Category Archives: The Manly Wade Wellman Award

Announcing the Winner of the 2024 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Monday, July 15, 2024, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce the winner of the 2024 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, the result of juried selection from the list of 6 finalists.

The Award was presented at ConGregate 10 on Friday, July 12, 2024 in Winston-Salem, NC, to author Donna Glee Williams for The Night Field, published by Jo Fletcher Books:

Accepting her award with prepared remarks, Williams said:

I’m so honored to be counted among this group of finalists. I am—we are—deeply grateful to the North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation for lifting our stories to the attention of wider audiences. There is no greater gift you can give authors. Thank you!

And thank you, also, to the people without whom The Night Field could never have been written, oh, about 45 or 50 of ‘em—but I’ll just mention a few. My amazing grandpappy of an agent, Richard Curtis, who shepherded this book through during the Pandemic, probably the toughest time to sell a novel since the Great Depression. And, of course, my editorial team at Quercus: Anne Perry, Ian Critchfield, and Jo Fletcher. A true confederation of the mighty.

In another vein, I offer my gratitude to the spirit of the Woman Warrior, especially the YOUNG Woman Warrior. She’s walked the Earth since the beginning of human history, wearing different faces at different times: Joan of Arc during the Middle Ages, Hannah Szenes during World War 2, Malala Yousafzai, X González, and Greta Thunberg, today. The Night Field owes Her a debt of inspiration; I hope Pyn-Poi and her friend Lakka are worthy to represent Her on the imaginal landscape.

And my last big thank you is to the readers who said Yes to walking with Pyn-Poi on every step of her long, hard journey. I know I put you through A LOT, but I don’t apologize, because the abuses and abominations that Pyn-Poi grappled with in the imaginary world of The Night Field are things that real, live women, men, and children have struggled with in what we laughingly call “The Real World:” enslaved on plantations, on share-cropping farms, on prison farms, on banana plantations during the US Fruit Company’s takeover of Central America, and in work-camps all over the world. The Night Field is fiction, but oppressive agriculture is NOT. So THANK YOU for opening your hearts to this story.

And to what comes next.

As you know, the climate catastrophe is here, and it means business. Every single one of us is going to have to hero up to face the coming storms AND the Four Horsemen of Homeostasis which our poor battered planet is going to deploy—is ALREADY deploying—to reduce the numbers of her most troublesome species. Full participation—that’s what this moment is calling for if human life and wellbeing are to last on this planet. It is my hope that The Night Field’s Pyn-Poi will inspire each of you to pick up whatever part of that great work is yours to carry, and to carry the hell out of it.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2024 award covers novels published in 2023 and marks the 11th presentation of the award.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the shortlist for the 2024 Manly Wade Wellman Award

The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce this list of 6 finalists for the 2024 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, presented in alphabetical order by author last name:

  • The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud (Saga Press)
  • A Harvest of Ash and Blood by D.J. Molles (Blackstone Publishing)
  • The Master of Samar by Melissa Scott (Candlemark & Gleam)
  • We Are the Crisis by Cadwell Turnbull (Blackstone Publishing)
  • The Unmaking of June Farrow by Adrienne Young (Delacorte Press)
  • The Night Field by Donna Glee Williams (Jo Fletcher Books)

The winner(s) will be announced at ConGregate 10 on Friday, July 12, 2024 in Winston-Salem, NC as part of the convention’s opening ceremonies.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2024 award covers novels published in 2023.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the Winner of the 2023 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Friday, July 14, Winston-Salem, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce the winner of the 2023 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, the result of juried selection from the list of 10 finalists.

The Award was presented at ConGregate 9 on Friday, July 14, 2023 in Winston-Salem, NC, to Pittsboro author Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, for Nettle & Bone, published by Tor Books:

Kingfisher’s novel, also nominated for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and a Goodreads Choice Award, is “an original and subversive fantasy adventure” (Tor Books) where Marra, the third daughter of a small and imperiled kingdom, must rescue her older sister from the clutches of a powerful and abusive prince, after the untimely and mysterious death of their oldest sister after being wed to him in a political alliance. To do so, she must complete three impossible quests, starting (as the novel does) by building a dog of bones and sewing a cloak of nettles; but it’s only after her quests are completed that the real mission can begin.

Accepting her award with prepared remarks, Kingfisher wrote:

It’s a great honor, as a North Carolina writer, to receive the Manly Wade Wellman award for my book, and I’m sorry I can’t be there in person to accept. As it happens, I was reading one of the Silver John books the other day and fell down an Internet rabbit hole, which I’m now going to inflict on you.

Silver John frequently references a book that he learned many of his various spells and incantations from, called The Long-Lost Friend. I had assumed this was as fictional as The Necronomicon, but as it turns out, it really existed. It was a Pennsylvania Dutch grimoire published in the early 19th century by a folk healer named John George Hohman.

I could frankly write pages about this, but [the award presenter] has to stand up here and read them and probably doesn’t want to spend his whole day reading about obscure magical folk remedies, so I’ll just mention one particular tidbit from the book, which was that if you sew the right eye of a wolf inside your right sleeve, you will be immune from all injury.

I admit, I’m still wondering about the … err … practical details there … the squishiness … well, you know. Also, obviously the best time to be immune from injury would be when you’re trying to get the eye off the wolf in the first place, but that’s neither here nor there. Clearly, they just don’t write ’em like that any more. Possibly that’s for the best. Anyway, The Long-Lost Friend, you can find it online, and I hope it makes your day just slightly weirder, like it did mine.

Thank you again, and I hope you all have a lovely evening.

Kingfisher joins previous winners Mur Lafferty (2014, 2015), John G. Hartness (2016), A.J. Hartley (2017), Gail Z. Martin (2018), Christopher Ruocchio (2019), Michael G. Williams (2020), Natania Barron (2021), and Monica Byrne (2022).

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2023 award covers novels published in 2022 and marks the 10th presentation of the award.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2023 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Friday, June 30, 2023, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce this list of 10 finalists for the 2023 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, presented in alphabetical order by author last name:

  • Steel Mill Vikings by Sarah Joy Adams (Falstaff Books)
  • Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen (St. Martin’s Press)
  • Prophet’s Debt by Robert Creekmore (Cinnabar Moth Publishing)
  • Ghost of a Marriage by Richard Dansky (Crossroad Press)
  • Burning Shakespeare by A.J. Hartley (Falstaff Books)
  • The Quarter Storm by Veronica Henry (47North)
  • Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher (Tor Books)
  • Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty (Ace)
  • Lost In Time by A.G. Riddle (Head of Zeus)
  • Malice House by Megan Shepherd (Hyperion Avenue)

The winner(s) will be announced at ConGregate 9 on Friday, July 14, 2023 in Winston-Salem, NC as part of the convention’s opening ceremonies.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2023 award covers novels published in 2022.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Monday August 1, 2022, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce the winner of the 2022 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, the result of juried selection from the list of finalists, in turn the result of juried selection from an eligibility list of nearly 80 titles.

The Award was presented at ConGregate 8 on Friday, July 22, 2022 in Winston-Salem, NC, to Durham author Monica Byrne for The Actual Star, published by Harper Voyager:

Byrne’s novel, her second after 2014’s The Girl in the Road, follows three timelines: 1012, where twins Ajul and Ixul rule a Maya kingdom; 2012, where Leah Oliveri travels from Minnesota to Belize; and 3012, where Niloux DeCayo begins a long pilgrimage from Persia. Exploring themes of religion and gender, engaging with climate change and political anarchism, Byrne’s interwoven narrative envisions a utopian society emerging from the drowned ashes of the “Diluvian Age” and extrapolates from Mesoamerican history and her own travels and experiences to create a truly special novel.

Accepting the award, Byrne began by thanking her fellow authors who shared the shortlist and longlist, adding that she was “so happy just to be named alongside you all.” She went on to say:

Receiving this award is especially poignant right now, for reasons I will try to get through without crying. As it turns out, I’m leaving North Carolina at the end of this summer, seventeen years to the day when I first moved here, with the express intention of becoming a science fiction writer. I think I did it! But I could only do it because, as soon as I arrived, I realized I was surrounded by circles upon circles of people who cared. Who believed, not only that a community was incomplete without art, but that artists were the lifeblood of a community. And who put their love AND time AND resources AND money toward that belief. Who gave me, and so many others, firm ground to stand on and bright skies to reach for.

I feel very clear on the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to become the artist I am, if I’d moved to New York or Los Angeles, instead. And though North Carolina has changed since I moved here, and is continuing to, I will always be grateful to her communities—including this one—for welcoming me for so many years. In six weeks I’ll be taking to the road, indefinitely. Some might say I’m subscribing to my own invented religion (hopefully with a better track record than some other science fiction authors). 

But a part of me will always live here, on this coast, in these forests, and these mountains. A part of me will never leave.

Thank you for this award. Thank you for having me. And may North Carolina always be a home for artists.

Byrne joins previous winners Mur Lafferty (2014, 2015), John G. Hartness (2016), A.J. Hartley (2017), Gail Z. Martin (2018), Christopher Ruocchio (2019), Michael G. Williams (2020), and Natania Barron (2021).

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2022 award covers novels published in 2021.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2022 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Wednesday, July 6, 2022, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to release this list of 8 finalists for the 2022 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, presented in alphabetical order by author last name:

  • The Actual Star by Monica Byrne (Harper Voyager)
  • A Song with Teeth (Los Nefilim, #3) by T. Frohock (Harper Voyager)
  • Sounding Dark (The Calpurnian Wars, #1) by Jo Graham (Candlemark & Gleam)
  • Blind Tiger (The Pride, #1) by Jordan L. Hawk (Widdershins Press)
  • Bacchanal by Veronica Henry (47North)
  • Water Horse by Melissa Scott (Candlemark & Gleam)
  • The Blackwing War (Deep Witches, #1) by K.B. Spangler (A Girl and Her Fed Books)
  • No Gods, No Monsters (The Convergence Saga, #1) by Cadwell Turnbull (Blackstone Publishing)

The winner(s) will be announced at ConGregate 8 on Friday, July 22, 2022 in Winston-Salem, NC as part of the convention’s opening ceremonies.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2022 award covers novels published in 2021.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the longlist for the 2022 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Friday, June 17, 2022, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to release this longlist of 18 titles for the 2022 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, presented in alphabetical order by author last name:

  • The Actual Star by Monica Byrne
  • The Serpent by David Drake
  • A Song with Teeth (Los Nefilim, #3) by T. Frohock
  • Mother of All (Women’s War, #3) by Jenna Glass
  • Sounding Dark (The Calpurnian Wars, #1) by Jo Graham
  • Comes A Reckoning (Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter, #8) by John G. Hartness
  • Blind Tiger (The Pride, #1) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • Bacchanal by Veronica Henry
  • The Water Blade (The Ridnight Mysteries, #1) by Stuart Jaffe
  • Paladin’s Strength (The Saint of Steel, #2) by T. Kingfisher
  • Paladin’s Hope (The Saint of Steel, #3) by T. Kingfisher
  • Legacy (Deadly Curiosities, #5) by Gail Z. Martin
  • Every Star a Song (The Ascendance Series, #2) by Jay Posey
  • Blood and Feathers by Beth Revis
  • The Extinction Trials by A.G. Riddle
  • Water Horse by Melissa Scott
  • The Blackwing War (Deep Witches, #1) by K.B. Spangler
  • No Gods, No Monsters (The Convergence Saga, #1) by Cadwell Turnbull

The winner(s) will be announced at ConGregate 8 on Friday, July 22, 2022 in Winston-Salem, NC as part of the convention’s opening ceremonies.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2022 award covers novels published in 2021.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the winner of the 2021 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Monday July 12, 2021, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce the winner of the 2021 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, the result of juried selection from the list of finalists, in turn the result of juried selection from an eligibility list of over 60 titles.

The Award was presented at ConGregate 7 / DeepSouthCon 59 on Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Winston-Salem, NC, to Chapel Hill author Natania Barron for Queen of None, published by Vernacular Press:

Barron’s novel recasts the familiar landscape of Arthurian legend from the point of view of Anna Pendragon, younger sister to King Arthur, foretold by Merlin to be “forgotten”. Married off to Lot of Orkney barely into her teens, she returns widowed to court twenty years later to deliver the crown of Orkney to her brother, joining her oldest son Gawain, grown distant after years apart. Merlin’s thumbs remain on the scales of power, and a second political marriage looms on the horizon. Meanwhile Anna’s older half-sisters are at turns either implicated as Merlin’s apprentice, or outcast as uncontrollable witches. War is coming, along with Christian priests, and if Anna is to find happiness, let alone peace, she will have to discover a power of her own.

Accepting the award, Barron said that she was “humbled”, adding:

Thank you to everyone, the judges, staff, everyone who has been part of this. My family who’s here. I’m from Massachusetts; my mom is French-Canadian, I don’t even know how I ended up down here but it has totally become my home.

This book was a book that I wrote in North Carolina, after getting my masters degree studying medieval literature at UNCG. It was the thesis I wanted to write about missing Arthurian women in the Arthurian canon. What’s even funnier is that my future publisher, J. M. McDermott, was someone I first met at a NC Speculative Fiction event some ten years ago.

But I wouldn’t even be writing at this point if it wasn’t for John Hartness and Falstaff Books, and the group that has really invigorated my career when, about five or six years ago, I wasn’t sure I was going to keep writing… after getting “everything I wanted” in writing, and finding out that that kind of sucked. So, if you’re a writer, if you feel that you’re struggling, if you want to tell stories, find your community, find your people, you never know what is there–and that’s one of the things I love so much about being here, and being part of this. We’re so incredibly lucky. Thank you to everybody.

The awards ceremony also recognized last year’s winner, Durham author Michael G. Williams, who presented this year’s award.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2021 award covers novels published in 2020.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.

Announcing the shortlist for the 2021 Manly Wade Wellman Award

Monday, June 28, 2021, Durham, NC: The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation is proud to announce this shortlist of 8 finalists for the 2021 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, the result of a juried selection from the 24-title longlist, presented in alphabetical order by author last name:

  • Natania Barron, Queen of None (Vernacular Books)
  • Emily Colin, Sword of the Seven Sins (Blue Crow Books)
  • Tracy Deonn, Legendborn (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
  • T. Frohock, Carved from Stone and Dream (Harper Voyager)
  • A.J. Hartley, Impervious (Falstaff Books)
  • Whitney Hill, Elemental (Benu Media)
  • T. Kingfisher, Paladin’s Grace (Argyll Productions)
  • Jay Posey, Every Sky a Grave (Skybound Books)

The winner(s) will be announced at ConGregate 7 / DeepSouthCon 59 on Saturday, July 10, 2021 as part of an awards ceremony also including the Phoenix Award and Rebel Award.

The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2021 award covers novels published in 2020.

The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.