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Rash Wins Novello Press Award

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Writer Ron Rash, best known for his superb poetry, has been named winner of the 2002 Novello Festival Press Literary Award for his novel One Foot In Eden. Novello Press Executive Editors Amy Rogers and Frye Gaillard announced the award this week. "A number of the manuscripts we read were deserving of publication," Rogers said. "But Ron Rash's book had that all-too-rare combination of compelling characters and a page-turning plot -- in a story of love, loss and sacrifice. One Foot in Eden is made all the more memorable by the strength of Ron's storytelling. Readers will remember this book for a long, long time."

One Foot in Eden will be Rash's first published novel. Rash teaches English at TriCounty Technical College in Pendleton, SC and poetry in the Queens College MFA program in Charlotte. He has previously published three books of poetry, two collections of short stories and a children's book.

Rash said, "This is quite an honor. Especially gratifying is knowing the novel was chosen by a group of fellow writers."

Fellow Carolinian (and author of the Oprah Pick Gap Creek) Robert Morgan described the book as "a story of family secrets and family bonds, of legacies and intense loyalties. . .in prose that thrills like his poetry. I couldn't put it down."

Rogers noted that 115 manuscript submissions from writers in the two Carolinas were received and evaluated for the award. Five finalists were also announced: Anthony Abbott, Isaac Bailey, Bridget Huckabee, Karon Luddy and Sean Scapellato. Each will receive a $100 award.

The Novello Literary Award includes a $1000 advance against royalties, national distribution of the book, and a presentation piece from Tiffany. The book is scheduled for publication in the fall. Novello Festival Press is sponsored by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Its books are distributed by John F. Blair Publisher in Winston-Salem.

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