M. Garren Tinney Writing Award to launch in 2023-2024 at CCS Writing & Literature Program

July 10, 2023

Three M. Garren Tinney Writing Awards will support Undergraduate Students Committed to Writing at UCSB through a generous philanthropic investment

UCSB alumnus M. Garren Tinney
UCSB alumnus M. Garren Tinney

The College of Creative Studies (CCS) is honored to remember in perpetuity UCSB alumnus M. Garren Tinney with an annual award–M. Garren Tinney Writing Award–in the College’s Writing & Literature program (W&L) beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year.

The M. Garren Tinney Writing Award at CCS is one of three annual writing awards to be established at UCSB; the other two M. Garren Tinney Writing Awards will be in the Writing Program and the Department of English. These writing awards will honor and celebrate undergraduate work at UCSB with a primary focus on creative writing, but open to other writing genres. 

“Supporting undergraduate writers in their pursuit of scholarly and creative endeavors is at the heart of our W&L program at CCS. The annual writing awards to honor Garren’s passion for writing will fuel creativity across campus for years to come.“

-Tim Sherwood, Interim Dean, College of Creative Studies

In loving memory of Michael “Garren” Tinney’s life and experiences, Donna “Dee Dee” Tinney—Garren’s mother—established the M. Garren Tinney Memorial Fund at UCSB through a generous gift in June 2023 to honor the memory of her son and his interest in and passion for writing. The three annual writing awards will be supported by this newly established endowed fund. 

Michael “Garren” Tinney came from Oklahoma City to UCSB as an English major and continued his studies at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Garren passed away on December 7, 2019. Garren valued free speech, education, and above all else, using the written word as a means to communicate the many insights he garnered over 41 years as a survivor of grief and student of the human condition. Over the course of his short life, Garren prided himself on his multifaceted occupational pursuits. He worked in politics in Washington, D.C., entertainment in Los Angeles, journalism and public relations in Manhattan, New York, and finally achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a writer in Pasadena, California, completing dozens of short stories, novellas, and novels.

“The M. Garren Tinney Writing Awards will have a tremendous and positive impact on future generations of writers. Our undergraduates are fortunate to have these opportunities to pursue their writing at UCSB.”

-Kara Mae Brown, Writing & Literature Program Coordinator, College of Creative Studies; Associate Teaching Professor, Writing Program, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts

The Writing & Literature program at the College of Creative Studies is home to five CCS Writing Competition Awards open to all UCSB undergraduate writers of fiction, poetry, and essays who submit their best work to be judged annually. Two of the five writing competition awards–Brancart Fiction Award and Richardson Poetry Prize–were established by CCS alumni in memory of loved ones.  

In addition to the three M. Garren Tinney Writing Awards, the M. Garren Tinney Memorial Fund will support the M. Garren Tinney Fellowships–prestigious undergraduate fellowships for writing projects–and the M. Garren Tinney Travel Awards–for undergraduate students in their writing practice to attend writing conferences, workshops, retreats, seminars, courses, and other writing-related opportunities. The focus of the newly established endowed fund is to support undergraduate students at UCSB in the practice of writing, particularly creative writing, and to support those who have shown a commitment and interest to pursue possible careers related to writing. The M. Garren Tinney Memorial Fund will be administered through the Writing Program in the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. 

Learn more about the CCS Writing & Literature program

For inquiries and to make a gift in loving memory of Garren to the M. Garren Tinney Memorial Fund, contact Venilde Jeronimo (venilde@ucsb.edu). Gifts to this Fund can also be made online.