Sylvia Spotlights: Writing, Women, and the Big "What-ifs"

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San Diego Book Awards Celebrates Homegrown Talent

San Diego Book Awards

San Diego Book Awards brought out “Best of the Best,” including Jean Forsythe, VP and presenter

Homegrown talent was celebrated big time on Saturday night, June 9 at the San Diego Book Awards Banquet! I was thrilled, humbled, honored to be the keynote speaker. As always when surrounded by such motivated writers/authors, I was inspired.  Host/emcee Bruno Leone was an absolute delight, ad- libbing, dropping trivia, telling great jokes. He set a great tone for the night. New for the first time was a “Kids Write” category for young writers ages 10-13. Cody Clements, Julia Situ, and Brian Wang were the finalists; Julia went on to win first!

San Diego Book Awards

RWA-SD President, Lisa Kessler, took first place at the San Diego Book Awards banquet for her book, Night Walker.

The Romance Writers of America, San Diego chapter, was well represented. RWASD President Lisa Kessler took first in the Sci-fi/Fantasy Category for Night Walker. RWASD member, Kelly Hayes took first in unpublished YA for her novel, Keepers. The judges were kept busy all these months reading many, many entries in about 20 different categories.

San Diego Book Awards

San Diego Book Awards Host, Bruno Leone, and Guest Speaker, Sylvia Mendoza

Then I think of how beautifully the event played out. It was a red carpet event, made possible only by all committee members and volunteers who worked behind the scenes. Jean Forsythe, committee chair was fantastic. Lisa took good care of me and many authors; Kate created the amazing Power Point; then there was Marcy who helped signing authors feel at home,

Johnnierenee Nia Nelson, who works with kids’ reading programs and all the judges who read many, many entries. There were many others involved who deserve kudos. too. Thank you!

San Diego Book Awards

San Diego Book Awards launched new category–Kids Write–for writers age 10-13. The first finalists included Cody Clements, Julia Situ, and Brian Wang.

I was thrilled to meet new authors (new to me) like Stacey and John Holley, who wrote Medals, Flags and Memories, dedicated to their son who was killed in Iraq. As they dealt with their indescribable pain, their heart wrenching journey led them to help other military families facing loss–by ensuring fallen soldiers are brought home with dignity and respect.

San Diego Book Awards

RWASD–Romance Writers of America, San Diego chapter–had great presence at the San Diego Book Awards–and 2 members took first place in their categories–Lisa Kessler & Kelly Hayes!

The Power of the Written Word. Healing and inspirational all at once.  What a red carpet night, surrounded by the magic and power of the written word. Congratulations to all brave souls who submitted to the competition, all who were recognized, and all who made it possible. Onward!


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