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51st Annual GAYA Winners, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions

By admin

Georgia Author of the Year AwardsThe 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Awards was held this past Saturday, June 27, at the Kennesaw State University Continuing Education Center. There were 116 nominees in 17 different fiction and nonfiction categories.

Over 100 authors and literary enthusiasts attended the banquet and ceremony, and we’d like to congratulate the GAYA winners, finalists, and honorable mentions for their outstanding literary achievements.

Please find below a list of the award recipients in order by category.


Finalist: Scott Walter, To Make a Difference: James T. McAffee, Jr. (Mercer University Press)

Winner: Carolyn Newton Curry, Suffer and Grow Strong: The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907 (Mercer University Press)

Children’s Book

Finalist: Gloria Bennett, Summers at Howard Creek (BookLogix)

Winner: Charmain Zimmerman Brackett, Little Pearl’s Circus World (Diamond Key Press)


Finalist: Larissa Reinhart, Death in Perspective (Henry Press)

Winner: David Darracott, Wasted (Lightning Rod Books)


Finalist: Sam A. Williams, Ceo as Urban Statesman (Mercer University Press)

Winner: Kate Sweeney, American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning (University of Georgia Press)

First Novel

Honorable Mention: Richard Judy, THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story (Appalachian Trail Museum)

Honorable Mention: Stan Waits, Another Long, Hot Day (Deeds Publishing)

Finalist: Brandon Daily, A Murder Country (Knox Robinson Publishing)

Winner: Debra Bowling, The Memory in Flight (Little Feather Books)


Finalist: David Beasley, Without Mercy: The Stunning True Story of Race, Crime, and Corruption in the Deep South (St. Martin’s Press)

Winner: Alvin Townley, Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned (Thomas Dunne Books)


Finalist: Todd Sentell, Toonamint of Champions and why Golf is so Exciting! (Stairway Press)

Winner: Jameson Gregg, Luck Be A Chicken (Deeds Publishing)


Winner: Connie Carey, Falling Up: Lessons Learned on the Way Down (Trixie Press)


Finalist: Peter Bowerman, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living (Fanove Publishing)

Winner: Letitia Sweitzer, The Elephant in the ADHD Room: Beating Boredom as the Secret to Managing ADHD (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Literary Fiction

Finalist: Raymond Atkins, Sweetwater Blues (Mercer University Press)

Finalist: Victoria Wilcox, Gone West (Knox Robinson Publishing)

Winner: Michael K. Brown, Somewhere a River (Deeds Publishing)


Finalist: Bahram Darugar, Out of Iran (Wheatmark)

Winner: Clifton Crais, History Lessons (Overlook Press)


Finalist: Alice Friman, The View From Saturn (Louisiana State University Press)

Winner: Anya Krugovoy Silver, I Watched You Disappear: Poems (Louisiana State University Press)


Finalist: Richard Taylor, Return to Eden (WordTaylors Production)

Winner: Debbie Kaufman, Journey of Hope (Harlequin)


Finalist: Sandra Hood, Blood Exchange (Self-Published)

Winner: Jack McDevitt, Coming Home (Ace)

Short Stories

Finalist: Evan Guilford-Blake, American Blues (Holland House Books)

Winner: H. William Rice, The Lost Woods: Stories (South Carolina University Press)

Specialty Book

Finalist: George Justice, Courthouses of Georgia (University of Georgia Press)

Winner: Gordon L. Jones, Confederate Odyssey: The George W. Wray Civil War Collection at the Atlanta History Center (University of Georgia Press)

Young Adult

Winner: Elizabeth O. Dulemba, A Bird on Water Street (Little Pickle Press)

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