Thomas Wolfe Literary Awards Ceremony

Thu, Apr 25, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This event has already occurred.
Ferguson Building Auditorium, A-B Tech Campus
19 Tech Dr, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
The Asheville Museum of History
(828) 253-9231

The Asheville Museum of History (Formerly the Western North Carolina Historical Association) announces David Joy’s Those We Thought We Knew as the winner of the 2023 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award

The Asheville Museum of History announces the selection of the winner David Joy for Those We Thought We Knew for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Finalists Erica Abrams Locklear, Elizabeth Giddens, Jennifer McGaha and Terry Roberts will also be honored at an awards ceremony Thursday, April 25, 6 p.m. at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium (19 Tech Drive). A reception will follow at the Asheville Museum of History at the Smith-McDowell House, 283 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC.

Originated by the Louis Lipinsky family, the Award has been presented annually by the organization since 1955 for printed works that focus special attention on Western North Carolina. To be considered, an entry must be a published work of fiction, nonfiction, drama or poetry and meet the following criteria:

  1. It must be a first edition work; revised editions of published works will not be considered.
  2. The publication date must have been no later than August 1, 2023.
  3. The author must be a native of Western North Carolina or a resident of Western North Carolina for at least twelve months prior to the closing date for the Award.
  4. An author may also qualify if the work submitted has a focus on or setting in Western North Carolina.

 The Western North Carolina Historical Association presented the first Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award to Wilma Dykeman in 1955 for The French Broad. Brent Martin won the 2022 award for George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina. Other authors who have received the award include Robert Brunk, Wayne Caldwell, Wiley Cash, Charles Frazier, John Ehle, Gail Godwin, Michael McFee, Doug Orr, Ron Rash, Fiona Ritchie, Terry Roberts, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Lee Smith.

A prize of $1,000 accompanies the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and will be awarded to David Joy, winner of this year’s award, at a ceremony at AB Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium (Fernihurst Drive, Asheville) on Thursday, April 25, 6 p.m. Each of the finalists will read a short passage from their work. There will be a reception at 7 p.m. at the Asheville Museum of History at the Smith-McDowell House.

This year’s finalists were chosen from an original group of more than 35 nominations.  The finalists, listed below in alphabetical order, encompass a broad range of genres and forms.

  • Erica Abrams Locklear Appalachia on the Table: Representing Mountain Food and People
  • Elizabeth Giddens Oconaluftee: The History of a Smoky Mountain Valley
  • David Joy Those We Thought We Knew (Winner of the 2023 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award)
  • Jennifer McGaha Bushwhacking: How to Get Lost in the Woods and Writer Your Way Out
  • Terry Roberts The Sky Club

The Award Panel this year consists of: Catherine Frank, Chair, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville; Wayne Caldwell, author and former Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award winner; Dee James, professor emeritus, UNC-Asheville; and Jim Stokely, President, Wilma Dykeman Legacy.

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