Crystal Wilkinson’s novel “The Birds of Opulence” is cleaning up on the awards circuit.
The book won the Judy Gaines Young Book Award from Transylvania University. The award was financed by Dr. Byron Young to honor his late wife, Judy Gaines Young, and goes to the author of a book from the Appalachian region published the previous year.
The Judy Gaines Young award was announced March 7. The student writing part of the award went to Justin Wright, a newly inducted member of the Affrilachian Poets.
Wilkinson’s book also won the Weatherford Award from Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association. That award was announced March 9.
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In late 2016, Wilkinson and her book received the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, a $10,000 annual prize created by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to recognize outstanding work from rising black fiction writers.
In December, 2016, Wilkinson was named one of Southern Living magazine’s Southerners of the Year, one of five Kentuckians to make the list.