The Lillian Dean Inspiration Award is given by the Central Coast Writers Conference to a Central Coast author who has demonstrated achievement in his or her field of work, facilitated early writers to grow and flourish and is a mentor/peer to all who tap the keys. The award is named for the Cuesta College instructor who created the Central Coast Writers Conference 33 years ago and encouraged writers to improve their skills and ultimately publish. Past recipients include Wendelin Van Draanen, Tom Wilmer, David Congalton, Paul Alan Fahey, and other distinguished writers. 

Award ceremony will be part of the Keynote at the Central Coast Writer’s Conference on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at the Cuesta College Cultural and Performing Arts Center.

About Catherine

George Addair quoteCatherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 32 published and forthcoming books.

Her newest releases are Say Goodbye for Now, Leaving Blythe River, Ask Him Why, Worthy, The Language of Hoofbeats, Take Me With You, Walk Me Home, and When I Found You.

Forthcoming is Allie and Bea in May of 2017.

Pay It Forward: Young Readers Edition, an age-appropriate edited edition of the original novel, was released by Simon & Schuster in August of ‘14. It is suitable for children as young as eight.

Other novels include When You Were Older, Where We Belong, Don’t Let Me Go, Second Hand Heart, Jumpstart the World, Becoming Chloe, Love in the Present Tense, The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance, Chasing Windmills, The Day I Killed James, and Diary of a Witness.

She is co-author, with publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of How to be a Writer in the E-Age: a Self-Help Guide.

Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward was made into a major Warner Brothers motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. It was chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in over 30 countries. Simon & Schuster released a special 15th anniversary edition in December of ’14.

Her newer novels—such as Take Me with You, When I Found You, Leaving Blythe River, Say Goodbye for Now, etc.—have been translated into fourteen languages and achieved Kindle bestseller status in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List. Jumpstart the World was chosen as a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards, and was honored with Rainbow Awards in two categories. Love in the Present Tense enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on  national bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. When I Found You spent two weeks dominating the US Kindle charts in the top three. Walk Me Home was #1 in Kindle at the same time as When I Found You held the #3 spot, causing Catherine to jump to #1 in Amazon author ranking, just above JK Rowling. Where We Belong won two Rainbow Awards in 2013 and The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award in 2015.

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Sun and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.