52nd Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards Winners, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions

The 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Awards was held this past Saturday, June 4, at the Kennesaw State University Continuing Education Center. There were 154 nominees in 14 categories.

Over 230 authors and literary enthusiasts attended the banquet and ceremony. We would like to congratulate the GAYA winners, finalists, and honorable mentions for their outstanding literary achievements.

Please find below a list of the award recipients in order by category.


Children’s Book Winner: Malcolm Mitchell, The Magician’s Hat

Children’s Book Finalist: Jamie Bobo, The Birthday Candle

Detective/Mystery Winner: Linda Sands, 3 Women Walk into a Bar

Detective/Mystery Finalist: Cliff Yeargin, Hoochy Koochy: A Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery

First Novel Winner: Alexandra Curry, The Courtesan

First Novel Finalist: Brian Panowich, Bull Mountain

History/Biography Winner: Leonard Ray Teel, Reporting the Cuban Revolution: How Castro Manipulated American Journalists

History/Biography Finalist: William W. Winn, The Triumph of the Ecunnau-Nuxulgee: Land Speculators, George M. Troup, States Rights, and the Removal of the Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, 1825-38

Inspirational-Religious Winner: Carl McColman, Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality

Inspirational-Religious Finalist: Lisa M. Allen-McLaurin, Worship Matters! A Collection of Essays on the Practical and Spiritual Discipline of Worship

Inspirational-Secular Winner: David Ryback, Secrets of a Zen Millionaire: 8 Steps to Personal Wealth With Real Estate

Inspirational-Secular Finalist: H. James Dallas, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change: Inspire the People and Succeed Where Others Fail

Inspirational-Secular Honorable Mention: Josh Langston, Write Naked!  Secrets of Dynamic Prose Laid Bare!

Literary Fiction Winner: Ravi Howard, Driving the King

Literary Fiction Finalist: Sherry Meeks, Finding Tambri: A Novel in Stories

Memoir/Autobiography Winner: Gautam Narula, Remain Free

Memoir/Autobiography Finalist: Julia McDermott, All the Above: My Son’s Battle with Brain Cancer

Memoir/Autobiography Honorable Mention: Jimmy Carter, A Full Life

Memoir/Autobiography Honorable Mention: Kit Cummings, Peace behind the Wire, A Nonviolent Resolution

Poetry Winner: William Wright, Tree Heresies

Poetry Finalist: Beth Gylys, Sky Blue Enough To Drink

Romance Winner: Karin Gillespie, Girl Meets Class

Romance Finalist: Susan Carlisle, His Best Friend’s Baby

Science Fiction/Fantasy Winner: Constance McKee, The Girl in the Mirror

Science Fiction/Fantasy Finalist: Kathryn Hinds, The Healer’s Choice

Short Story Winner: Mary Hood, A Clear View of the Southern Sky

Short Story Finalist: Sara Kay Rupnik, Women Longing to Fly

Specialty Book Winner: Sandra D. Deal, Jennifer W. Dickey, and Catherine M. Lewis, Memories of the Mansion:  The Story of Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion

Specialty Book Finalist: Andrew Feiler, Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color:  The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College

Young Adult Winner: Cassie Beasley, Circus Mirandus

Young Adult Finalist: C. M. Fleming, Halley’s Hope