Awards and Recognition

Jack London Award | Matthews-Baldwin Award | Ina Coolbrith Award

Jack London Award

The Jack London Award is the only formal acknowledgement provided by the California Writers Club (CWC) to a CWC branch member “whose service at the branch level has been exemplary, meriting the award independent of writing accomplishments.” The honor is awarded every two years with a luncheon presentation during the July meeting of CWC’s Central Board. Each branch winner is selected by that branch’s board of directors.


Colin Seymour

Former South Bay Writers President Colin Seymour (left) receives the 2015 Jack London Award from California Writers Club President David George.

The South Bay Writers board of directors selected branch President Colin Seymour as the 2015 Jack London Award recipient. Colin served as board President during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 terms, focusing on membership growth, club esprit de corps, the creation of a new Board of Directors Apprenticeship Program, Spring Membership Drive, and the Board of Directors Early-Term Retreat. Because of his leadership, South Bay Writers membership grew by 50 percent during his tenure, as did the conviviality of the club. His leadership ushered in an era of good feeling that was consistently complimented by guests, members of other CWC branches, and guest speakers.

Prior to his presidency, Colin served as Vice President (2010-2012) booking monthly speakers to provide greater writing and publishing insight to club members. He served on the 2010 East of Eden Committee, selecting and persuading 40 experts to provide classes and keynotes. The conference did not materialize that year due to unexpected venue closure. As a result, Colin’s well-honed diplomatic skills were pressed into service to maintain successfully the club’s credibility.

Colin joined South Bay Writers after having been a copy editor and staff writer at the San Jose Mercury News from 1983-2007. He continued to write theater and classical music reviews as a freelance journalist for the Mercury News until 2012. He has worked seasonally at the San Francisco Chronicle as a copy editor since 2011. Colin is the author of three books, two published via Smashwords.

Congratulations and thank you, Colin, for your leadership!

Past Jack London Awards
Marjorie Bicknell Johnson 2013
Dick Amyx 2011
Dave LaRoche 2009
Vicki Burlew 2007
Carolyn Downey 2005
Beth Proudfoot 2004
Carol Wood 2003
Bill Baldwin 2002
Edie Matthews 2001
Susan Mueller 2000
Beverly Morgan 1999
Tina Glasner 1998
Susan Edwards 1997
Pat St. Lawrence 1995
Karen E. Hinger 1993
Tom Mach 1991
Madge Saksena 1989

Matthews-Baldwin Awards

Named for two long-time driving forces of our club,  Edie Matthews and Bill Baldwin, this annual award is given to a South Bay Writer in recognition of exemplary service to the branch.


Dave LaRoche_crop

Former South Bay Writers President and Vice President Dave LaRoche received the 2015 Matthews-Baldwin Award.

The South Bay Writers board of directors selected branch Vice President Dave LaRoche as the 2015 Matthews-Baldwin Award recipient in recognition of exemplary service to the branch.

Dave’s dedication and service to South Bay Writers has been beyond exemplary. He has served in the following club positions:

  • President, July 2009-June 2012
  • Vice President, July 2012-June 2015
  • WritersTalk Editor, October 2006-June 2009
  • Founder and Chairman, NorCal Group, April 2009-March 2012
  • Representative, NorCal Group, April 2009-November 2014
  • Representative, California Writers Club Central Board, July 2009-June 2015
  • Founder and Editor, California Writers Club Literary Review, June 2012-present

Congratulations and thank you, Dave, for your outstanding leadership and service to South Bay Writers and the California Writers Club!

Past Matthews-Baldwin Awards
Kimberly Malanczuk 2014
Richard Burns 2011
Betty Auchard 2010
Dick Amyx 2009
Cathy Bauer 2008

Ina Coolbrith Award

The Ina Coolbrith Award is named for poet laureate and California Writers Club co-founder Ina Coolbrith. The California Writers Club Central Board periodically awards this honor to a CWC member for exemplary service to the CWC and/or the Central Board.


Former South Bay Writers President and Vice President Dave LaRoche received the 2012 Ina Coolbrith Award from former California Writers Club President Robert Garfinkle. Photo by Margie Yee Webb

Past Ina Coolbrith Awards
Kelly Harrison 2011