News - September 2000  

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Book News

A best-selling novel about an Appalachian woman in 1900 and a memoir by a Georgia writer and naturalist are this year's winners of the Southern Book Awards presented by the Southern Book Critics Circle.

The fiction winner is Gap Creek by North Carolina native Robert Morgan (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), which focuses on the life of Julie Harmon Richards during her first year of marriage. Morgan has authored two other novels and is an award-winning poet of nine volumes. A teacher at Cornell University, he will be a visiting writer this fall at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Gap Creek was an Oprah Book Club selection.

Janisse Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (Milkweed) won the non-fiction prize. A native of Baxley, Georgia, Ray grew up in a junkyard, and her memoir combines colorful stories of growing up as a "child of the pines" and her passion to save the longleaf pine. An environmental activist and naturalist with a graduate degree in creative writing from the University of Montana, Ray also has published essays and poems in magazines and literary journals. 

The awards will be presented October 13th at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville.

Hill Street Press has awarded their Palimpest Prize to Let the Glory Out, a memoir by Albert Gore, Sr.  The late Tennessee senator and father of the vice president was known for his public stand for social change in the South and groundbreaking legislation in a career that spanned decades.

The Palimpest Prize goes to an out of print book selected by readers for reprint.  The new edition will offer a selection of never-before-published Gore family photographs and a new introduction by the vice president paying tribute to his father.

Let the Glory Out will be released as an e-book in mid-September and will be in bookstores in paperback edition by late September.

Bestselling Southern author Deborah Smith plans to self-publish a full-length original novel Solomon's Seal in Summer 2001.

Having sold more than 30 books to major New York publishing houses and currently under contract with Little, Brown & Company, Smith probably got the self-publishing itch from her partnership with BelleBooks, Inc. with the success of their first book Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes.

Deborah Smith explains, " While Solomon's Seal is a deeply southern contemporary story in the same vein as my "regular" novels, such as my New York Times bestseller A Place to Call Home (Bantam Books) and the upcoming On Bear Mountain (Little, Brown & Company,) it also ventures into a little different territory, which is why I opted to publish it in a different way. Solomon's Seal is a contemporary drama, a love story, a bit of a suspense--but something more. I call it 'believable fantasy.'" 

Joyce and Jim Lavene's novel Flowers in the Night in e-book format has been nominated for the Frankfurt Book Award.  It is the story of a woman who lives in a small mountain town in NC, stricken by polio as a child and unable to have children of her own, who longs for and, finally finds one to adopt.  The E-book is featured on Allene Francis' Books from the Heart site.

Geri Tarn, director of Georgia Writers, Inc., brings to our attention Women to Women Online, a part of The Gazette Online.  Geri is editor of the site, which covers a variety of topics of interest to women.  Freelancers may want to check the submission guidelines.

P.S. Wall, southern humorist and columnist of "Off the Wall", with Idella Bodie, author of children's literature and history.  Both were instructors at the 25th Annual Southeastern Writers Association Workshop held in June on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Call for Papers

Kate Chopin: A Woman of Influence. (deadline: Sept. 15, 2000)
Missed the Streetcar: Lesser-Known Works of Tennessee Williams (deadline: Sept. 15, 2000)
The Surprising Joy(s) of Flannery O'Connor (deadline: Sept. 25, 2000)
A Reconsideration of the Works of Caroline Gordon (deadline: Nov. 18, 2000)
Collection of Essays of Theoretical Approaches of Southern Literature (deadline: Jan. 1, 2001)


Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction (deadline: May 31, 2001)
The Writer's Digest Short Story Competition (deadline: December 1, 2000)
Southern Playwrights Competition (deadline: February 15, 2001)
National Ten-Minute Play Contest (deadline: December 1, 2000)