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Georgia Writers Association names 25 Georgia authors of the year

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Terry Kay Shares a Lifetime of Experiences with Georgia Writers at GAYA

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Kennesaw, GA, June 11, 2011: “My passion for many,many, many years has been to celebrate the writing done in this state. I have been dismayed that Georgia writers have not had the kind of acknowledgement that our neighboring states give their native writers. This occasion tonight does this – gives recognition to our native writers.” Terry Kay addressed those gathered for the 47th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards on Saturday, June 11, 2011, where he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award fromthe awards sponsor, the Georgia Writers Association.

Kay is the author of several popular novels including Dance with the White Dog which became a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. His novel, The Book of Marie won the Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2008 for best fiction. His latest book, Bogmeadow’s Wish, published by Mercer University Press, was released in 2011. Kay, a prolific writer, says he is more concerned with the reader than the writing.

Kay spoke to a crowd of nearly 200 writers and guests, telling them: “There are times I think the writing is overstated. It is reallynot about us. It is about the person that reads you more than anything else.”

Twenty-four awards were given in 12 genres to Georgia authors who published in 2010. Winners included Philip Lee Williams for his work of poetry, The Flower Seeker,and Joseph A. Skibell, for A CurableRomantic, as best fiction in Georgia. The growing genre of Creative Nonfiction produced winners such as first time writer Craig Rikard for his memoir about his family’s struggle with drug addiction in Hidden Epidemic

This year the Georgia Writers Association, presented a finalist in each category with an award in addition to the winner of the genre.The finalist for First Novel was Jeffrey Stepakoff for Fireworks over Toccoa. The Fiction Finalist Award went to JoshilynJackson for Backseat Saints. The complete list of winners and finalists can be found on the Georgia Writers Association Web site: www.georgiawriters.org.The official Web site of the Georgia Author of the Year Awards is at www.authoroftheyear.org

The Georgia Writers Association recognizes Georgia's authors of excellence by presenting the Georgia Author of the Year Awards. The GAYA has the distinction of being the oldest literary awards in the Southeastern United States. The GAYA honors both independently published authors, those whose books are published by traditional publishing houses, and self-published authors.

The Awards have grown in prestige and participation sinceits inception in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists. The GAYA changed hands in 1990 under the Georgia Writers Association and in 2006 GWAbegan a strong affiliation with Kennesaw State University's Department of English in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

In 2011 over 80 books were nominated for Georgia Author of the Year. The GAYA covers the traditional categories of Poetry and Fiction,while accommodating the growing Creative Non-Fiction genre. The guidelines are revised each year to parallel the changing literary marketplace.

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