Past Winners

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54th GAYA (2018)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Sharan Strange

POSTHUMOUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Thomas Lux

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Winner: Vickie McEntire, Little Bird & Myrtle Turtle
Finalist: Dan Carlton, Ollie and the Wise Old Owl

DETECTIVE/MYSTERY
Winner: Roger Johns, Dark River Rising
Finalist: Maggie Toussaint, Dadgummit

FIRST NOVEL
Winner: Peter McDade, The Weight of Sound
Finalist: Christopher Swann, Shadow of the Lions 

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
Winner: Dawn Peterson, Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum Expansion
Finalist: Mehrsa Baradaran, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap 

INSPIRATIONAL
Winner: Deborah Malone, Blooming in Broken Places
Finalist: Candace L. Long, The Ancient Path to Creativity and Innovation: Where Left and Right Brains Meet 

LITERARY FICTION
Winner: Man Martin, The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome
Finalist: Anna Schachner, You and I and Someone Else
Honorable Mention: Daren Wang, The Hidden Light of Northern Fires

MEMOIR
Winner: Christopher Martin, This Gladdening Light: An Ecology of Fatherhood and Faith
Finalist: Stephen Corey, Startled at the Big Sound: Essays Personal, Cultural, and Literary 

POETRY CHAPBOOK
Winner: Jane Simpson, On the Porch, Under the Eave
Finalist: K. B. Kincer, After the Transplant 

POETRY FULL-LENGTH BOOK
Winner: Andrea Jurjević, Small Crimes
Finalist: Danielle Hanson, Ambushing Water 

ROMANCE
Winner: Sally Kilpatrick, Bless Her Heart
Finalist: Marilyn Baron, The Alibi 

SHORT STORY COLLECTION
Winner: Michael Bishop, Other Arms Reach Out to Me: Georgia Stories
Finalist: D. B. Martin, Terror Tales Vol. 1 

SPECIALTY BOOK
Winner: Jason Thrasher, Athens Potluck
Finalist: Jimmy Carter, The Craftsmanship of Jimmy Carter

YOUNG ADULT
Winner: Aaron Levy, Blood Don’t Lie
Finalist: McCall Hoyle, The Thing with Feathers

 

53rd GAYA (2017)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Raymond L. Atkins

POSTHUMOUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Judith Ortiz Cofer

BIOGRAPHY
Winner: Ted Geltner, Blood, Bone, and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews
Finalist: Patricia Bell-Scott, The Firebrand and the First Lady 

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Winner: Marcia Hawley Barnes, Tobijah
Finalist: Susie Gardner, 1, 2, 3 TEAM!

 DETECTIVE/MYSTERY
Winner: Trudy Nan Boyce, Out of the Blues
Finalist: Carole Townsend, Blood in the Soil

 ESSAY
Winner: Kathy A. Bradley, Wondering Toward Center
Finalist: Raymond L. Atkins, South of the Etowah: The View from the Wrong Side of the River

 FIRST NOVEL
Winner: Gray Stewart, Haylow
Finalist: Anne Corbitt, Rules for Lying

 HISTORY
Winner: Kaye Lanning Minchew, A President in Our Midst: Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Georgia
Finalist: Dan A. Aldridge, Jr., To Lasso the Clouds: The Beginning of Aviation in Georgia.

 INSPIRATIONAL-RELIGIOUS
Winner: R. Kirby Godsey, The God Particle: God Talk in a “Big Bang” World
Finalist: J. Steve Miller, Faith That’s Not Blind: A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Arguments for the Existence of God

INSPIRATIONAL–SECULAR
Winner: Jane K. Ashley, Cancer: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Finalist: Barry Pencek: The Millennial’s Guide to Wealth: Learn About Saving, Investing, Spending and Living While Drinking Beer

 LITERARY FICTION
Winner: Julia Franks, Over the Plain Houses
Finalist: Terry Kay, The King Who Made Paper Flowers
Honorable Mention: Ann Hite, Sleeping Above Chaos

MEMOIR/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Winner: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell, March
Finalist: Susan Lindsley, Possum Cops, Poachers and the Counterfeit Game Warden
Honorable Mention: Molly Brodak, Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir

POETRY
Winner: Sandra Meek, An Ecology of Elsewhere
Finalist: James Davis May, Unquiet Things

ROMANCE
Winner: Susan Sands, Love, Alabama
Finalist: Marilyn Baron, Stumble Stones

SPECIALTY BOOK
Winner: Sonny Seals and George S. Hart, Historic Rural Churches of Georgia
Finalist: Judson Mitcham, Michael David Murphy, and Karen L. Paty, Inspired Georgia

YOUNG ADULT
Winner: Marsha Mathews, Growing Up With Pigtails
Finalist: None

 

52nd GAYA (2016)

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Winner: Malcolm Mitchell, The Magician’s Hat
Finalist: Jamie Bobo, The Birthday Candle

DETECTIVE/MYSTERY
Winner: Linda Sands, 3 Women Walk into a Bar
Finalist: Cliff Yeargin, Hoochy Koochy: A Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery

FIRST NOVEL
Winner: Alexandra Curry, The Courtesan
Finalist: Brian Panowich, Bull Mountain

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
Winner: Leonard Ray Teel, Reporting the Cuban Revolution: How Castro Manipulated American Journalists
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
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
Finalist: H. James Dallas, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change: Inspire the People and Succeed Where Others Fail
Honorable Mention: Josh Langston, Write Naked!  Secrets of Dynamic Prose Laid Bare!

LITERARY FICTION
Winner: Ravi Howard, Driving the King
Finalist: Sherry Meeks, Finding Tambri: A Novel in Stories

MEMOIR/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Winner: Gautam Narula, Remain Free
Finalist: Julia McDermott, All the Above: My Son’s Battle with Brain Cancer
Honorable Mention: Jimmy Carter, A Full Life
Honorable Mention: Kit Cummings, Peace behind the Wire, A Nonviolent Resolution

POETRY
Winner: William Wright, Tree Heresies
Finalist: Beth Gylys, Sky Blue Enough To Drink

ROMANCE
Winner: Karin Gillespie, Girl Meets Class
Finalist: Susan Carlisle, His Best Friend’s Baby

SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY
Winner: Constance McKee, The Girl in the Mirror
Finalist: Kathryn Hinds, The Healer’s Choice

SHORT STORY
Winner: Mary Hood, A Clear View of the Southern Sky
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
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
Finalist: C. M. Fleming, Halley’s Hope

 

51nd GAYA (2015)

BIOGRAPHY
Winner: Carolyn Newton Curry, Suffer and Grow Strong: The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907
Finalist: James T. McAffee, Jr., To Make a Difference

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Winner: Charmain Zimmerman Brackett, Little Pearl’s Circus World
Finalist: Gloria Ludlam Bennett, Summers at Howard Creek

DETECTIVE/MYSTERY
Winner: David Darracott, Wasted
Finalist: Larissa Reinhart, Death in Perspective

 ESSAY
Winner: Kate Sweeney, American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning
Finalist: Sam Williams, The CEO as Urban Statesman: Harnessing the Power of CEOs to Make Cities Thrive

FIRST NOVEL
Winner: Debra Bowling, The Memory of Flight
Finalist: Brandon Daily, A Murder Country
Honorable Mention: Stan Waits, Another Long, Hot Day
Honorable Mention: Richard Judy, THRU–An Appalachian Trail Love Story

HISTORY
Winner: Alvin Townley, Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought For Them, and the One Who Never Returned
Finalist: David Beasley, Without Mercy: The Stunning True Story of Race, Crime, and Corruption in the Deep South

HUMOR
Winner: Jameson Gregg, Luck be a Chicken
Finalist: Todd Sentell, Toonamint of Champions and Why Golf is So Exciting

INSPIRATIONAL–SECULAR
Winner: Letitia Sweitzer, The Elephant in the ADHD Room: Beating Boredom as the Secret to Managing ADHD
Finalist: Peter Bowerman, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher

INSPIRATIONAL–RELIGIOUS
Winner: Connie Carey, Falling Up: Lessons Learned on the Way Down

LITERARY FICTION
Winner: Michael K. Brown, Somewhere a River
Finalist: Raymond Atkins, Sweetwater Blues
Finalist: Victoria Wilcox, Gone West: Book Two from Southern Son, The Saga of Doc Holliday Series

MEMOIR/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Winner: Clifton Crais, History Lessons
Finalist: Bahram Darugar, Out of Iran

POETRY
Winner: Anya Krugovoy Silver, I Watched You Disappear
Finalist: Alice Friman, The View from Saturn

ROMANCE
Winner: Debbie Kaufman, Journey of Hope
Finalist: Richard Taylor, Return to Eden

SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY/PARANORMAL
Winner: Jack McDevitt, Coming Home
Finalist: Sandra Hood, Blood Exchange

SHORT STORY
Winner: H. William Rice, The Lost Woods
Finalist: Evan Guilford-Blake, American Blues

SPECIALTY BOOK
Winner: Gordon L. Jones, Confederate Odyssey
Finalist: George Justice, Courthouses of Georgia

YOUNG ADULT
Winner: Elizabeth O. Dulemba, A Bird on Water Street 

 

50th GAYA (2014)

BIOGRAPHY
Jim Elledge, Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life on an Outsider Artist

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Brian Eames, The Dagger X

FICTION NOVEL
Raymond Atkins, Camp Redemption

FIRST NOVEL
Victoria Wilcox, Inheritance

HISTORY
J. Lloyd Winstead, When Colleges Sang: The Story of Singing in American College Life

INSPIRATIONAL–RELIGIOUS
David P. Gushee, The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision is Key to the World’s Future

INSPIRATIONAL–NON-SECULAR
Jessica Handler, Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss

MEMOIR/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Martha E. Ezzard, The Second Bud: Deserting the City for a Farm Winery

POETRY
Robert E. Wood, The Awkward Poses of Others

SPECIALTY BOOK
Jingle Davis, Island Time: An Illustrated History of St. Simons Island, Georgia

YOUNG ADULT
Terra Elan McVoy, Criminal

49th GAYA (2013)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Jack McDevitt

BIOGRAPHY
Joseph Crespino, Strom Thurmond’s America

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Sandra Page, Pyramid of the Lost World

ESSAY
Kathy A. Bradley, Breathing and Walking Around: Meditations of Life

FIRST NOVEL
Kimberly Brock, The River Witch

HISTORY
Steven Davis, What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and the Wrecking of Atlanta

INSPIRATIONAL–RELIGIOUS
J. Steve Miller, Near Death Experiences as Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven

INSPIRATIONAL–SECULAR
Patricia Martin Holt, Committee of One: Making a Difference, One Life at a Time

MEMOIR/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Joseph Scott Morgan, Blood Beneath My Feet

NOVEL
June Hall McCash, Plum Orchard

POETRY
Dan Veach, Elephant Water

SHORT STORY
Cliff Graubart, The Curious Vision of Sammy Levitt and Other Stories

SPECIALTY BOOK
Ren & Helen Davis, Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery: An Illustrated History and Guide

 

48th GAYA (2012)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Dr. Ferrol Sams

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Robin Lynne Gordon, Lift: A Gosling’s First Flight

ESSAY
Ed Grisamore, Never Put a Ten- Dollar Tree in a Ten-Cent Hole… and Other Stories

FICTION
Man Martin, Paradise Dogs

FIRST NOVEL
Ann Hite, Ghost on Black Mountain

HISTORY
Edward J. Larson, An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science

MEMOIR
Nancy Stephan, Truth About Butterflies

POETRY
Alice Friman, Vinculum: Poems

SHORT STORY
Terry Kay, The Greats of Cuttercane 

SPECIALTY BOOK
Phillip Juras, The Southern Frontier: Landscapes Inspired by Bartram’s Travels

YOUNG ADULT
Ted Dunagan, Trouble on the Tombigbee

 

47th GAYA (2011)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Terry Kay

BIOGRAPHY
Larry L. McSwain, Loving Beyond Your Theology: The Life and Ministry of Jimmy Raymond Allen

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK
Grady Thrasher, Tim and Sally’s Year in Poems

CHILDREN’S MID-READER
Peggy Mercer, Peach: When the Well Run Dry

ESSAY
Peter Augustine Lawler, Modern and American Dignity: Who We Are as Persons, and What that Means for our Future

FICTION
Joshilyn Jackson, Backseat Saints

FIRST NOVEL
June Hall McCash, Almost to Eden

HISTORY
Toni P. Anderson, “Tell Them We Are Singing for Jesus”: The Original Fisk Jubilee Singers and Christian Reconstruction, 1871-1878

INSPIRATIONAL
Justin Spizman and Robyn Spizman, Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up

MEMOIR
D. Craig Rikard, Hidden Epidemic: “Mama, Why Don’t You Remember Our Names Anymore?”

POETRY
Phillip Lee Williams, The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram

SPECIALTY BOOK
John A. Burrison, From Mud to Jug: The Folk Potters and Pottery of Northeast Georgia

YOUNG ADULT
Ted Dunagan, Secret of the Satilfa

 

46th GAYA (2010)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Robert W. Hill

BIOGRAPHY
James L. Hunt, Relationship Banker: Eugene W. Stetson, Wall Street, and American Business 1916-1959

CHILDREN’S MID-READER
V. S. Chin, Dragon Girl: An Interactive, Fork-of-Life Adventure

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK
Nicole Izmaylov, Ronnie and BB

ESSAY
Anita Renfroe, Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You: Kids, Carbs, and the Coming Hormone Apocalypse

FICTION
Philip Lee Williams, The Campfire Boys

FIRST NOVEL
Amanda C. Gable, The Confederate General Rides North

HISTORY
Polly Cooper and Ellen Taber, Tybee Days: 100 Years on Georgia’s Playground Island

INSPIRATIONAL
Carmen Acevedo Butcher, The Cloud of Unknowing with the Book of Privy 

MEMOIR
Winton Porter, Just Passin’ Thru

POETRY
Gregory Fraser, Answering the Ruins

SPECIALTY BOOK
David B. Dusenbery, Living at Microscale: The Unexpected Physics of Being Small

YOUNG ADULT
Jennifer Jabaley, Lipstick Anthology

 

45th GAYA (2009)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Furman Bisher

BIOGRAPHY
Fredrick L. Downing, Elie Wiesel: A Religious Biography

CHILDREN’S MID-READER
Pamela Bauer Mueller, Aloha Crossing

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK
Gail Langer Karwoski, River Beds

ESSAY
Kathryn McClymond, Beyond Sacred Violence: A Comparative Study of Sacrifice

FICTION
Jack Riggs, The Fireman’s Wife

FIRST NOVEL
Ray Atkins, The Front Porch Prophet

HISTORY
Paul A. Lombardo, Three Generations No Imbeciles

MEMOIR
Benyamin Cohen, My Jesus Year

POETRY
Ed Pavlic, The Winners Have Yet to Be Announced

SPECIALTY BOOK
Doug Janousek, Home Cookin’ Illustrated

YOUNG ADULT
Ted Dunagan, The Yellow Watermelon

 

44th GAYA (2008)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Dan Veach

TARAN FAMILY MEMORIAL AWARD
Stephen Bluestone, The Flagrant Dead

BIOGRAPHY
Jennifer Evans. What the Locust Had Eaten: The Nikki O’Baire Story

CHILDREN’S MID-READER
Shelia Moses, Sallie Gal and the Wall-a-kee Man

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK
Grady Thrasher, Tim and Sally’s Vegetable Garden

ESSAY
Melody Moezzi, War on Error: Real Stories of American Muslims 

FICTION
Terry Kay, The Book of Marie

FIRST NOVEL
Man Martin, Days of Endless Corvette

HISTORY
Timothy Crimmins and Anne Farrisee, Democracy Restored

MEMOIR
Doug Crandell, The All-American Industrial Motel 

POETRY
Turner Cassity, Devils & Islands: Poems 

SPECIALTY BOOK
James McGregor, Washington from the Ground Up

YOUNG ADULT
Pamela Bauer Mueller, An Angry Drum Echoed

 

43rd GAYA (2007)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Memye Curtis Tucker

TARAN FAMILY MEMORIAL AWARD
Collin Kelley and Kodac Harrison, Java Monkey Speaks: A Poetry Anthology, Vol. 2

ANTHOLOGIES/SHORT STORY
William Walsh, ed., Under the Rock Umbrella

BIOGRAPHY
Joyce Flueckiger, In Amma’s Healing Room

CHILDREN’S MID-READER
Carole Marsh, The Secret of Skullcracker Swamp

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK
Erin Harris, Elephant on My Roof

ESSAY
Phillip Lee Morris, In the Morning

FICTION
Joshilyn Jackson, Between, Georgia

FIRST NOVEL
Pamela Jackson, On This Side of Heaven

HISTORY
Hank Klibanoff, The Race Beat

INSPIRATIONAL
Joey Hancock, Success Afield

MEMOIR
Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church

POETRY
Jim Elledge, A History of My Tattoo

SELF-HELP
Peter Bowerman, The Well-Fed Publisher

SPECIALTY BOOK
Perry Dilbeck, The Last Harvest

YOUNG ADULT
Tom Dietz, Windmaster’s Bane

 

42nd GAYA (2006)

TARAN FAMILY MEMORIAL AWARD
Dawn Burnett, Ed., High School 101: Freshman Survival Guide

BIOGRAPHY
Steve Suitts, Hugo Black of Alabama

CHILDREN’S /YOUNG ADULT
Sheila Moses, I, Dred Scott

ESSAY
Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values

FICTION
David Fulmer, Jass

FIRST NOVEL
Brian Jay Corrigan, The Poet of Loch Ness

HISTORY
James C. Cobb, The Brown Decision, Jim Crow and Southern Identity

INSPIRATIONAL
Bruce Feiler, Where God Was Born

MEMOIR
Sidney Pike, We Changed the World

POETRY
Sandra Meek, Burn

SELF-HELP
Sandra P. Riggin, Breaking the Cycle

SPECIALTY BOOK
Dr. Donald Smith and Dr. Roy Ward, Churches: Photographs and Watercolors