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Odin Award Winners


In the forty-fiveyears since the Guild was founded, it has recognized twenty-six people for their body of work or their contributions to the San Diego writing community. 

The Guild's Odin Award, recognizes authors for being major stimulators of the writing arts of the San Diego community or their excellent progress in writing as evidenced by their body of published work. The Odin Award represents the origin of writing. In the words of Lord Russell: [writing is the] “wisdom of many and the wit of one.” As researched by Guild member John Scott Alexander, the word “write” came from the English word “writan,” originally meaning “to scratch runes into bark.” A rune is a letter or character of the earliest alphabet in use among the Gothic tribes of northern Europe. Runic inscriptions most commonly occurred in Scandinavia and parts of the British Isles. Rune is related to the Old Norse word “run” or “secret,” and the word is also applied to ancient lore or poetry expressed in runes, as well as secrecy, charms, and divination. Odin, a Scandinavian given god-like stature for his wisdom, poetry, war, and agriculture, was also a master of magic. Odin is given credit for discovering the runes and introducing knowledge of rune writing.

In recognition of being major stimulators of the writing arts of the San Diego community or their excellent progress in writing as evidenced by their body of published work, SDWEG selects and annual Odin Award Winner. Past winners of this award have been:

Steve Breen   -   David Brin   -   Marc Chery  -  Chet Cunningham   -   Judy Cullins 

Michael Steven Gregory   -   Bob Holt  -   Betty Jurus   -   Steve Kowit 

Antoinette Kuritz   -   Richard Lederer   -   Richard Louv   -   Mike McCarthy   -   Dean Nelson

Joan Oppenheimer   -   T. Jefferson Parker   -   Yvonne Nelson Perry   -   Judy Reeves   -   Alan Russell

Arthur Salm   -   Pearl Silvernail   -   Charlotte Thompson   -   Quincy Troupe   -   Victor Villasenor

Susan Vreeland   -   Jack Webb

Awardee Bios (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

STEVE BREEN

Steve Breen  has been the nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist for the Union-Tribune since 2001.  Steve has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning twice (1998, 2009). Steve writes and illustrates picture books, some notable examples being Stick (2007), Violet The Pilot (2008), The Secret of Santa’s Island (2009), and Pug and Doug (2013).

David Brin

Author David Brin combines science and technology into his near-future works.

For more information, see David's official website.

MARC CHERY

Marc Chery modestly lists himself in his LinkedIn profile as Branch library management, community outreach, program planning, collection development, readers' advisory librarian at the San Diego Central Library. His impact on behalf of the San Diego writing community is much greater than that description implies. Marc is the man behind most of the presentations at the San Diego Central Library.

Marc was recognized as Black History Month Local Hero while he served as branch manager of the Malcolm X library, he has hosted panel discussions of local authors, and he plays a major role in the San Diego City Library's Local Author Showcase and in promoting the annual One Book, One San Diego selections.

Marc Chery modestly lists himself in his LinkedIn profile as Branch library management, community outreach, program planning, collection development, readers' advisory librarian at the San Diego Central Library. His impact on behalf of the San Diego writing community is much greater than that description implies. Marc is the man behind most of the presentations at the San Diego Central Library.

Marc was recognized as Black History Month Local Hero while he served as branch manager of the Malcolm X library, he has hosted panel discussions of local authors, and he plays a major role in the San Diego City Library's Local Author Showcase and in promoting the annual One Book, One San Diego selections.

JUDY CULLINS

Judy Cullins was recognized for her support of authors through her book coaching. More than 80 clients have worked with Judy since 1986 to get their books completed and published.

Chet Cunningham

Chet Cunningham was a long-time member of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. He published his first novel in 1968 and went on to publish nearly 300 more novels and 15 nonfiction books.

Chet Cunningham was also instrumental in establishing the San Diego Book Awards, intended to boost the reputation and prestige of authors in the San Diego area. In recognition of his contribution to the San Diego Book Awards, that organization established the Chet Cunningham Spur Award in 2017.

Michael Steven Gregory

Michael Steven Gregory, Executive Director of the Southern California Writers' Conference, is accomplished in many areas. An author, screenwriter, and filmmaker, his work can be seen on TV series and on video games.

For more information, see his website.

Bob Holt

Betty Jurus

Betty Abell Jurus, founder of the Southern California Writers’ Conference, was at least once called the Mother Superior of the San Diego writing community.

For more information about her, see "A Bit About Betty," a blog post on the Southern California Writers' Conference website by Michael Steven Gregory.

Steve Kowit

Poet Steve Kowit received many awards for his works, including poetry books used in schools from high school to university levels around the country.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in The San Diego Poetry Annual is given annual for a poem, in a contest named for Steve Kowit.

For more information, see his official website.

RICHARD LEDERER

Richard Lederer received the Odin Award at SDWEG's Fortieth Anniversary celebration in 2019.  A section of Richard's bio from verbivore.com follows:

I was the kind of child who, almost as soon as I could talk, saw a butterfly and cooed, “Oh, goody. A butterfly will flutter by.” Even as a high-school student, I knew that Elvis Presley, born three years before me, would become immortal because I saw that “Elvis Lives” is a two-word anagram.Still, I entered Haverford College as a pre-medical student but soon found that I was reading the chemistry books for their literary value. I became an English major and then attended Harvard Law School, where I found that I read the law cases for their literary value. So rather than fighting my verbivorous instincts, I switched into a Masters of Arts and Teaching program at Harvard. That led to a position at St. Paul’s School, in Concord, NH, where I taught English and media for 27 wonderful years. I would have gladly served them all their days, but my earning a Ph.D. in English and Linguistics from the University of New Hampshire inspired me to write my books on language. The enthusiastic popular response to these books, beginning with Anguished English, gave me the opportunity to leave the St. Paul’s community to extend my mission of teachership.

That’s what I do now, as a fly-by-the-roof-of-the-mouth user- friendly English teacher, Wizard of Idiom, Attila the Pun, and Conan the Grammarian.

Mike McCarthy

Richard Louv

Richard Louv, journalist and author of nine nonfiction books, also launched a movement dedicated to connecting people, especially children, to nature.

For more information, see his website.

Dean Nelson

Dean Nelson is frequently seen at local writers' events such as the La Jolla Writer's Conference and the Point Loma Writer's Symposium by the Sea held each February at Point Loma Nazarene University, an event he founded.

Joan Oppenheimer

Joan Oppenheimer is a prolific writer of books, many for a teenage audience.

T. Jefferson Parker

T. Jefferson Parker began his career in journalism where he covered the police and city hall for The Newport Ensign. Relying on those experiences, he has written a number of mysteries with police or former police as the central figures.

For more information, see his website.

Yvonne Nelson Perry

Yvonne Nelson Perry was a member of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild for many years. In addition to her short story collection, The Other Side of the Island, set in Hawai'i, she was known for her contributions to the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.

For more information, see the Santa Barbara Writers Conference website.

Judy Reeves

Judy Reeves is an author and supporter of other local authors who is a frequent speaker at events around the area, including presentations at the Guild in recent years. She established San Diego Writers, Ink, a venue for writers to meet, take classes, and network.

Arthur Salm

Arthur Salm is a former book review editor and columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He lives in San Diego, California.

Pearl Silvernail

CHARLOTTE E. THOMPSON, M.D.

Charlotte E. Thompson, M.D., is a board certified pediatrician. From 2005 to 2008, she was named each year as one of the nation's top pediatricians by the Consumer's Research Council of America. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California Medical School in San Diego and the author of ten nonfiction books.

Quincy Troupe

Local poet, Quincy Troupe, was recognized with an Odin Award for his volumes of poetry, children's books, and non-fiction works, including the biography of Miles Davis.

VICTOR VILLASENOR

Victor VillaseƱor is both an author and frequent speaker whose presentations often focus on challenges students with undiagnosed conditions such as dyslexia face.

For more information, see his website.

Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland is best know for her historical fiction. She taught English in San Diego high schools for 30 years.

For more information, see her website.

Jack Webb

Author Jack Webb was born in California and wrote fifteen novels under his own name and two pen names, John Farr and Tex Grady. He was often confused with the actor/director Jack Webb who starred in the TV series Dragnet.



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