Writers Honored During Regional Conference at Gardner-Webb

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Written by Brooke Kelly, Communications Intern

Appalachian Writers Association Presents Awards For Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — Several regional writers received awards at the 2014 Appalachian Writers Association (AWA) meeting, held Oct. 4 at Gardner-Webb University. Recipients honored at the banquet were Lee Smith, T.R.C. Hutton and Jeff Marion.

The AWA Book of the Year awards recognize superior and significant writing of authors from the Appalachian region, including the mountains and foothills of Alabama stretching north to Maine.

Gardner-Webb University Professor Emeritus Dr. Les Brown serves as president of the AWA. He believes the awards have a long and prestigious history. “The Book of the Year awards are our most sought-after honors and carry a great deal of prestige since they are juried awards and offer the recipient excellent publicity for the work,” Brown explained.

Lee Smith (Hillsborough, N.C.) is a renowned author of several New York Times bestsellers, and was honored in the fiction category for her work, Guests On Earth. The book is about 13-year-old Evalina, who is admitted to Highland Hospital, a mental institution in Asheville (N.C.) that has been known for innovative treatments for disorders and addictions. Smith seamlessly blends fiction and fact as she resurrects questions surrounding a 1948 fire that killed nine patients.

T.R.C. Hutton (Knoxville, Tenn.) a lecturer at the University of Tennessee, was honored in the nonfiction category for his work Bloody Breathitt. This meticulously researched volume offers the first comprehensive narrative of the violence and brutal history of Breathitt County, Ky.

In the category of poetry, Jeff Marion (Knoxville, Tenn.), took top honors for his book Letters to the Dead. Marion’s work has appeared in The Southern Review, Southern Poetry Review, Atlanta Review and many others.

Since 1983 the AWA has served as a sustaining and encouraging force for established and emerging writers in and about the Appalachian region. The mission of the AWA is to promote and recognize writers living in or having lived in the Appalachian Region and those who have significant Appalachian Regional connections through heritage or scholarship.

Visit appalachianwritersassociation.weebly.com for more information about AWA.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 60 specialized undergraduate and graduate major fields of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.