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January 2018 - News from the Appalachian Literary Scene

January 2018 - News from the Appalachian Literary Scene

The Fellowship of Southern Writers has awarded Terry Roberts its 2017 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South. From a Madison County, North Carolina, family, Roberts was raised near Weaverville and now lives in Asheville where he serves as the Director of the National Paideia Center. He is the author of two novels, A Short Time to Stay Here (2012) and That Bright Land (1916)


The Southern Independent Bookstore Alliance has announced its Okra Picks of books that have been or will be published this Winter. They include:

Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry. A Christian novel set in West Virginia where the author was born. The story swirls around an incident that occurs in the upstairs of a coal company store that is used not only for company meetings but also for “earning” Esau script.

Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey. Another Christian novel by the prolific Billy Coffey who lives in the Shenandoah Valley where he grew up.

Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro. Quatro lives in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, with her husband and children and teaches in the Sewanee MFA program. This is her first novel, following a highly acclaimed short story collection.

The Afterlives by Thomas Pierce. Like Quatro, Pierce is publishing his first novel after a heralded story collection. He received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, graduated from the creative writing program at U. Va., and continues to live near Charlottesville with his wife and daughters.

Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown. Brown returns to the Appalachian setting of his first novel after a second novel set South of our region.

The Road to Bittersweet by Donna Everhart. A novel set in Western North Carolina by a life-long resident of the Carolina Piedmont.

Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell. This is a novel set in a small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. The author lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The Problim Children by Natalie Lloyd. Lloyd is a prolific author of youth novels who lives in Chattanooga.

Daily Writing Resilience by Bryan Robinson. Robinson is an Asheville psychotherapist who has published 35 non-fiction books and two novels.


Paul Nyden died of a heart attack on Saturday, January 6th. Best known as a reporter for Charleston, West Virginia, newspapers, he was also the author of Black Coal Miners in the United States, a 73 page pamphlet published in 1974 by the American Institute for Marxist Studies, The Coal Miner’s Struggle in Eastern Kentucky a 28 page pamphlet, published by the Appalachian Movement Press in 1972, Showdown in Coal, a 20-page pamphlet published in 1978 by the Miner’s Report,


Simon & Schuster has bought the paperback rights to Mark Powell’s latest book, Small Treasons.