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Winners, Finalists, and Semi-Finalists of the 50th GAYA

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The 50th annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards was held on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at the KSU Center in Kennesaw, Georgia. Over 150 guests attended the banquet this year to celebrate Georgia authors’ literary achievements. Thank you to everyone who attended and made this year’s GAYA an unforgettable event.

This year, 118 books were nominated in 11 categories. Listed below are the winners, finalists, and semi-finalists of this year’s Awards!


Jim Elledge for Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life on an Outsider Artist

Children’s Book

Winner: Brian Eames for The Dagger X

Finalist: Amy Tietjen for Bird’s I’ve Met Through the Alphabet


Winner: Raymond Atkins for Camp Redemption

Finalist: Sheri Joseph for Where You Can Find Me

Semi-Finalists: Charles McNair for Pickett’s Charge, Buzz Bernard for Supercell, and Phillip DePoy for December’s Thorn

First Novel

Winner: Victoria Wilcox for Inheritance

Finalist: Elaine Drennon Little for A Southern Place

Semi-Finalists: Susan Lindsley for The Bottom Rail, Charles Cox for The Ravenwood Trade, and JudiLynn Taylor for Front Porch Lemonade


Winner: J. Lloyd Winstead for When Colleges Sang: The Story of Singing in American College Life

Finalist: William Rawlings for A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff: The Great Recession and the Death of Small Town Georgia


Winner: David P. Gushee for The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision is Key to the World’s Future

Finalist: Rose Chandler Johnson for God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments


Winner: Jessica Handler for Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss

Finalist: Jeff Galloway for The Run-Walk-Run Method

Semi-Finalist: Jody Robert McFerren for FundaMenus: An Upscale Approach to Affordable Entertaining


Winner: Martha E. Ezzard for The Second Bud: Deserting the City for a Farm Winery

Finalist: Michael Nolden Henderson for Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation


Winner: Robert E. Wood for The Awkward Poses of Others

Finalist: Michelle Castleberry for Dissecting the Angel and Other Poems

Specialty Book

Winner: Jingle Davis for Island Time: An Illustrated History of St. Simons Island, Georgia

Finalist: Tom Cox and John M. Ruter for Landscaping with Conifers and Gingko for the Southeast

Young Adult

Winner: Terra Elan McVoy for Criminal

Finalist: Jessica Hawke for Phantom Touch

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