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Carter Sickels has won the 2021 Southern Book Prize in fiction presented by the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Alliance for his 2020 novel, The Prettiest Star. Sickels is an assistant professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University. He was the recipient of the 2013 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award, and his first novel The Evening Hour, was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist and adapted into a feature film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Barbara Kingsolver has been awarded the 2021 Thomas Robinson Prize for Southern Literature - formerly the Sidney Lanier Prize, but this year re-named in honor of...

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Gurney’s Bend will be Hazard, Kentucky, newest subdivision. It is named after Gurney Norman who lived as a youth in the Allias community where his grandfather ran a coal company store. Norman is one of the most prominent promoters of Appalachian literature and the author, most notably, of Divine Right’s Trip and Kinfolks. The subdivision is being developed by the non-profit Housing Development Alliance which will build fifteen affordable houses and make them available to relatively low-income families. Dolly Parton has been named Southern Living’s Southerner of the Year. They singled out her Imagination Library as the primary reason for...

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On December 12, Terry Kay died at the age of 82 of liver cancer. He was born the 11th of 12 children on a northeast Georgia farm with no electricity. The quarterback of his high school football team, he married Tommie Duncan, the head cheerleader in 1959. Three of his almost twenty widely read books became movies, To Dance with the White Dog, The Valley of Light, and The Runaway. He was widely known and loved as a great listener and encourager, especially of prospective writers. At the time of his death, he was living in Athens, Georgia, and survived...

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Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle is on Literary Hub’s Reading Women’s 2020 Fiction Award’s very short list of only six books! Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle made the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s even shorter list of “Four New Southern Books for Fall Reading.” Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi was named one of four Best Books of Fall 2020 by O Magazine. The Kentucky Arts Council has announced its 2020 Governor’s Awards in the Arts. Their National Award went to Tom T. Hall, a Carter County native and their Artists Award went to Silas House, a...

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The home where Wilma Dykeman (1920-2006) grew up has been donated to the University of North Carolina at Asheville to implement an expanded Writers-in-Residence Program. The eleven-acre property is located near the head of Beaverdam Valley just north of Asheville. Authors will live in the residence for varying periods of time – from a semester to a week-end. The program will include workshops, public lectures and course offerings. It will “support both the craft of writing and the interdisciplinary topics of enduring interest to Wilma Dykeman during her lifetime, including but not limited to the environment, social change, human relations,...

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