2016 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award nominations open until July 15

Press release:

May 31, 2016

Asheville, NC – The Western North Carolina Historical Association is now accepting nominations for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Originated by the Louis Lipinsky family, the Award has been presented by the Western North Carolina Historical Association since 1955. The Award is now a partnership between WNCHA and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Board. The deadline for submission of nominated works is Friday, July 15, 2016.

To be considered, an entry must be a published work of fiction, nonfiction, drama or poetry.  It must be a first edition work; revised editions of published works will not be considered for the Award. The publication date must be in the calendar year 2015 or no later than July 1, 2016. The author must be a native of the Western North Carolina region, or a resident of Western North Carolina for at least twelve months prior to the closing date for the Award. Or, an author may also qualify if the work submitted has a focus on or setting in Western North Carolina. 

Western North Carolina includes the Qualla Boundary and the following 25 counties:  Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and Yancey.

The Award Panel this year consists of Michael Sartisky, PhD, Chair, President Emeritus of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities; Richard Graham, PhD, Immediate Past President, WNCHA; Jim Stokely, board member, Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Committee; Dan Pierce, PhD, NEH University Distinguished Professor, Dept of History, UNC-Asheville; Gwin Jones, Past President, WNCHA; Tom Muir, Director, Thomas Wolfe Memorial; Ellen Carr, board member, Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Committee; Mimi Fenton, PhD, Immediate Past Dean of the Graduate School, WCU; and Thomas Wright, Owner, Battery Park Book Exchange.

Letters of nomination should specify the eligibility criteria: date of publication, birthplace or residence of author and setting of action. Applicants should submit a cover letter and three copies of the work postmarked no later than July 15, 2016 to:

Wolfe Award Committee
WNC Historical Association
283 Victoria Road
Asheville, NC 28801

An awards ceremony and reception, in honor of the 2016 Award recipient, will be held in early 2017.

The Association presented the first Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award to Wilma Dykeman in 1955 for The French Broad. The Award has continued to be funded, in part, by Mrs. E. Frank Edwinn, a member of the Lipinsky family and for the last three years by WNCHA and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Board, both with support from Michael Sartisky, PhD. Other recipients of this prestigious award include Robert Morgan, John Paris, Gail Godwin, John Ehle, Charles Frazier, Robert Brunk, Michael McFee, Lee Smith, Ron Rash, and Wayne Caldwell.

Doug Orr and Fiona Ritchie were the recipients of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award to for their book: Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage From Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia.

The mission of the Western North Carolina Historical Association and the Asheville History Center is the preservation and promotion of the history of Western North Carolina through the care, interpretation and presentation of the Smith-McDowell House, the education of the public through lectures, exhibitions, publications, and related events; and the facilitation of cooperation among regional historical organizations.

About Max Hunt
Max Hunt grew up in South (New) Jersey and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2011. History nerd; art geek; connoisseur of swimming holes, hot peppers, and plaid clothing. Follow me @J_MaxHunt

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