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Writers' Awards Go to Two in L.A. Area

November 11, 1998

A writer and a poet in the Los Angeles area are among the 10 winners of the 1998 Whiting Writers' Awards.

D.J. Waldie, who writes nonfiction and lives in Lakewood, and poet Charles Harper Webb of Long Beach each will receive $30,000. Whiting awards are intended "to seek out, acknowledge and encourage outstanding talent at the early stage of a career when such recognition and support is most critical," according to Barbara Bristol, director of the writers' program of the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation in New York City.

Waldie grew up in Lakewood and works as a city public information officer. Webb is a licensed psychotherapist as well as a professor of English at Cal State Long Beach.

The other winners, who also received $30,000 each, are Michael Byers, Nancy Elmers, Daniel Hall, W. David Hancock, James Kimbrell, Ralph Lombreglia, Anthony Walton and Greg Williamson.

The judges said the group--five poets, two fiction writers, two nonfiction writers and a playwright--reflects a broad range of backgrounds and writing styles, with works that reveal a mastery of language and invention and that cover a wide spectrum of subjects including genocide, pop culture and the natural world.

Created by the foundation in 1985, the awards are chosen by a small, anonymous group of writers, literary scholars and editors. Previous winners include Tobias Wolff, Alice McDermott, August Wilson and Stanley Crouch.

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