dublin twice a month to teach quilting to inmates. When
she isn’t writing or quilting, you can find Lani practicing karate .
Watch out, she’s a third-degree black belt!
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Malus was raised and educated in New York City. He ‘dropped out’ of his
college junior year, hit the road with a traveling band, and became a
variety performer. He settled in the San Fernando Valley in 1970.
Malus has had careers as a nightclub entertainer, computer systems administrator, university course chair, software designer/programmer, choral conductor, composer, actor, director — and, now, writer.
“I just followed my curiosity,” he says. “I never chased money — just went where my interest called me. Somehow the bills got paid.”
Primarily a playwright (he’s had seven produced), Malus also writes novels, poetry, short stories, memoirs and essays.
“I love to write and I’ll write anything I think people will read.”
For the past two years, Malus has been the San Fernando Valley Branch’s newsletter editor, its webmaster, and its pre-session leader. In addition, he was a member of the team that managed the Branch’s reinstatement several years ago.
Asked to comment on the award, he says, “I can’t minimize my contributions without diminishing the award itself, so I’ll just say, ‘Sincere thanks.’”
His advice to other writers?
“Always be truthful. And always write as though you’ll be read by someone you want to seduce.”
Stephanie Sharf summed up Ray’s contributions to their branch this way: "Ray is our pre-session leader at each meeting, Scribe editor, and webmaster. In addition, he was a member of the team that put our branch "back together" a couple years ago, and he arranged for our current meeting place at the Church. Personally, I can’t think of anyone more dedicated to the branch than Ray is, as evidenced by the time he puts in to help."
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Dana Martin. Writers of Kern is recommending Dana Martin as our nominee for the 2011 Jack London Award. As President, Dana has worked tirelessly to grow the size and skill of our club. In addition to utilizing traditional methods of recruitment, Dana has spearheaded efforts to use social media sites to publicize our club and bring together a very talented, diverse group of writers. The results have been dramatic – meetings once sparsely attended are now overflowing with writers. New critique groups are regularly forming as existing groups become full.
More importantly, Dana has made it her mission to push every writer to their fullest potential. Through her formal duties as facilitator of our monthly meetings, as well as more informal efforts (such as e-mails, text messaging, etc.), Dana relentlessly encourages each member of our club to improve their craft and set aside the time necessary to develop it. The result – more writers are finishing and submitting projects, and more writers are getting published.
Outside of her Writers of Kern duties, Dana Martin is an award-winning writer and editor. She has been published four times in Chicken Soup for the Soul, several times in Woman's World Magazine, 60+ articles for a local citizen journalism publication, and is a regular contributor to Bakersfield Life Magazine. She also spends free time speaking to local groups on writing as a career and to elementary schools about going to college to become a writer.
Linda C. McCabe received a master’s degree as an historian of science from Sonoma State University, and loves to travel. To aid in the research of the writing of her epic historic fantasy set in the time of Charlemagne, she spent a month in France scouring museums in Paris and trekking through medieval hilltop villages in the Midi-Pyrenees.
She has been a member of the California Writers Club for more than a decade and was on the RW Board for 7 years during which she served as Treasurer, Membership Chair, Vice President for 2 years, and President for 2 years. She has served as Speaker Coordinator for a total of 5 years and holds that position currently.
Her first novel, Quest of the Warrior Maid is scheduled to be published in Spring 2011 from Destrier Books. She has had opinion/editorials published in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Los Angeles Times and essays published in several of the Redwood Writers' Vintage Voices anthologies as well as the Centennial Edition of the California Writers Club Anthology West Winds.
Myrla Raymundo is a Charter Member and Secretary of the
Fremont Area Writers Club. She is in charge of the smooth operation of
the Board Meetings and the General Membership Meetings. She prepares
agendas and minutes, handles incoming and outgoing correspondence and
maintains the administrative files.
Warren has been a HD CWC member since 2005. She is a retired
Registered Nurse, who completed almost forty years of service in the
field, the last thirteen being spent as a hospice nurse.
Carol was born in Maywood, Illinois, and married Bill Warren, a member of the United States Air Force, in 1964. They have resided in California off and on since 1968. The Warrens have two grown children, three grandchildren and two (twins) great-grandchildren.
Carol Warren is an accomplished volunteer, and still finds time to do work for the hospice organization.
Carol served one year as HD CWC secretary, and for two years, 2008-2010, as president. She led the first of our critique groups that formed in 2009, and has been club hostess, membership chairman, greeter, and all-around enthusiast for the High Desert Branch. Carol Warren, with her positive, friendly personality, is hugely responsible for so much of the growth of our CWC branch.
The selection of Carol for our Jack London recipient for 2011 is due to her dedication and hard work on behalf of our members.
Carol is currently our SoCal Rep as well as State Representative, and holds the office of Central Board Secretary.
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Yee Webb joined the California Writers Club in 2006 while
working on a book inspired by her cat Mulan. Months later she accepted
the nomination for Sacramento branch president, wanting an opportunity
to help the club and build her platform.
Margie served as president (2007-2011), Central Board Representative, Member-at-Large (2008-2010), and NorCal Representative.
She is proud of the successes during her tenure, especially with public relations, open mic, and community events. One of this year’s highlights: the branch participated with the Sacramento Public Library in the Sacramento County Fair. The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Magazine, and Sacramento Press wrote about the club (http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org/news/cwc-sacto/).
In March 2011, Margie published Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings: Insight and Inspiration for a Wonderful Life, a gift book for cat lovers and their finicky friends! On July 4, the Sacramento Bee wrote: “The El Dorado Hills writer-photographer imparts words of wisdom, accented with pictures of her rescue cat.” She donates a portion of sales to animal welfare organizations.
Honored to receive the Jack London Award, Margie plans to continue her work to spotlight the club and members through community events and affiliations with Northern California Publishers & Authors and Women’s National Book Association–San Francisco Chapter.
Margie is a member of the Cat Writers' Association since July 2011.
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|Dick Amyx -
Kathryn Atkins - David
Baker - Ann Foster -
Tanya Egan Gibson - Harold Grice -
David George -
- Lani Longshore - Ray Malus - Dana Martin - Linda McCabe - Myra Raymundo - Carol Warren - Margie Yee Webb
|Return to California Writers Club Main Page|