Since 2011, attendees of the OC Christian Writers Conference have had the opportunity to enter a very special contest that honors a very special lady – Beverly Bush Smith.
As a way to memorialize her spirit and her willingness to help new writers, The Beverly Bush Smith Aspiring Writer Award was inaugarated. This award will consist of an annual scholarship, or scholarships as funds allow, in Beverly’s name acknowledging a new writer that Bev would have singled out to help and encourage.
The contest was open to all attendees who had never been published in their genre. All genres were considered and judging was based on five pages of the writer’s work. The first place winner won a prize of $200, second place, $100 and third place $50. It was a difficult contest to judge – the submissions were top notch – and so we have also included the honorary mentions to the winners list below. Congratulations one and all for taking a step of faith and submitting your work – what a talented group of writers! Bev would be proud!
And the winners were:
1st Place–Susan McFarland for Mended Hearts
2nd Place—Diana Mae Kightlinger for Little Girl Lost
3rd Place—Michelle Arch for Time of Death
Natalie Sharpston for The Rocks Cry Out
Rita Turner for Wings of Joy
Karen Ellison for Diary of a Cowry Shell
Heather Zuber-Harshman for Deceived by a Name
About Beverly Bush Smith
In 2009, our beloved Co-Director Emeritus, Beverly Bush Smith, went home to be with the Lord. To everyone who knew her, Beverly exuded class, spirituality, and passion in all of her efforts–as a Christian woman, a mother, a friend, a writer, and a board member of OCCWF. We all miss her.
Beverly was a noted journalist with the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Orange County Register. A resident of Lake Forest, CA, Beverly was celebrated for her cooking and restaurant reviews. In addition, she was a beloved Bible teacher and women’s speaker, avid skier, hiker, and swimmer–plus an award-winning sailor. Her family cherished her as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.
In addition to newspaper writing, Beverly was an author of books. Her titles include Uniquely You, Change for the Better, Caught in the Middle, Wings of a Dove (from her Zoe Journal series), and Evidence of Things Unseen.
No matter how successful she was in her own writing career, Bev never lost her great compassion for other writers, especially new, aspiring ones, and her desire to help them find their own voice, market, and ministry. That’s why she spent years actively helping Orange County writers and leading our organization. Indeed, until her death, she continued to help OCCWF as an official adviser, encouraging and inspiring us with her passion for the Lord, for people, and for writing.