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Authors to be honored at 80th Annual California Book Awards tonight

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Nearly a dozen authors will be honored in San Francisco this evening at the 80th Annual California Book Awards ceremony.

The award ceremony is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club of California.

The gold- and silver-medal winning authors and publishers were chosen by a jury that considered hundreds of submissions, organizers said.

To be eligible, contending books had to have been written while the author was a California resident.

“It truly was challenging to pick the best of the best this year,” said Wendy Wanderman, literary director of the Commonwealth Club of California in a statement.

“We are so lucky to have such a diverse writing pool in the Golden State.”

Jack Boulware, author and co-founder of the literary festival Litquake, will be the master of ceremonies for tonight’s event.

Gold-medal winners were selected for eight categories.

Alexandra Teague won for poetry, Yunte Huang for nonfiction, Zachary Mason for first fiction, Karen Tei Yamashita for fiction, Cecil Castellucci for the juvenile category, Dana Reinhardt for young adult, Laura Cunningham for Californiana, and the University of California Press for contribution to publishing.

Silver medals will be awarded to Don Lattin for nonfiction, Eric Puchner for fiction, and Camille T. Dungy for poetry.

Tonight’s event will be preceded by a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at 5 p.m. and followed by a book signing and dessert reception, organizers said.