Press release from the Western North Carolina Historical Association:
It was as crowded house at the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville as the Western North Carolina Historical Association and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Board presented the 2017 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award trophy and accompanying $1,500 prize to Julia Franks. High praise was given to Franks by TWMLA Committee Chairman, Michael Sartisky, for her novel Over the Plain Houses.
Other finalists read from their works including Jim Stokley, who read from Family of Earth, his mother Wilma Dykeman’s newly released memoir, and Daniel Pierce, who read exciting excepts from his new book Hazel Creek. Ellen Carr read from No One is Coming To Save Us on behalf of Stephanie Powell Watts and Mimi Fenton read from the outstanding Ron Rash novel, The Risen.
The WNC Historical 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 Edwin, a member of the Lipinsky family and for the last five years by WNCHA, and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Board, both with generous support from Michael Sartisky, PhD. Other recipients of this prestigious Award include Terry Roberts, Robert Morgan, John Paris, Gail Godwin, John Ehle, Charles Frazier, Robert Brunk, Michael McFee, Lee Smith, Ron Rash, and Wayne Caldwell.