The 2015 Literary Awards Program ends on November 2nd. Grand prize is $1500, and two runner ups will receive $1000 each. Those three will also be evaluated for publication with SFWP, receiving a competitive contract for a full market, frontlist publication. There have been 39 past winners since the Program began in 2000. 90% of those winners have gone on to publication, and six of them have been published through SFWP. For the next six days, we’ll look at each of those six titles. You can find all of the Program details right here.
Today, let’s look at Charlotte Gullick’s winning entry from 2001, selected by judge Jayne Anne Phillips.
Charlotte is a novelist, essayist, editor, educator and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. A first-generation college graduate, she received her AA with High Honors from Santa Rosa Junior College, a BA with Honors in Literature/Creative Writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis.
Since she won the SFWP Program, her awards have included a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, a MacDowell Colony Residency, and Faculty of Year from College of the Redwoods as well as the Evergreen State College 2012 Teacher Excellence Award. She has taught in the Travis County Correctional Complex and organized classes and literary events for Veterans in the Austin Community.
Charlotte’s novel, By Way of Water, is a critically acclaimed and unique look at the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the rural western United States and the logging industry in Northern California during the 1970s. By Way of Water addresses the devastating effects of poverty on rural families. Struggling to feed their children in an unforgiving California forest when there are no logging jobs to be found, Jake and Dale Colby make personal vows that only make matters worse. Jake will not accept help from the government or his neighbors, and Dale won’t allow him to hunt, believing her faith will sustain them. But one other member of the family makes a promise to herself. Seven-year-old Justy believes that she alone can hold the family together, even when her father’s violence resurfaces. With a clear insight and the deepest empathy, Justy isolates the stark realities around her, even as she dreams with her mother of a safe world that only God can promise. Find out more right here.