Award-winning author Charles Frazier is 2016's Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University. Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina and spent time as a teacher before he published his first novel, Cold Mountain, in 1997.
The novel is based on his great-great uncle; a wounded confederate soldier who deserted to journey back home to his loved ones. Cold Mountain would go on to win the National Book Award for Fiction, top the New York Times Best Seller list, and be turned into an award-winning feature film in 2003.
The Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award and the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Project were developed by Shepherd University, the Shepherd University Foundation, and the West Virginia Humanities Council in 1998 to celebrate and honor the work of a distinguished contemporary Appalachian writer.
To encourage aspiring West Virginia writers and to promote the kind of networking that fosters literary achievement Shepherd University and the West Virginia Center for the Book developed, in fall 2001, the West Virginia Fiction Competition.
Frazier is the 18th recipient of the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award.