Kim Church of Raleigh, author the poignant debut novel, "Byrd," has won $1,000 and a free glass of wine every day for a year at Crook's Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill. She's the winner of the second annual Crook's Corner Book Prize, announced Monday evening at the restaurant.
Novelist, short story writer and biographer Randall Kenan, who teaches English and comparative literature at UNC Chapel Hill, chose "Byrd" from a short list of four novels.
"All the books were beautifully written, interesting to read, and often fun," Kenan emailed today. "Byrd stood out as the most successful artistic expression and the novel with the purest, most daring and moving language. Plus the story is so very powerful. I think people will be reading this book for quite some time to come."
The 2014 inaugural winner was Wiley Cash of Wilmington for his novel "A Land More Kind Than Home." The judge was short story writer and novelist Jill McCorkle.
Next year's judge will be novelist Lee Smith.
The contest is open to first-time novelists whose work is set in the American South, though the authors can live outside the South.
Entries are now being accepted for the third annual Crook's Corner Book Prize. For more information: Info@crookscornerbookprize.com.
The Crook's Corner Book Prize Long List
Queen Sugar, by Natalie Baszile / A Pamela Dorman book/Viking
Byrd, by Kim Church / Dzanc Books
The Resurrectionist, by Matthew Guinn / W.W. Norton
Flying Shoes, by Lisa Howorth / Bloomsbury USA
Remember Me Like This, by Bret Anthony Johnston / Random House
I Shall Be Near To You, by Erin Lindsay McCabe / Crown
Heart of Palm, by Laura Lee Smith / Grove Press
In the Garden of Stone, by Susan Tekulve / Hub City Press
Saint Monkey, by Jacinda Townsend / W.W. Norton
The Ways of the Dead, by Neely Tucker / Viking
Mother of Rain, by Karen Spears Zacharias / Mercer University
The eleven books that made the Crook’s Corner Book Prize Long List were published between January 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, and were selected from entries submitted by major publishers, independent publishers and self-publishers. The goal of the Crook’s Corner Book Prize is to encourage new writers.