56th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards Winners and Finalists

The winners and finalists of the 2020 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) were announced Saturday, June 13th on Facebook Live. There were 110 nominees in 14 categories. You may watch a recording of the announcement here

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
Lynn Cullen
You may read author Ann Hite’s tribute to her here.

POSTHUMOUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Leon Stokesbury
You may read author Jessica Lindberg’s tribute to him here.

BIOGRAPHY
Winner: John D. Duncan & Sandra L. Underwood, The Showy Town of Savannah: The Story of the Architect William Jay
Finalist: David Cady, Religion of Fear: The True Story of the Church of God of the Union Assembly

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Winner: Tanya Valentine, Illustrated by Jorge Martin, Little Taco Truck
Finalist: Denene Millner, Illustrated by Gladys Jose, Fresh Princess

COOKBOOK
Winner: Whitney Otawka, The Saltwater Table: Recipes from The Coastal South
Finalist: Chris Taylor & Paul Arguin, The New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert

DETECTIVE/MYSTERY
Winner: Brian Panowich, Like Lions
Finalist: Joshilyn Jackson, Never Have I Ever

ESSAY COLLECTION
Winner: Megan Volpert, Boss Broad
Finalist: LaRue Cook, Man in the (Rearview) Mirror: That Time I Left Corporate America, Became an Uber Driver, and Lived to Write About It

FIRST NOVEL
Winner: Anissa Gray, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
Finalist: Jessica Handler, The Magnetic Girl

HISTORY
Winner: G. Wayne Clough, Things New & Strange: A Southerner’s Journey Through the Smithsonian Collections
Finalist: Akila Sankar McConnell, A Culinary History of Atlanta

INSPIRATIONAL
Winner: Barbara Brown Taylor, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others
Finalist: Carl McColman, Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught (And Why That’s Okay)

LITERARY FICTION
Winner: Zoe Fishman, Invisible as Air
Finalist: Susan Rebecca White, We Are All Good People Here

MEMOIR
Winner: Heather Christle, The Crying Book
Finalist: Jared Yates Sexton, The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making

POETRY CHAPBOOK
Winner: Clela Reed, Silk
Finalist: Diana Anhalt, Walking Backward

POETRY FULL-LENGTH BOOK
Winner: Malcolm Tariq, Heed the Hollow
Finalist: Edward Wilson, In a Rich Country

ROMANCE
Winner: Tracy Solheim, Shot in the Dark 
Finalist: Wendy Wax, My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding

YOUNG ADULT
Winner: Nic Stone, Jackpot
Finalist: Laura Silverman, You Asked for Perfect