Lincoln Memorial University


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. Winners will be announced annually at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at LMU in Harrogate, Tennessee, usually convened on the 3rd weekend in June. 


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 5-10 finalists if submissions exceed these numbers. 
  • 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, DOLL, Avery Hall, 6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Harrogate TN 37752.


  • Nomination deadline for books published in 2018 has been extended to April 26, 2019.

 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 [email protected].



423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752