Awards

The success of CWC is dependent on the dedication of many hardworking members. We recognize exceptional service of our volunteers through these two awards:

  • Ina Coolbrith Awards
  • Jack London Awards

Ina Coolbrith Award

Periodically, the CWC Central Board bestows the Ina Coolbrith Award to honor a member for exemplary service to CWC and/or the Central Board.

  • 2021: Rusty LaGrange
  • 2019: Donna McCrohan-Rosenthal
  • 2018: David George
  • 2017: Bob Isbill
  • 2016: Ray Malus
  • 2014: Robert Garfinkle
  • 2013: Dave La Roche
  • 2011: Kelly Harrison
  • 2009: Joyce Krieg
  • 2007: Casey Wilson
  • 2006: Barbara Truax
  • 2005: Betty Freeman
  • 2004: Ruth Theodos

 

Jack London Award

Every other year, each CWC branch may nominate one member to receive a Jack London Award in recognition of outstanding service to the organization.

The award honors a member whose service to the CWC and/or a branch has been exemplary. The merit of the award is in the service, independent of writing accomplishments. It is not mandatory that a branch designate a recipient simply because theopportunity exists.  The CWC president bestows the awards at the annual corporate meeting.

The Jack London Service Award and the Ina Coolbrith Award are considered the highest honors bestowed upon a member by CWC.

Jack London Award (2015-2021)

 Branch 2021 2019 2017 2015
Berkeley Karma Bennett Kristen Caven
Central Coast Clarissa Conn Laurie Sheehan Leslie Patiño
Coastal Dunes Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
East Sierra John E. Anderson Juliane DiBlasi Black Daniel Stallings
Fremont Jan Small Shirley Ferrante Arthur Carey
High Desert Dr. Mary Langer Thompson Jenny Margotta Dwight Norris
Inland Empire Sam Nichols
Long Beach Frank Kerns Allene Symons
Marin John Byrne Barry Joan Steidinger
Mt. Diablo Marlene Dotterer Elisabeth Tuck Barbara Bentley
Napa Sarita Lopez
North State Kathleen Hiatt
Orange County Jonathan Yanez Jeanette Fratto
Redwood Robbi Sommers Bryant Sandy Baker Jeane Slone
Sacramento Jenifer Rowe Gini Grossenbacher  Steve Liddick
San Fernando Rita Keeley Brown Mary R. Freeman
SF/Peninsula Laurel Ann Hillr Bill Baynes Carole J. Bumpus
San Joaquin Anthony Marinelli June Gillam
South Bay Carolyn Donnell Sally A. Minor Colin Seymour
Tri-Valley Patricia Boyle G. Karl Kumfert Deborah Jordan Bernal Paula Chinick
Writers of Kern Janet D. Skirbinski Dan McGuire Dennis I. VanderWerff
Writers of Mendocino Amie McGee Doug Fortier

 

Jack London Award (2007-2013)

 Branch 2013 2011 2009 2007
Berkeley Linda Brown David Baker Anne Fox Lucille Bellucci
Central Coast Joyce Krieg Harold Grice Ken Jones Walter Gourlay
East Sierra Margaret Luebs Stephen J. Wersan Allison Aubin
Fremont Carol Lee Hall Myrla Raymundo Robert A. Garfinkle
High Desert Roberta L. Smith Carol Warren Robert D. Isbill
Inland Empire Laura Hoopes Sharon Herdina Libby Grandy Kathyrn Wilkens
Long Beach Liv Elin Haugland Kathryn Atkins Anne Margis
Marin Tanya Egan Gibson Cindy A. Pavlinac
Mt. Diablo Judith Marshall David George Joanne Brown Camille Minichino
Orange County Carol Lee Hall Pamela Tallman Darlene Lindouer
Redwood Linda Loveland Reid Linda C. McCabe Karen L. Batchelor Catherine Keegan
Sacramento Kimberly A. Edwards Margie Yee Webb Julie Bauer Grace Ertel
San Fernando Andrea Polk Ray Malus Cara Alson
SF/Peninsula Bardi Rosman Koodrin Ann Foster Tory Hartmann
South Bay Marjorie Bicknell Johnson Dick Amyx Dave LaRoche Victoria Burlew
Tri-Valley Violet Carr Moore Lani Longshore Kathy Urban Sue Tasker
West Valley Kathy Highcove
Writers of Kern Annis Cassells Dana Martin Sandy Moffett Joe Tomasi

 

Jack London Award (2002-2005)

Through 2005, the Jack London Awards were given every year.

 Branch 2005 2004 2003 2002
Berkeley Virginia K. Anderson Caroline Ahlswede Sarah Clark
Central Coast Pat Matuszewski
East Sierra Liz Babcock Holly Cooley Donna McCrohan Rosenthal Judy Martin
High Desert George Gracyk
Inland Empire S. Kay Murphy Cyndy Largarticha Laura Slattery
Marin Tom Brown Priscilla Royal Barbara Truax
Mt. Diablo Al Villaire Danard Emmanuelson Jack Russ Denise Kalm
Orange County John P. Farmer Dave Cunningham Carol Celeste AlleneSymons
Redwood Mary Rosenthal Gil Mansergh Nadenia Newkirk
Sacramento Mike Finch Tom Adams
San Fernando Art Yuwiler Elaine Shevin Jo-ed Griffith Lenora Smalley
SF/Peninsula Jana McBurney-Lin Teresa LeYung Ryan Sue Okasanen Jean Rieth
South Bay Carolyn Downey Beth Proudfoot Carol Wood Bill Baldwin
Writers of Kern Terry Redman Camille Gavin Beth Davisson Maggie Caldwell-Smith

 

Jack London Award (1998-2001)

 Branch 2001 2000 1999 1998
Berkeley Linda Thorlakson W. E. Reinka
East Sierra Curt Danhauser Judy Dutcher Rlee Peters Casey Wilson
High Desert Teri Lucia Liz Pinto Wilma Willis Gore
Inland Empire Gladys Hotchkiss
Mt. Diablo Al Garratto Beverly Lauderdale Liz Pentacoff Raymond Martell
Orange County Ralph Eden
Redwood Barbara Truax
Sacramento Marsha Porter Dee Porter
San Fernando Dean Stewart Valley Dave Wetterberg Ethelann Pemberton Ken Wilkins
SF/Peninsula Mariann Jackson Jean Rieth
South Bay Edie Matthews Susan Mueller Beverly Morgan Tina Farrell
Writers of Kern Peg Connolly Helen Shanley Jim Imel Barbara Nelson

 

Jack London Award (1991-1997)

Branch 1997 1995 1993 1991
Berkeley Alexandra Gautraud Julian Adams Willie Rose Caryl Hansen
High Desert Carol Bachofner J’Amy Pacheco Ruth Theodos
Inland Empire Gladys Hotchkiss
Mt. Diablo Joan Brennan Pat Edwards Ted Fuller Mercedes Gardner
Redwood Mary C. Varley Mildred Fish Alla Crone (Hayden) Waldo T. Boyd
Sacramento Charles Pettingell Beth Tigner Bill Holden Elisabeth Tigner
San Fernando Judith Presnall Diana Johnson Margie Davidson Yolanda Fintor
SF/Peninsula Christina Ashton Ellen Macaulay Barbara Foley James McLaughlin
South Bay Susan Edwards Pat St.Lawrence Karen E. Hinger Tom Mach
Writers of Kern Barbara Gabel

 

Jack London Award (1983-1989)

Branch 1989 1987 1985 1983
Berkeley John Campbell Bruce Cecilia Bartholomew Jessie Scanlan Ray Faraday Nelson
High Desert Carol Bachofner J’Amy Pacheco Ruth Theodos
Inland Empire Gladys Hotchkiss
Mt. Diablo Helen McGrath Pat Edwards Ted Fuller
Peninsula Mary Collins Dunne Emily Hallin Marie L. Nunn Laura Raef
Redwood Mary Priest Margaret Scariano Ruth Irma Walker Inman Whipple
Sacramento Marilyn Smith Beth Tigner Joseph McCall Bud Gardner
San Fernando Betty Freeman Joan Jones
South Bay Madge Saksena

 

Jack London Award (1975-1981)

Branch 1981 1979 1977 1975
Berkeley Ruth Atkinson (Heady)  Cleone Montgomery  Lloyd Eric Reeve
Peninsula Beatrice Warren  Alice Kennedy  Dorothy Dowdell  Louise Boggess
Redwood Pat Patterson  Peggy Ray  Dianne Kurlfinke  Helene Schellenberg (Barnhart)
Sacramento Bernice Curler  Irene Donelson  Edwin Rosenberg  Gladys Morse

 

Jack London Award (1973)

  • Berkeley— Margaret Kelley
  • Peninsula— RutherfordMontgomery
  • Sacramento— Lorena Olmsted

 

 


Ina Coolbrith Award Winners

Robert Garfinkle (2014)

Bob Garfinkle (Fremont) is a long- time member of California Writer’s Club and a lifetime member. He has dedicated a tremendous amount of his time and talent to CWC and continues the work of 19th/20th -century California poet Ina Coolbrith who encouraged new writers through her literary salons.

Like Ina Coolbrith, Bob encourages new writers at club meetings. Like Ina Coolbrith who was President of the Congress of Authors and Journalists, Bob was president of Fremont Area Writers and California Writers Club. Like Ina Coolbrith who was a celebrated poet and author, Bob is an internationally known author of astronomy books and scientific journal articles. Like Ina Coolbrith who was active in her community as an Oakland librarian, Bob was active in the community as Union City Council Member. Like Ina Coolbrith, Bob has demonstrated his love of writing through his active support of CWC.

His achievements include: Central Board representative for the South Bay branch from 2003-2007, formed the new Fremont Area Writers Branch and served as president, launched the Annual CWC picnic and chaired it for several years, and was on the staff of South Bay Writers’ East of Eden Writer Conference from 2004 to 2008. Springer Publishing recently released his chef d’oeuvre on astronomy, Luna Cognita, (Known Moon)

When asked why he gives so much of his busy life to CWC, he responded, “I enjoy the camaraderie of working with other writers. I guess I just like writers.”

Dave La Roche (2013)

Dave received the Ina Coolbrith Award for serving as the Bylaws and Policy Chair, 2007 through the present. He also established the e-business forum, and wrote the associated operating procedure. He founded the NorCal Group of the CWC, a northern California regional association of branches intent upon promoting Club interests, addressing branch leadership needs, and augmenting members’ interest in writing. He chaired NorCal for its initial three years, and he conceived of and established the Publishing Pathways program, a resource for new writers faced with myriad publishing questions and dozens of pitfalls when wanting to publish their books. He created and developed the Literary Review, and serves as its managing editor.

After numerous credits accumulated in majors from engineering through a political science and pre-law curriculum at several Midwest universities, Dave earned a BS in Business Management from San Jose State. With work, a similar path of various employments ended his career in Aerospace middle management with Ford Aerospace then Loral Systems. His writing career began late in this journey, only after, he would say, sufficient experience to know what and why he was putting to paper. He has written about 20 short stories, published a dozen or more, and has completed the first draft of his first novel, Ordinary Times. Dave’s credo with regard to writing goes something like this: “Live before you write. Words belong to any of us but stories are the product of life.”

Kelly Harrison (2011)

An instructor at San Jose State University, Kelly received the Ina Coolbrith Award for her work editing the fifth edition of West Winds Centennial, a collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by members of the California Writers Club. The first West Winds, a hardcover collection of fiction, was published in 1914 and illustrated by California artists. Follow-up editions were published in 1925, 1931, and 1989. West Winds Centennial is the fifth edition.

Kelly has been an active member of CWC since 2007. She co-directed the East of Eden Writers Conference in 2008 with fellow CWC member Edie Matthews. It drew 300 attendees, and featured workshops, agents, publishers, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jane Smiley. After a successful career in technical writing, she started teaching technical writing in 1999. She earned her MFA in 2005 and currently teaches creative and technical writing. She is also a past director of the Center for Literary Arts, an organization that brings noted authors to campus, and is present director of Writing Programs at San Jose State University.

 Joyce Krieg (2009)

Joyce considers her biggest and most important CWC achievement to be rekindling awareness of our connection to Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, of the planting of Writers Memorial Grove, and of the construction of the Cascades and Woodminster Amphitheater. This impressive CWC project had almost been lost in the mists of time until Joyce did her own research and brought it to the attention of the Central Board and to the general membership in The Bulletin. Thanks to her efforts, CWC now has a permanent display commemorating our centennial at the ranger station at Joaquin Miller Park.

Joyce was not even a member of California Writers Club when she agreed to help the Central Coast branch with their newsletter in October 2004. Since then, Joyce has joined CWC and has held almost every office and committee chair at her branch: newsletter editor, membership chair, program chair, workshop chair, and treasurer. She culminated her career with Central Coast by serving as president in 2011-2012, and continues to serve as her branch’s Central Board representative. Also very active at the state level, Joyce currently serves as secretary to the Central Board and chair of the CWC NorCal Group, as well as being editor of the CWC Bulletin.

 Casey Wilson (2007)

 Casey edited the first CWC branch anthology, Images; was a founding member of the East Sierra branch; and served as president of the California Writers Club corporate central board of directors first from 1999 to 2002 and again from 2008 to 2010. With Barbara Truax, he created and codified the CWC Policies and Procedures.

 After 37 years working for the federal government, Casey changed careers in May 1993 to become a full-time freelance writer. His first commercial publication appeared in the January 1969 issue of Electronics World. Since 1993, his articles and photographs have come out in newspapers and several national magazines. He has written scripts for and worked as production manager for television public service announcements. In addition to his writing, he teaches writing and photography workshops

 Barbara Truax (2006)

 Barbara has served on the Central Board as president, secretary, and membership chair. In 2003, during her presidency, a California State Assembly Legislative Resolution declared the third week of October as “California Writers Week.” In 1999, Barbara and other residents of Marin County formed the CWC Marin branch. In 2010, Marin branch received a Marin County Board of Supervisors Resolution recognizing the third week in October as “California Writers Week.”

Barbara writes short stories, articles and flash fiction. She believes in the durability of the written word, the impact on the reader, and the responsibility of the writer to make the connection. Her favorite quotation: “Planning to write is not writing. Outlining…researching…talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.”  — E. L. Doctorow

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