Wednesday, November 29, 2023

2023 North Carolina Book Award Recipients Announced

Nov 29, 2023

North Carolina’s strong literary tradition is celebrated by the 2023 North Carolina Book Awards, which will be presented Dec. 8 during the annual meeting of the N.C. Literary and Historical Association. The annual awards recognize significant works by North Carolina writers.

Since its founding in September 1900, the N.C. Literary and Historical Association has pledged to stimulate the production of literature and to collect and preserve historical material in North Carolina

The 2023 North Carolina Book Award winners are:

Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction: Willis P. Whichard for "Consequential Life: David Lowery Swain. Nineteenth-Century North Carolina and Their University." Whichard of Chapel Hill is a lawyer who, like his subject David Swain, has spent most of his career in public office and the academy. He is the only person in North Carolina history who has served in both the North Carolina House of Representatives and the North Carolina Senate and on both the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. Dean and Professor of Law at Campbell University from 1999-2006, he holds the A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina and the LL.M and S.J.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. (

Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction: Marjorie Hudson for "Indigo Field." Hudson, born in a small town in Illinois and raised in Washington, D.C., graduated from American University with a degree in Journalism and Women’s Studies. She served as features editor of National Parks Magazine, has published articles in Garden & Gun, American Land Forum, Wildlife in North Carolina, Our State Magazine, and North Carolina Literary Review and served as copyediting chief for Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. (

American Association of University Women of North Carolina Young People’s Literature Award: Micki Bare for "Blind Fairy." Bare spent the first 16 years of her career as an early childhood executive and six years in advertising as a writer, editor, and web content manager. In 2014 she became an associate editor for a parenting magazine and spent more than four years serving as a marketing director for an early childhood nonprofit organization but now teaches English language arts in middle school. (

Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry: Michael McFee for "A Long Time to Be Gone." McFee is a native of Asheville, N.C., and resides in Durham. He is the Doris Betts Term Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he teaches in the Creative Writing Program. He is the author or editor of 16 books. (

Christopher Crittenden Memorial Award: Dr. Milton Ready, Professor Emeritus of History at UNC-Asheville. Ready, the author of regional histories, fiction, and essays, writes about the beauty of western North Carolina. He attended both Rice and the University of Houston before earning a doctorate from the University of Georgia.

Hardee Rives Award for the Dramatic Arts: Historic Thalian Hall in Wilmington, N.C. (

The Office of Archives and History is within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and administers the North Carolina Book Awards program.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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