Bruce Springsteen with Art Ring and Martha Cox 1996
Bruce Springsteen, flanked by Art Ring and Martha Heasley Cox, on the occasion of his receiving the Steinbeck Award in 1996.

The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies sponsors the following Awards and Fellowships:

The "In the Souls of the People" Steinbeck Award, given annually to honor an artist, thinker, activist who has made a significant contribution to causes that matter to the common person. Recipients include Bruce Springsteen, Rachel Maddow, Dolores Huerta, and Arthur Miller.

The Steinbeck Fellowship, a monetary award given annually to two or three emerging writers to help them complete a book project. Fellows are required to spend their fellowship year in the San José area and to give regular public readings from their work in progress.

The Louis Owens Essay Prize, given annually to recognize the best undergraduate or graduate student essay on Steinbeck's works. Carries a prize of $250 and the possibility of publication in Steinbeck Review.

The John Steinbeck Award for the Short Story, co-sponsored with Reed, San Jose State's literary journal. Writers submit original, unpublished stories up to 6,000 words. The first place winner receives a $1,000 cash prize and publication of his or her work in Reed.