Lincoln Memorial University

AWA Appalachian Book of the Year

Lincoln Memorial University’s Mountain Heritage Literary Festival is proud to work with the Appalachian Writers Association and members of the Department of Literature and Language at East Tennessee State University to manage the annual presentation of the Appalachian Book of the Year awards. Beginning in the summer 2018, winners will be announced annually at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at LMU in Harrogate, Tennessee, usually convened on the 3rd weekend in June. 

Awards for books published in 2016 and 2017

Because of a lapse in offering the awards, we are now accepting nominations for the 2016 and 2017 ABOYs. Both sets of winners will be announced at the 2018 MHLF.

Appalachian Book of the Year Eligibility

All books must be written by an author(s) who resides in, has resided in, or is writing about Appalachia as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission. To see what counties are part of this defined area, visit

The following are eligible:

  • Full-length single-author or collaborative-author books of literary fiction and creative nonfiction
  • Full-length single-author or collaborative-author collections of short stories and collections of essays
  • Full-length single-author or collaborative collections of poetry
  • Collected and selected poems, essays, or stories by a single or collaborative author

 While shared authorship of a single book is acceptable, edited anthologies of works by multiple authors are not eligible at this time. Self-published books are not eligible at this time.

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 10 finalists if submissions exceed 10 titles. 
  • Nominations may be made by publishers, authors, librarians, or members of AWA.
  • The person nominating the book must submit 5 copies of the book and a letter of recommendation that includes the names of the author, editor, and publisher, as well as the date of publication, ISBN number, and the book’s connection to the Appalachian region as defined above, along with contact information for both the editor or publisher and author.
  • Send nominating packages to Darnell Arnoult, Writer-in-Residence, Lincoln Memorial University, 6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Campus Box 1643, Harrogate TN 37752.


  • Nomination deadline for books published in 2016 is November 30, 2017. 
  • Nomination deadline for books published in 2017 is January 31, 2018.

 The AWA will refer to the book’s indicia of its first edition to determine its original publication date.


 For more information, please email Darnell Arnoult at



423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752