David Joy Wins 2023 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Awards - TribPapers

David Joy Wins 2023 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Awards

Photo of David Joy (author). This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Asheville – The Asheville Museum of History reveals David Joy as the recipient of the 2023 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award for his work “Those We Thought We Knew.” Other finalists, including Erica Abrams Locklear, Elizabeth Giddens, Jennifer McGaha, and Terry Roberts, will also be recognized at an awards ceremony set for Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m. The event will take place at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium on 19 Tech Drive in Asheville, North Carolina, with a reception to follow at the Asheville Museum of History located at the Smith-McDowell House on 283 Victoria Road.

Established by the Louis Lipinsky family, the Award has been a yearly tradition since 1955, honoring printed works that spotlight Western North Carolina. Eligibility criteria dictate that the entry must be a first edition published piece of fiction, nonfiction, drama, or poetry, with a publication date no later than August 1, 2023. The author must either hail from Western North Carolina or have been a resident for a minimum of twelve months leading up to the Award deadline. Alternatively, the work submitted should focus on or be set in Western North Carolina.

The inaugural Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award was bestowed upon Wilma Dykeman in 1955 for “The French Broad.” In 2022, Brent Martin claimed the award for “George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina.” A roster of acclaimed authors including Robert Brunk, Wayne Caldwell, Wiley Cash, Charles Frazier, John Ehle, Gail Godwin, and others have been past recipients of the award.

David Joy will be presented with a prize of $1,000 at the ceremony on April 25th at AB Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium, where finalists will read passages from their works. A reception is scheduled at 7 p.m. afterward at the Asheville Museum of History. The finalists were selected from over 35 nominations this year.

The Award Panel, chaired by Catherine Frank and comprised of esteemed individuals including Wayne Caldwell and Jim Stokely, President of the Wilma Dykeman Legacy, meticulously reviewed the submissions to select this year’s finalists, recognizing a diverse array of genres and forms.