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Our Very Own Ed Southern Wins Fortner Award

Ed Southern
Ed Southern

From St. Andrews University:

St. Andrews University will present the 2015 Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Community Award to North Carolina Writers’ Network Executive Director Ed Southern on March 5.

The invitation-only presentation will be made during the weekly Writers’ Forum timeslot.

Created in 1986 to honor Ethel N. Fortner, who was a friend to writers and frequent contributor to the St. Andrews Review, the award has been given to ardent supporters of the arts in communities ranging from journalists to activists to publishers.

The 2014 award was presented to Our State magazine editor-in-chief Elizabeth Hudson.

A North Carolina native, Southern has served as the Executive Director at the North Carolina Writers’ Network since 2008. Prior to that, the Winston-Salem resident served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for John F. Blair, Publisher.

In addition to fostering the writing community of North Carolina, Southern is a published author himself. His books include Voice of the American Revolution in the Carolinas, The Jamestown Adventure, and Parlous Angels. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Wake Forest University in 1994.

Also on March 5, St. Andrews University will present the 2015 Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award to award winning novelist and essayist Allan Gurganus.

“Each year, we honor distinguished North Carolinians—past and present,” said Ron Bayes, distinguished professor of creative writing Emeritus. “Honorees are persons who have, over a long period, been outstanding practitioners of their art, and who have selflessly shared their talent with other creators, working in their primary genre and beyond.”

Previous recipients of the award include Governor Bob Scott, David Brinkley, Loonis McClohon, Kathryn Gurkin, Paul Jeffrey, Sally Nixon, and Sally Buckner. The 2014 award went to Grammy Award winning musician Rhiannon Giddens.

Gurganus has had his fiction translated into sixteen languages. His books include Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, White People, Plays Well with Others, The Practical Heart, and Local Souls. His essays are seen in the New York Times and the New York Review of Books. Gurganus has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Pen-Faulker Nomination, the American Academy’s Sue Kaufman Prize for best first novel, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lambda Literary Award, and the National Magazine Award.

For more information about the Writers’ Forum, creative writing or the St. Andrews Press, call 910-277-5310, email or visit the website at