We hope you are enjoying your San Diego Summer!

But in the meantime, we have a few announcements and a great opportunity for our previous winners!

The San Diego Book Awards will be sponsoring our own nonprofit booth and a group table at the UT Festival of Books!

Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Liberty Station, we’d like to offer tablespace to any previous SDBA winner or finalist. That’s right, published or unpublished, in any year! First come, first served. Space and schedule depend on how many authors take us up on our offer!

Tentative scheduling is 10 am to 4:15 pm, August 24th, 2019.

25th annual San Diego Book Awards Entry Submission Dates are available. 

10/1/2019-12/31/2019. For the Published Contest, we are accepting entries published in 2018 or 2019. That’s right! If you missed it, you can still submit your entry published in 2018! Check out our website for submission guidelines and details.

Remember, the entry forms are not available until the submission window opens in October.

This year’s Contest Winners have been announced on the website
Thank you to all who participate, judge, and otherwise volunteer for the San Diego Book Awards.


2016 SDBAA Logo w text

SDBA proudly announces the 25th Annual San Diego Book Awards
If you’ve already filled out the form for last year, no need to do it again (unless you’re making changes). We look forward to reading the stories of San Diego,
– SDBA Board of Directors, Judging Chairs, and Judges

2019 SDBA Winners

Please help celebrate the 2019 winners
of the
San Diego Book Awards!

Best Unpublished Children/YA Novel
The Rainmaker’s Secret by Judy McSweeney

Best Unpublished Memoir

Best Unpublished Novels

Best Unpublished Poetry Chapbook
The Living Come Find Me by Erica Blunt

Best Unpublished Short Story
Fair Game by Judy McSweeney

Best Published Anthology
Magic, Mystery & Murder by Cornelia Feye & Tamara Merrill

Best Published Biography/Autobiography
Brain XP by Christine Marie Frey

Best Published Business
Supportive Accountability by Sylvia Melena

Best Published Children’s Fiction
Oceanside Adventures by Nancy Glen & Julia Glen

Best Published Children’s Nonfiction
Cleopatra and Ancient Egypt for Kids by Simonetta Carr

Best Published Children’s Picture Books
Benji, The Bad Day & Me by Sally J. Pla

Best Published General Nonfiction
War and Sex and Human Destiny by Judith L. Hand

Best Published Historical Fiction
Without Warning by Thomas C. Sanger

Best Published Inspiration/Self-Help/Spiritual
Knowing by Shawna Allard

Best Published Local Interest
San Diego Mamma Atlas by Scott Tremor

Best Published Mainstream Fiction
A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

Best Published Memoir
A Few Minor Adjustments by Cherie Kephart

Best Published Mystery/Suspense
Rust & Stardust by Tammy Greenwood

Best Published Poetry
How to Pull Apart the Earth by Karla Cordero

Best Published Romance
Alchemy’s Hunger by Cynthia Diamond

Best Published Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Holy Crap! The World is Ending! by Anne-Marie Abell

Best Published Travel
The Long Way Back by Lois Joy Hoffman

Best Published Young Adult
Now I Rise by Kiersten White

2019 Geisel Winner
Holy Crap! The World is Ending!
by Anne-Marie Abell

2019 Chet Recipient


Thank you to all the entrants who submitted!

2019 Finalist


2019 SDBA Finalists

SDBA Finalists for 20174 soon to be announced

Please note, only categories with multiple finalists or no category winners are listed.

UNPUBLISHED Children’s/Young Adult Novel
Run to Me by Julie Schwartz
The Rainmaker’s Secret by Judy McSweeney


Fear Caller by Beverly Hamowitz

Fair Game by Judy McSweeney
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar by Bob Guess

Published Anthology
City works Journal Volume 25 by M. P. Lopez & H.A. Martinez
Magic, Mystery & Murder by Cornelia Feye & Tamara Merrill
The Guilded Pen-2018 Anthology of the SDWEG – Edited by Marcia Buompensiero

Published Biography/Autobiography
Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, a Young Teenager’s Perspective by Christine Marie Frey
The Brontë Family: Passionate Literary Geniuses by Karen Kenyon

Published Business
Get Noticed Be Remembered: Creating a Personal Brand Strategy for Success by Krista Clive-Smith
Supportive Accountability: How to Inspire People and Improve Performance by Sylvia Melena

Published Children’s Nonfiction
Cleopatra and Ancient Egypt for Kids: Her Life and World, with 21 Activities by Simonetta Carr
Sonia Sotomayor: A Biography (Living History) by Sylvia Mendoza
Rabbits and Rats, Birds and Seeds, Cactus and Trees: Plants and animals at work in El Pinacate, Sonoran Desert by Paul Dayton

Published Children’s Picture Books
Benji, the Bad Day and Me by Sally J. Pla
Jorge & The Lost Cookie Jar by Marta Arroyo
With Love, Grandma by Helen Foster James

Published General Nonfiction
Gangsters to Governors: The New Bosses of Gambling in America by David Clary
War, Sex and Human Destiny by Judith Hand, Ph.D.
You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side by Orly Lobel

Published Historical Fiction
As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner
The Defiance of Reiko Murata by Allen Wittenborn
Without Warning  by Thomas C. Sanger

Published Local Interest
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County by Jerry Shad & Scott Turner
Kumeyaay Ethnobotany: Shared Heritage of the Californias by Michael Wilken-Robertson
San Diego County Mammal Atlas by San Diego Natural History Museum – Scott Tremor, Drew Stokes, Wayne Spencer, Jay Diffendorfer, Howard Thomas, Susan Chivers, Philip Unitt, Editors

Published Mainstream Fiction
A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
The Golden Hour by Tammy Greenwood
Endless Blue Sky by Josh Turner

Published Memoir
A Few Minor Adjustments: A Memoir of Healing by Cherie Kephart
When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories by Amy E. Wallen
Why My Cup? How I Overcame Growing Up in a Crack House by Celene Adams & Uhmbaya Laury

Published Mystery/Suspense
The Butcher’s Bill by Martin Roy Hill
Rust & Stardust Tammy Greenwood
Wrong Light by Matt Coyle

Published Poetry
After the Tour by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
How to Pull Apart the Earth by Karla Cordero
What Light I Have by Debbie Hall

Published Romance
Alchemy’s Hunger (Wyrd Love Book 4) by Cynthia Diamond
Rachel’s Secret by Mary Galusha
Twists of Fate: A Folk-Rock Odyssey by Robert Gilberg

Published Self-Help/Spiritual/Inspiration
Just Be: Transform Your Life and Live as Infinity by Suresh Ramaswamy
Knowing by Shawna Allard
The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction by Rebecca Williams & Julie Kraft

Published Travel
In Search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss: The Long Way Back by Lois Hoffmann
Rain Falling on Tamarind Trees: A Travelogue of Vietnam by C.L. Hoang

Published Young Adult
Mini Horses, Mighty Hearts: Rootbeer and Edward by Rene Townsend
Now I Rise (And I Darken) by Kiersten White


On Saturday, June 15, 2019
at the home of internationally acclaimed author
Victor Villaseñor

Announcing the
Sixth Annual Writers and Creatives Festival

Celebrating the author and artist within us all

The artistic and literary community within a hundred-mile radius of Oceanside repeats this inspirational event, hosted by CEO of A Word With You Press, Thornton Sully. Bring family and friends to this FREE EVENT at the hacienda of world-acclaimed author Victor Villaseñor, 1302 Stewart Street in Oceanside, on Saturday, June 15th, from 4:00 till 9:00 pm.

All attendees to this pot-luck may choose to have stage time for sharing their accomplishments since the last gathering and inform the audience of upcoming performances, book signings, readings, and gallery openings. Please, come PROMOTE YOUR CREATIVE projects! Networking is not only permitted, it’s part of the attendee job description!

There will be live entertainment and an open mic, beginning at 4:00 at this free, family-friendly event.

If you have ever thought of writing a novel or discovering artistic talents within you, you will leave this event inspired and motivated.
Full details and sign-up are available on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/642049646233223/

Or email Thornton Sully at thorn@awordwithyoupress.com

On Saturday, April 13, 2019

San Diego Book Awards will be sponsoring two tables at the San Diego Writers Festival. Also, don’t forget to check out KidsWrite! San Diego, sponsored in part by the San Diego Book Awards. We are proud to support San Diego writers at ANY age! Not only that, we’ll be walking around meeting the writers, and our president, Tiffany Vakilian, will be in a panel! Her panel takes place right after Piper Kerman’s interview. Kerman is this year’s keynote speaker, and author of Orange is the New Black.

2019 Judging Still in Process


A special note of thanks goes out to all judges and judging chairs during this time.

The scores are almost all calculated. Finalists will be announced SOON!


SDBA Award Ceremony Updates

When Chet started this wonderful organization, his mission was to spur on the San Diego writer. As an Association, we have been examining the ways in which we might be able to further this mission. The awards we give out celebrate writers and help recognize achievement, but we know there is more we could do to help our writers flourish.

Typically, we host an awards ceremony to honor winners. This year, after much deliberation with volunteers, entrants and past winners, we have decided to dispense with the ceremony and use our resources to instead give cash prizes to our winners.

We will also be using competition funds to pay for tables and booths at writers events in order to showcase our winners and help them find a broader audience. We hope this will further encourage their writing efforts.

We appreciate everything our writers do from book entries to judging comments, volunteer hours, and sending emails. We want to support you, encourage you, and inspire you to do more with your writing. And we are confident that this decision is in keeping with Chet’s idea to celebrate the San Diego writer.

San Diego Book Awards Association

SDBA sponsoring KidsWrite at San Diego Writers Festival

San Diego Book Awards will be sponsoring the KidsWrite Contest, in addition to two tables at the San Diego Writers Festival in April. We are proud to support San Diego writers at ANY age!

San Diego Book Awards had such success at the UT Book Festival in 2018, we decided to sponsor two tables at the San Diego Writers Festival on April 13th at the San Diego Central Library. We’ll be on the patio outside the auditorium. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

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