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January 2019 - News of the Appalchian Literary scene

January 2019 - News of the Appalchian Literary scene

Finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize include:

For Fiction:

The Line That Held Us by David Joy

Scribe by Alyson Hagy

Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown

For Non-Fiction

The Best Cook in the World by Rick Bragg


Publishers Weekly’s Spring 2019 adult announcements featured several books about our region. In the Cooking & Food section is Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest: Recipes and Stories Inspired by My Appalachian Home by Lauren McDuffie scheduled for release in May.  The Literary Fiction section notes The Ash Family by Molly Dektar due in April and Under Currents by Nora Roberts due in July, both set in the North Carolina mountains.  The Mysteries & Thrillers section includes Whiskers in the Dark by Rita Mae Brown, set in the Virginia mountains and due out in June, and Labyrinth by Catherine Coulter, set in West Virginia and due out in July. The Poetry section includes Oblivion Banjo: Selected Poems by Charles Wright, due out in April. The Romance and Erotica section includes All In by Shelley Shepard Gray, set in West Virginia and due out in February.


The two most successful fiction books by Appalachian authors in 2018 were not set in the region: Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered set in New Jersey and Charles Frazier’s Varina which features a variety of Southern settings.


Winter 2019 Okra Picks from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance include:

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren – set in West Virginia

Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham – set in Birmingham


The Journal of Appalachian Studies is now accepting applications for the position of Book Review Editor. This is an unpaid, volunteer position. The Book Review Editor will be expected to identify suitable reviewers for a wide range of recently published books in Appalachian studies, and to coordinate the writing and editing of commissioned reviews for publication in the journal. The Journal of Appalachian Studies is published twice per year by the University of Illinois Press on behalf of the Appalachian Studies Association. Reviews for inclusion in the spring and fall issues of JAS are due to the assistant managing editor on December 15 and May 1, respectively. The review editor should plan to submit five reviews per issue of the journal. Contact the journal editor, Shaunna Scott, at  Application materials must be postmarked or submitted electronically by Monday, April 1, 2019.


 Denton Loving reports:  I'm excited to announce that beginning in March, I will have a residential space on my farm for writers! We're now taking applications for one- and two-week sessions between March and July.  Denton lives in the Powell River Valley  of Tennessee near Cumberland Gap.


Longreads has honored Jessie Wilkerson, author of To Live Here You Have to Fight, for her essay, “Living with Dolly Parton” as one of the Best 25 exclusive stories they carried in 2018. Longreads, founded in 2009, is a kind of Readers Digest of the web, sharing the in-depth essays they find the most provocative.