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San Diego Book Awards Given Out Over The Weekend

Laurel Corona Takes Top Prize

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with one of the winners from the San Diego Book Awards.


The 18th Annual San Diego Book Awards were held over the weekend to honor both published and unpublished authors from the San Diego area. Here are the winners.

The San Diego Book Award Association hands out awards in more than two dozen categories ranging from chap books to novels to unpublished memoirs. New this year was Kids Write, an award to encourage young authors. The first winners were: Julia Situ's "Could It Be Magic?;" Cody Clements' "What’s Mine is Mine, What’s Flametongue;" Brian Wang's "Yours is Mine."

Also new is the category for Unpublished Children’s and Young Adult Novels that went to Kelly Hayes' "Keepers." Laurel Corona took the night's top prize, the Geisel Award, for her historical fiction "Finding Emilie."

"It's astonishing," Corona says, "I can't believe it. Every time I have entered a book I've won, it's been amazing. It's great because so much of the time it's so discouraging to be writing these days, it's hard to sell a book for publication, once it's published its hard to get good sales, it's just a difficult and often discouraging environment for writers so to have somebody say, 'No really, you're really good,' is something that any author would really love to hear."

She add that the idea of the San Diego Book Awards is "to get people who write and who live in this area to bring their books forward to be looked at by an editorial committee and then they make the decision about which ones they consider the best in a number of categories, both published and unpublished. It is a way of honoring the people who are writing in San Diego County."

Corona was not at the ceremony but in Santa Barbara for a writer's conference. This is the second time she's won the Geisel Award.

Here is the complete list of winners.

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