Kennesaw, Georgia. May 8, 2012
The Georgia Writer’s Association (GWA) will present the 48thAnnual Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) on June 16th, 2012 at a banquet and awards ceremony to honor Georgia-resident authors who were published in 2011. The Georgia Author of the Year Book Awards recognizes Georgia’s outstanding writers and celebrates the state’s rich literary heritage. The GAYA has the distinction of being the oldest literary award in the Southeastern United States. Over one hundred authors were nominated this year in twelve categories of the book awards including 6 fiction categories:children’s books, young adult, fiction, first novel, short stories, and poetry and 6 non-fiction categories: biography, essay, history, inspirational, memoir and specialty. The competition is not limited to only mainstream published works. Eligible books can also be independently published or self-published.The list of the nominated books, which exceeded the previous year’s nominations by over 20 books, is available at www.authoroftheyear.org.
A book award winner will be announced for each category and some categories will have a runner-up book award or finalist. Along with announcing the GAYA winners, the Georgia Writers Association will also present the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award to Georgia author Ferrol Sams.
Ferrol Sams, who sees himself primarily as a “country doctor,” was recognized in 2001 for fifty years of service to the people of Fayette County. In addition to being a doctor, he served in the USA Army Medical Corp between 1943-1947, and taught Creative Writing at Emory University. He and his wife, also a doctor, settled in Fayetteville to open a private practice together in 1951. They have 4 children together. Two of the Sams’ children have followed in their parents footsteps and are also doctors working at their family owned practice. Dr. Sams retired from his medical practice in 2006.
Ferrol Sams has published 8 books: 3 novels chronicling the life of Porter Osborne, a multi-generational novel, 2 short story anthologies and 2 non-fiction books. Amazon has a long list of books by Ferrol Sams. The Georgia Writers Hall of Fame honored Ferrol Sams in 2007 by inducting him into their membership. His first novel, Run with the Horsemen became a fan favorite. Two stories from The Widow’s Mite and Other Stories, his first short story anthology, were adapted as one-act plays in 1993 at the A.R.T. Station Theater in Stone Mountain. His third Porter Osborne novel, When All the World Was Young, won the Townsend Prize for Fiction in 1991 and was performed by the American Public Radio’s Radio Reader in 1992. The A.R.T. Station dramatized one of the short stories from Epiphany for the 1996 Olympics Arts Festival. Dr.Sams’ work has been the subject of two community reading programs. In 2006, Run with the Horsemen was the inaugural text in Atlanta’s One Book, One Community program. In 2007, Down Town was selected by the Gwinnett County Public Library for their Gwinnett Reads program. The Christmas Gift is still a seasonal favorite among Ferrol’s fans.
The Emcees for the awards ceremony will be former GWA director Dr. Ralph Wilson and former GWA board member Jenny Sadre-Orafai. Dr. Wilson wrote A Black Bridge, a book of poetry, for which he won the GAYA in the 2002 Poetry Category. Jenny Sadre-Orafai wrote the chapbook Weeds Over Flowers and is the Senior Poetry Editor at JMWW.
The Georgia Writer’s Association and Kennesaw State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences sponsor the banquet and awards ceremony. Please join us on June 16th for an evening dedicated to celebrating Georgia’s rich literary heritage.Tickets are required to attend the banquet at 6 pm and can be obtained at www.georgiawriters.org or www.authoroftheyear.org. Order banquet tickets online.
Publishers, agents, editors and booksellers are encouraged to sponsor tables at the event to assist the Georgia Writer’s Association in furthering its goals and allow all of the nominees to attend.The awards ceremony following the banquet is free and open to the public at 7pm.
For more information about this book awards event, The Georgia Author of the Year, contact Georgia Writers Association administrator, Lisa M. Russell.
Release by: J. Luna Scuro
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