2018 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FEST HONORS “SLAB CITY” WITH TOP HONORS

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA_ An exploration of a community of squatters, artists, snowbirds, migrants, and survivalists inhabiting a former military base in the California desert is the winner of the 2018 Southern California Book Festival.

Slab City: Dispatches From The Last Free Place (The MIT Press) by Charlie Hailey and Donovan Wylie examines a unique community in Southern California's Colorado Desert, called by some “the last free place” and by others “an enclave of anarchy.”

Without official electricity, running water, sewers, or trash pickup, Slab City dwellers also live without law enforcement, taxation, or administration. Built on the concrete slabs of Camp Dunlap, an abandoned Marine training base, the settlement maintains its off-grid aspirations within the site's residual military perimeters and griddled street layout; off-grid is really in-grid.

In this book, architect Charlie Hailey and photographer Donovan Wylie explore the contradictions of Slab City and capture its essence.

Other winners in the competition:

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

WINNER: Dilby R. Dixon’s Time Dreamer – Tony J. Perri

RUNNER-UP: Lollypop and Lauren – Dawn Nelson, illustrated by Candice Ashby

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Everything Has Its Place – Howard Mize
  • Hoppin’ To America: A Rabbit’s Tale of a Wedding: Diana Pishner Walker/Ashley Teets
  • Space Pilgrim - Book 1: Departure – Ryan Winch


SPIRITUAL

WINNER: An Irish Lullaby - Louis Michael Manzo


GENERAL FICTION

WINNER: Never Touched – Laney Wylde

RUNNER-UP: The Old Cape Hollywood Secret - Barbara Eppich Struna

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • The Fearful Lion – Akhtar Almas
  • Shari’s Secret – Patricia Striar Rohner
  • Pathfinder’s Passage – Frank B. Mitchell
  • You Can’t Force Love – Marie Drake
  • A Knife’s Edge – Eliot Parker
  • Coffee For Strawberries – Patricia M. Swayze


YOUNG ADULT

WINNER: Jurassic Earth: Renegades – Logan T. Stark

RUNNER-UP: Gaia’s Prophecy – Isabel De Navasques


REGIONAL LITERATURE

WINNER::When Otters Play – Mara Purl


BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY

WINNER: Malka’s French Soldier – Herbert Ausubel and Stephanie Ausubel


GENERAL NON-FICTION

WINNER: Slab City: Dispatches from the Last Free Place – Charlie Haylie and Donovan Wylie

RUNNER-UP: Venice – Keys to the City – Patty Civalleri

HONORABLE MENTION:

  • Florence – Gems & Giants – Patty Civalleri


MYSTERY

WINNER: Grandma’s BFF Does Coke _ David A. Thyfault


BUSINESS:

WINNER: Big Things Have Small Beginnings – Wesley L. Berry

RUNNER-UP: Living Your Big Dream – H. Richard Steinhoff


POETRY

WINNER: Stellar – Kevin M. Hollingsworth


HOLIDAY

WINNER: Fly Possum Fly – Grant Maloy Smith