This award is granted every year by the Cat Writers' Association, whose members come from 36 states, five Canadian provinces, Greece, Germany, Egypt, Netherlands and New Zealand.

Nominations can be submitted by any member, but are kept secret, so no one knows who has been nominated until the award is announced at the annual conference. The award consists of a plaque (pictured above, left), a certificate, and $500.

Here is the nomination letter submitted by past-president Fran Shaw:

Bobbi is an obvious choice for the Shojai Mentor Award because mentoring has been her "M.O." throughout her long-time membership in CWA.  (She is a charter member since 1993.) Everyone on the CWA professional ProList knows that Bobbi can be counted upon for advice!  Ask for information on any topic related to writing or publishing and Bobbi is the first to answer.  Her answers are detailed and reliable -- not to mention she does personal follow-ups!  She has helped innumerable CWAers tackle the complexities of contracts and self-publishing, and has dispensed invaluable advice on things as simple as  how to write a good query letter to (what I consider extremely difficult) how to navigate web site resources.

On a personal level, Bobbi was one of those who helped me this past year with questions I had about publicizing my first gift book in addition to what the publisher was doing.  Her useful suggestions included ways to increase sales -- such as setting up my own book signings or purchasing in bulk for re-sale -- and reliable places I could go for more information, like her own and fellow CWA member Dan Poynter's websites.  Admittedly, there was so much information that I only pursued a small fraction of what was available, but Bobbi's quick response and helpfulness set me on the course.  And also, without being asked, Bobbi immediately told me to send her a  blurb and jpeg of the book's cover so she could put it on her website, with a link to the publisher.  She also advised me to send me a few lines from one of the book's poems so that it could get prominent play on her poetry book web page and  "so that Terzo can put that on his blog."

Additionally, several ago when I was president of CWA, Bobbi volunteered to be chairperson and designer of CWA's formal Mentoring Program, to enable any member who needed help on a specific writing topic or technique to get personalized attention from another experienced member. As architect of our organization's mentorship system, Bobbi once again showed her commitment to voluntarily giving her time and sharing her knowledge.  Her willingness to help guide others is never in question.   

The Cat Writers' Association