55th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards 2019 Winners and Finalists

The 2019 Georgia Author of the Year Awards was held  Saturday, June 15th at Westside Cultural Arts Center. There were 110 nominees in 14 categories.

Over 200 authors and literary enthusiasts attended the banquet and ceremony. We would like to congratulate the GAYA winners and finalists for their outstanding literary achievements.

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

 

 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Janisse Ray
You may read writer and poet Christopher Martin’s tribute to her here

 

POSTHUMOUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Anya Krugovoy Silver

 

BIOGRAPHY

Winner: Ruby Lal, Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Finalist: Mary Schmidt Campbell, An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden

 

CHILDREN’S BOOK

Winner: Deborah Wiles, A Long Line of Cakes      

Finalist:  Shanda McCloskey, Doll-E 1.0

 

DETECTIVE/MYSTERY 

Winner: Karin Slaughter, Pieces of Her

Finalist: Roger Johns, River of Secrets

 

ESSAY COLLECTION

Winner: André Joseph Gallant, A High Low Tide: The Revival of a Southern Oyster 

Finalist: Megan Volpert, Straight into Darkness: One Tom Petty Redemption Song 

 

FIRST NOVEL

Winner: Xhenet Aliu, Brass

Finalist: Spencer Wise, The Emperor of Shoes

 

HISTORY

Winner:  Joseph Crespino, Atticus Finch: The Biography

Finalist: Phil Hudgins and Jessica Phillips, Travels with Foxfire: Stories of People, Passions, and Practices from Southern Appalachia

 

LITERARY FICTION 

Winner: Roberta George, The Day’s Heat

Finalist: Tayari Jones, An American Marriage 

 

MEMOIR

Winner: Kelly Beard, An Imperfect Rapture

Finalist: James C. Abbot, Jr. The Burdens of Aeneas

 

POETRY CHAPBOOK

Winner: Julia Caroline Knowlton, The Café of Unintelligible Desire

Finalist: Cynthia Robinson Young, Migration 

 

POETRY FULL-LENGTH BOOK

Winner: Mario Chard, Land of Fire

Finalist:  Travis Denton, My Stunt Double

 

ROMANCE

Winner:  Sally Kilpatrick, Oh My Stars

Finalist: Ricki Schultz, Switch and Bait

 

SHORT STORY COLLECTION

Winner: Sabrina Orah Mark, Wild Milk

Finalist: Andy Plattner, Dixie Luck

 

SPECIALTY BOOK

Winner: Todd Richards, Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes

Finalist: Jimmy Carter, The Paintings of Jimmy Carter

 

YOUNG ADULT

Winner: Rachael Allen, A Taxonomy of Love  

Finalist: Will Walton, I Felt A Funeral, In My Brain