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Pancake named 2010 Chaffin Award winner

MOREHEAD, Ky.---Fiction writer and essayist Ann Pancake is this year’s recipient of Morehead State University’s Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing.

She will be presented the award during a reception at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Pancake will read from her work, followed by music and a reception. The reading and reception are free and open to the public.

Pancake grew up in Romney and Summersville, W.Va. “As Strange As This Weather Has Been,” published in 2007, was her first novel. It featured a southern West Virginia family devastated by mountaintop removal mining. Based on interviews and real events, the novel was one of KirkusReview’s Top 10 Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007 Weatherford Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award.
Pancake’s collection of short stories, “Given Ground,” won the 2000 Bakeless Prize from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference of Middlebury College. She also has received a Whiting Writers Award from the Giles Whiting Foundation, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Pushcart Prize from Pushcart Press publishing house, and creative writing fellowships from the states of Washington, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Her fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies including Glimmer Train, Poets and Writers, Narrative, and New Stories from the South.

Pancake earned a B.A. degree in English at West Virginia University, an M.A. degree in English from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. degree in English literature from the University of Washington.
Currently, she teaches in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Pacific Lutheran University.

The Chaffin Award, which includes a cash prize of $1,000, recognizes outstanding Appalachian writers in all genres. Past winners of this award include Diane Gilliam, Erik Reece, Sharon Hatfield, Ron Rash, John Sparks, Silas House, Mark Powell and Denise Giardina.
Sponsors of this event include the MSU’s Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Arts and Humanities Council; the Chaffin Award Endowment; B.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in the Department of English, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Morehead State Public Radio.

Additional information is available by calling MSU’s Kentucky Folk Art Center at (606) 783-2204; or the B.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in the Department of English at (606) 783-9448.

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