Lincoln Memorial University


During the June 2019 meeting of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, the following works received the Appalachian Book of the Year Awards for books published in 2018. Charles Dodd White’s In the House of Wilderness (Ohio University Press) received the award in the fiction category. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America (Little, Brown and Company) earned Beth Macy the award in the nonfiction category. The collaboration by Jesse Graves and William Wright, Specter Mountain (Mercer University Press), won the award in the poetry category. 


dopesick specter mountain In the House of Wilderness


Appalachian Books of the Year for 2017 publication are The New and Collected Poems of Jane Gentry (University Press of Kentucky), edited by Julia Johnson, Jess Donaldson’s nonfiction work On Homesickness (West Virginia Press), and Jim Minick’s Fire Is Your Water (Ohio University Press. Appalachian Books of the Year for 2016 Publication are Marc Harshman’s poetry volume, Believe What You Can (West Virginia University Press), Crystal Wilkinson’s novel, The Birds of Opulence (University Press of Kentucky), and Raymond L. Atkins’ nonfiction work, South of the Etowah: A View from the Wrong Side of the River (Mercer University Press).

Appalachian Book of the Year Eligibility

All books must be written by an author or co-authors who reside in, have resided in, or are writing about Appalachia as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission. To be eligible for nomination in the poetry category, the nominee must be a collection of work by a single or collaborative author. Under this category, a collection edited by a person other than the author(s) is permitted. For nomination in the fiction category, the book-length work must be by a single or collaborative author, and the volume may be a novel or a collection of short stories; the short story collection may be edited by a person other than the original author or authors. The nonfiction prose nomination, which must be either a single book-length work, a collection of nonfiction short stories, or a collection of essays, must be by a single author or collaborative authors. This volume may be edited by a person other than the original author(s). At this time, we do not have categories for anthologies of works by multiple authors or collections of mixed-genre work. Reprints are not eligible for nomination.

Judging Process

Judging panels will be comprised of 3 or 5 members per category.

  • Judging panels will be comprised of published authors, editors, literature professors, librarians, booksellers, and general readers.
  • Categories may be screened by committee to reduce submissions to 5-10 finalists if submissions exceed these numbers.
  • We reserve the right not to make an award in a category a committee determines to have insufficient nominations.
  • Nominations may be made by members of AWA, including participants in the MHLF, those who have submitted AWA dues, publishers, authors, and librarians. An author, however, may not nominate his or her own work.
  • Individuals may nominate one book per category per year. Publishers may nominate up to four books per category per year.
  • No self-published titles are eligible for nomination.
  • Nominations should be sent to Darnell Arnoult at [email protected], with the subject line “ABOY nomination.” Nominations must include the author, editor, and publisher, as well as the earliest date of publication (found in the book’s indicia) and ISBN number.
  • Publlishers or those nominating the book should send five review copies for the judges to Darnell Arnoult, LMU, Avery Hall, 5956 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Harrogate, TN 37752. 


Nomination deadline for books published in 2019 is February 15, 2020.


 For more information, please email Darnell Arnoult at [email protected].



423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752