Georgia Independent Authors Recognized for Second Year

The Southern Pen Bookshop Hosted the Second Annual Georgia Independent Author of The Year Awards

Picture of recipients who attended the banquet (L-R) Georgiana Fields, Tarrant Smith, Vickie Bley, Christy Breedlove, Marlene Ratledge BuchananContributed photo

(Monroe, Georgia -September 2020) The Southern Pen Bookshop hosted the second annual Georgia Independent Author of The Year Awards (GIAYA) at Kaity’s Downtown on Saturday – September 26th. This is the second year for The Southern Pen Bookshop to recognize Georgia’s Independent Authors.

GIAYA is the only award in the state that recognizes authors who have chosen a non-traditional path to publishing their books. This group of authors were excluded two years prior for consideration for the Georgia Author of the Year award sponsored by the Georgia Writers Association. It was this decision that prompted Vickie Bley, owner of The Southern Pen Bookshop, to sponsor the Georgia Independent Author of the Year award.

Seven categories were recognized this year and included: First Book, Historical Fiction, Romance, Memoir, Young Adult, Short Story and Mystery. Each category recognized a first-place winner and finalist. The winners and finalists for each category are:


Winner: Tarrant Smith (Rutledge) – The Love of Gods Finalist: Georgiana Fields (Dacula) – Crimson Haze

Short Story:
Winner: Genie Bernstein (Athens) – Skating on The Septic Tank Finalist: Susan Lindsley (Decatur) – Big Foot and Other Stories

Winner: Christy Breedlove (Monroe) – When Bees Buzz
Finalist: John W. Long (Cumming) – Red Blood on White Cotton

First Novel:
Winner: Marlene Ratledge Buchanan (Loganville) – Life is Hard Soften It with Laughter Finalist: Lorelai Watson (Adairsville) – Ain’t Nothing But The Devil

Young Adult:
Winner: M. M. Rodeheaver (Byron) – Porkington Hamm Finalist: Marlena Frank (Cumming) – Stolen

Historical Fiction:

Winner: Anne Armistead (Peachtree Corners) – With Kisses from Cecile Finalist: Tim Westover (Grayson) – Winter Sisters

Winner: Michelle Watson (Snellville) – Peaceful Mind, Healthy Body Finalist: Shakira Lynn (Athens) – Follow My Journey

Submissions for 2021 GIAYA will open on October 1st through The Southern Pen Bookshop’s website. The Southern Pen Bookshop is located inside the Monroe Mercantile in downtown Monroe. They feature titles by independent and self-published authors and carry many genres.

If you would like more information about this topic please contact Vickie Bley 470 270 0396 or via

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