1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Transylvania seeks nominations for 10th annual Judy Gaines Young Book Award

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Transylvania University seeks nominations for its prestigious Judy Gaines Young Book Award, which has been honoring the works of Appalachian writers for the past decade.

The university encourages nominations from readers, publishers and literary organizations — submit them here by July 15 for next year’s recognition.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the award,” professor Jeremy Paden said. “And we are proud to have recognized both emerging writers of merit as well as established writers. Indeed, six of the nine recipients have been Kentucky poets laureate and two of them were recognized before being honored with the title and responsibilities of laureate.”

The award was established through the generosity of neurosurgeon Byron Young ’61 in honor of his late wife Judy ’62, an avid reader and poet.

The award committee is looking for authors with a significant body of work that resonates with the Appalachian experience, along with individual voices deemed important to the literary landscape of the region.

“The central Appalachian states are a place with a long tradition in the literary arts and a strong and vibrant community of living writers,” Paden continued. “This is a community where writers live and write in our midst, not in far-off cities, and they look out for and nurture not just the up-and-coming voices in the region, but any and all who want to write. In Kentucky alone, writing workshops, retreats and gatherings of writing collectives dot the calendar.”

Past winners

Holly Goddard Jones (2015)
Amy Green (2016)
Crystal Wilkinson (2017)
Kathleen Driskell (2018)
Silas House (2019)
Frank X Walker (2020)
Robert Gipe (2021)
Jeff Worley (2022)
Richard Taylor (2023)
George Ella Lyon (2024)