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November 2017- News from the Appalachian Literary Scene

November 2017- News from the Appalachian Literary Scene

On November 11, The Western North Carolina Historical Association and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Board presented the 2017 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award Trophy and a check for $1500 to Julia Franks for her novel, Over the Plain Houses. Other finalists were

Family of Earth  by Wilma Dykeman - posthumously published

Hazel Creek by Daniel Pierce

The Risen by Ron Rash

This award has been given since 1955 for the outstanding book of the year  by a Western North Carolina resident or depicting the region. The first winner was The French Broad by Wilma Dykeman. Previous winners include  Robert Morgan, John Paris, Gail Godwin, John Ehle, Charles Frazier, Robert Brunk, Michael McFee, Lee Smith, Ron Rash, and Wayne Caldwell.


Okra Picks are “a dozen fresh titles chosen each season that the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance members want to handsell.  Here are the Appalachian titles among their Winter, 2017 picks:

A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert, a novel set in the Virginia mountains

Heaven's Crooked Finger by Hank Early, a novel set in the Georgia mountains

Tales of a Cosmic Possum by Sheila Ingle, a novel set in the South Carolina mountains

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash, a novel depicting in fiction the real life of Ella May Wiggins, a union activist


2017 releases nominated by the Kirkus Reviews Prize but not finalists

Fast Falls the Night by Julia Keller, a novel set in West Virginia

A Welcome Murder  by Robin Yocum, a novel set in Steubenville, Ohio, across the Ohio river from W.V.

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker follows E. Ky. characters to New York and back

Monsters in Appalachia  by Sheryl Monks, a short story collection by an author from W. V. and N.C.


Named by Kirkus Reviews one of the best books of 2016:

Beyond the Monongah: An Appalachian Story by Judith Hoover


Wendy Welch has been awarded the New River Gorge Winter Writer’s Residency for 2018. As Writer-in-Residence Welch will live at Lafayette Flats, a luxury vacation rental in downtown Fayetteville, from January through March, and have three months to work on her writing there.