On February 17, 2013, at the Texas Outdoor Writers Association annual conference at the Hilton Hotel in Galveston, Texas, many awards for good writing were passed out. The top of the heap in TOWA awards each year, however, is the L.A. Wilke Memorial award. L. A Wilke was a pioneering Texas outdoor writer who helped form TOWA into a professional writers organization, and the award in his name is given to a writer who has been deemed by their peers to not only have given a good bit extra to the organization, but to the profession as well. Last year’s winner, Houston artist and my friend Sam Caldwell, presented the 2013 award to Jonette Childs, another good friend. Jonette is the owner/publisher of Saltwater Texas, a newsprint publication produced in Rockport that has consistently brought home awards as the best Texas outdoor publication under 25,000 circulation, and the various writers who contribute to it, myself included, have won many, many awards for their work appearing in SWT. Jonette has served TOWA in many positions, including as president, and for the past several years has headed the conference site selection committee. I am not the only member of TOWA who joined because of Jonette’s urging. As a well-known “contrarian”, I seldom agree with everything any group does, but seeing Sam pass the Wilke award to Jonette was the highlight of the conference for me, and at least one thing that was done correctly, and appropriately.
Congrats, Jonette! You earned it.