57th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards Winners and Finalists

The winners and finalists of the 2021 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) were announced Saturday, June 12th on Facebook. There were 94 nominees in 11 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
Pearl Cleage
You may watch Tayari Jones’ tribute to her here.

POSTHUMOUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Molly Brodak
You may watch Caroline Crew’s tribute to her here.

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Winner: Malcolm Mitchell, illustrated by Michael Robertson, My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World
Finalist: Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Pete Oswald, Rita and Ralph’s Rotten Day

DETECTIVE/MYSTERY
Winner: Kimberly Belle, Stranger in the Lake
Finalist: Christopher Swann, Never Turn Back

FIRST NOVEL
Winner: Ginger Eager, The Nature of Remains
Finalist: Veena Rao, Purple Lotus

HISTORY
Winner: Claudio Saunt, Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory
Finalist: Jaclyn Weldon White, Pure Evil: The Machetti Murders of Macon, Georgia

INSPIRATIONAL
Winner: Kaitlin B. Curtice, Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God
Finalist: André and Jeff Shinabarger, Love or Work: Is It Possible to Change the World, Stay in Love, and Raise a Healthy Family?

LITERARY FICTION
Winner: Taylor Brown, Pride of Eden
Finalist: Elizabeth Musser, The Promised Land

MEMOIR
Winner: Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir
Finalist: Kristie Robin Johnson, High Cotton
Honorable Mention: 
Ann Hite, Roll the Stone Away: A Family’s Legacy of Racism and Abuse

POETRY FULL-LENGTH BOOK
Winner: Carlos Andrés Gómez, Fractures
Finalist: Julie E. Bloemeke, Slide to Unlock

ROMANCE
Winner: Colleen Oakley, You Were There Too
Finalist: Sharina Harris, (Im)perfectly Happy

SPECIALTY
Winner: Stephen Doster, photographs by Benjamin Galland, Cumberland Island: Footsteps in Time
Finalist: Asha Gomez and Martha Hall Foose, I Cook in Color: Bright Flavors from My Kitchen and Around the World

YOUNG ADULT
Winner: Nic Stone, Dear Justyce
Finalist: Chris Negron, Dan Unmasked