A Tradition of Literary Excellence
The Georgia Writers Association recognizes Georgia's authors of excellence by presenting the Georgia Author of the Year Awards. The GAYA has the distinction of being the oldest literary awards in the Southeastern United States while reflecting the current publishing world. The GAYA honors both independently published authors, those whose books are published by traditional publishing houses. The Awards have grown in prestige and participation since its inception in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists. The GAYA changed hands in 1990 to Georgia Writers Association and in 2006 GWA began a strong affiliation with Kennesaw State University's Department of Humanities. In 2006 over 100 books were nominated for Georgia Author of the Year. The GAYA covers the traditional categories of Poetry and Fiction, while accommodating the growing Creative Non-Fiction genre. The guidelines are revised each year to parallel the changing literary marketplace.
Visit our new Author of the Year Website: www.authoroftheyear.org
For the all latest GAYA News! Sign up for the Georgia Writer News!
The year 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA). The first awards ceremony was held in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists, making it the oldest literary award in the southeast. In 1990, the awards fell under the purview of the Georgia Writers Association.
The purpose of this award is to recognize authors in Georgia for their contributions to the literary community. One winner and one finalist are selected in each of the 13 categories to represent the finest qualities of the genre. Through the years, categories have been added or modified to reflect the changes in the literary marketplace, and awards such as the Lifetime Achievement and Posthumous Achievement have been added to recognize the outstanding efforts of Georgia's past and present authors.Read more: Nominations are Now Open for the 50th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards
First, we would like to thank all who attended this year’s banquet and ceremony. Even as I announce the winners and finalists of this year’s award ceremony, all of our nominees are deserving of applause for their hard work and dedication.
The finalists are: Ted Geltner (Biography), Last King of the Sports Page: The Life and Career of Jim Murray; Carol Bland Dolson (Children’s Book), Hattie and the Higgledy-Piggledy Hedge; John Yow (Essay), The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal; Collin Kelley (Novel), Remain in Light; Nancy Brandon (First Novel), Dunaway’s Crossing; Michael W. Kitchens (History), Ghosts of Grandeur: Georgia’s Lost Antebellum Homes and Plantations; Rev. Peter Wallace (Inspirational-Religious), The Passionate Jesus; Janisse Ray (Inspirational-Secular), The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food; K. Dawn Goodwin (Memoir/Autobiography), Until He Comes; Emily Blake Vail (Poetry), Poems from Time Past: Crossroads, Byways, Destinations; Michael Bishop (Short Stories), The Door Gunner and Other Perilous Flights of Fancy; and James Holland, Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, and Janisse Ray (Specialty Book), Altamaha: A River and Its Keeper.
This year, we also have an honorable mention in the Biography category: Dana Green, Denise Levertov: A Poet’s Life.
The winners are: Joseph Crespino (Biography), Strom Thurmond’s America; Sandra Page (Children’s Book), Pyramid of the Lost World; Kathy A. Bradley (Essay), Breathing and Walking Around: Meditations on Life; June Hall McCash (Novel), Plum Orchard; Kimberly Brock (First Novel), The River Witch; Steven Davis (History), What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and the Wrecking of Atlanta; J. Steve Miller (Inspirational-Religious), Near-Death Experiences as Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven; Patricia Martin Holt (Inspirational-Secular), Committee of One: Making a Difference, One life at a Time; Joseph Scott Morgan (Memoir/Autobiography), Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Death Investigator; Dan Veach (Poetry); Elephant Water; Cliff Graubart (Short Stories), The Curious Vision of Sammy Levitt and Other Stories; Ren & Helen Davis (Specialty Book), Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery: An Illustrated History and Guide.
Thank you all for your participation and support, and congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s Georgia Author of the Year Awards!
"I can’t recall a time in my life when I wasn’t interested in writing,” said author Jack McDevitt, the Georgia Writers Association’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Now a resident of Brunswick, Georgia, McDevitt is a science fiction writer with a varied background as an English teacher, a naval officer, and a Philadelphia taxi driver.
“And the news came literally out of the blue. It’s not smart to expect to be nominated for a major award. You hope it might happen, but looking for it is simply an invitation to disappointment.” McDevitt expressed delight and gratitude for the nomination and success at winning the award.
“I write science fiction because it evokes a sense of wonder. You begin to get a feeling for the size of the universe. Or what forever really means.” His books explore journeys that lead to discovery, a literary trait that he advises other writers to consider in a quest to achieve stellar writing. He stated that a divergence within the character, one that suggests serious contemplation and internal reflection, can craft the most fascinating conflict.Read more: Jack McDevitt Announced as this year's Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Julia Collier Harris was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 11, 1879, the first born of a prominent Atlanta Family, Her father, Charles Augustus Collier, was an attorney, banker and
one-term popular mayor of that city. Julia attended Washington Seminary in Atlanta, a Boston finishing school, ant spent two years at Boston’s Cowles Art School. When she was twenty-one, she married Julian LaRose Harris, son of famed author, Joel Chandler Harris. Julia’s husband was a successful Atlanta newspaperman at the time, and Julia, always a gifted writer, was soon submitting her articles, particularly on art and books, to famed northern newspapers and getting them accepted. She wrote for the New York and Paris editions of the New York Harold, the New York Morning Telegraph, the American Magazine of Art, The Nation, and the Journal of Social Forces, to name only a few. She was also one of two women present at the Paris Treaty of Versailles, ending World War I, and wrote back to U.S. newspapers describing the event.Read more: Julia Collier Harris, GAYA's first Posthumous Achievement Award Winner