The Western North Carolina Historical Association is proud to annually recognize excellence in literature and in the preservation and promotion of history in our region.

Wilma Dykeman was the first winner of the Thomas Wolfe Award for her 1955 book, The French BroadPhoto: CITIZEN-TIMES


Celebrating WNC Excellence

Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award

2019 Winner: BAck of BEyond, a horace kephart biography

Originated by the Louis Lipinsky family and now also supported by the Ruth Siegel and Jacques Sartisky Foundation and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Advisory Board, the TWML Award has been presented annually for printed works that focus special attention on Western North Carolina since 1955 when Wilma Dykeman was presented the award for The French Broad. In 2019, George Ellison and Janet McCue won for their biography of Horace Kephart, Back of Beyond.

Outstanding Achievement Award

2019 Winner: Rob NEUFELD

Annually the WNC Historical Association presents its Trophy for Outstanding Achievement to an individual or organization which has made significant contributions to the preservation and promotion of the history of the mountain region. In 1954, the first award went to Sadie Smathers Patton, a founder and trustee of the Cherokee Historical Association. In 2019, Rob Neufeld won the award for his long-running newspaper column, Visiting Our Past.