2009 Bold Ink Awards   *   20th Century Fox Studios   *    January 29, 2009

2009 Bold Ink Award Honorees: Pictured left to right: Best-selling novelist & screenwriter Gigi Levangie ( The Starter Wife, Maneater), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario (Enrique’s Journey). Academy Award nominated screenwriter Naomi Foner (Bee Season, Running on Empty); Grammy winning songwriter Diane Warren (”Because You Loved Me”, “How Do I Live”), WriteGirl Executive Director Keren Taylor; screenwriter/director Gina Prince Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees, Love & Basketball), acclaimed poet Wanda Coleman (Jazz at Twelve O’Clock Tales: New Stories), Emmy nominated television writer Jennifer Crittenden (The New Adventures of Old Christine, Everybody Loves Raymond) (Not pictured: Bold Ink Honoree, novelist Carolyn See).

About the 2009 Bold Ink Award Honorees:

Self-described “West Coast writer” Wanda Coleman is one of the leading American voices creating poetry that captures the raw energy of urban life. Her poetry, short stories and riveting performances have inspired and thrilled readers and audiences for more than 30 years. Her book, Bathwater Wine, won the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. In 2001, Ms. Coleman was also recognized as a National Book Award bronze-medal finalist for Mercurochrome. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and, in 2003, became the first literary fellow of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

California native and graduate of Wesleyan University, screenwriter/producer Jennifer Crittenden’s first job in television was writing monologue jokes for David Letterman. She has written and produced some of the most acclaimed and beloved shows in television history, including Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Arrested Development, The Simpsons, The Drew Carey Show and, currently, The New Adventures of Old Christine. She has been nominated for five Emmy Awards and has been awarded two Humanitas Prizes. Ms. Crittenden
has expanded her repertoire to include feature films and recently completed 20 Times a Lady, a comedy for Columbia.

Naomi Foner’s screenplay, Running on Empty, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and was also honored with both the PEN West Screenplay Award and a Golden Globe. She wrote Bee Season and served as writer and producer of A Dangerous Woman and Losing Isaiah. Recently, Ms. Foner completed Grace, a screen biography of Grace Metalious, the author of Peyton Place. She was involved with the development of Sesame Street and The Electric Company at the Children’s Television Workshop earlier in her career. She is active with the Sundance Institute’s Writer’s Laboratory, has served on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, West and is currently a member of the WGA Screen Council.

Screenwriter/novelist Gigi Levangie Grazer published her first novel, Rescue Me, in June 2000. Her next novel, Maneater, reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and will soon be adapted for a Lifetime series. The Starter Wife, the acclaimed USA Network series starring Debra Messing, is based on Ms. Levangie Grazer’s popular novel and earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination. She serves as Executive Producer and Writer for the show, which just began its second season. She also wrote the movie Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. A Los Angeles native, Ms. Levangie Grazer’s new novel, Queen Takes King, will be released this year.

For more than two decades, Sonia Nazario has reported from bureaus all over the country for such newspapers as the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. Her work has been honored with the George Polk Award for Local Reporting, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Award for Overall Excellence and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award Grand Prize. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1998. In 2003, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for her series, Enrique’s Journey, about Latin American immigrant children. She expanded the series into a bestselling book and it will soon be a Lifetime movie. She is a graduate of Williams College and holds a Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from Berkeley.

Screenwriter/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood began her career in television, writing for shows such as A Different World, Felicity, South Central, Sweet Justice and Courthouse. Her first feature film, Love and Basketball, produced by Spike Lee, was awarded a Humanitas Prize and an Independent Spirit Award. She wrote and directed the current Fox Searchlight release, The Secret Life of Bees, starring Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning. The critically acclaimed film will be released on DVD in February 2009. Ms. Prince-Bythewood, who studied at UCLA Film School, is also an Emmy Award nominee and NAACP Image Award recipient.

Carolyn See is the author of five novels, including The Handyman, Golden Days and most recently, There Will Never Be Another You. She wrote the critically acclaimed memoir, Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers, among other nonfiction titles. She serves on the board of PENWest International, as a book reviewer for The Washington Post and as a professor of English at UCLA, where she earned a Ph.D. in American Literature. Ms. See has been awarded the Robert Kirsch Body of Work Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction.

San Fernando Valley native Diane Warren has received nine Grammy nominations and a Best Song win for “Because You Loved Me” (performed by Celine Dion). She was the first songwriter in the history of Billboard to have seven hits, all by different artists, on the singles chart at the same time. Her hit, “How Do I Live,” carries the distinction of being the longest-running song on the Hot 100 Chart. Her songs have been featured in more than 100 motion pictures, receiving six Academy Award and four Golden Globe nominations. Ms. Warren has been recognized six times as ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year, four times as Billboard’s Songwriter of the Year and most recently received the inaugural Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Film & TV Music Career Achievement Award. Her company, Realsongs, is the most successful female-owned and operated business in the music industry.
Ms. Warren has been inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and also received a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, marking her well-deserved place among the greatest songwriters of our time.

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