Professional News

KY Press title 'Daughters of Muscadine' wins Weatherford Award in fiction

Monic Ductan
Monic Ductan, 2023 Weatherford Award recipient. Photo courtesy of University Press of Kentucky.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 15, 2024) — Monic Ductan, author of "Daughters of Muscadine: Stories," is the recipient of the 2023 Weatherford Award in fiction. Ductan’s debut release consists of a collection of interconnected stories set in a small, rural town of Muscadine, Georgia. Covering the last 100 years, Ductan’s collection shares the stories of people whose voices have been suppressed and erased for too long: Black women, rural women, Appalachian women and working-class women. Ductan presents the extraordinary nature of everyday lives in the tradition of Alice Walker, Deesha Philyaw, James McBride and Dorothy Allison in an engaging, engrossing and exciting new voice.

"Daughters of Muscadine" was released by Fireside Industries, an imprint of the University Press of Kentucky, edited by bestselling author, journalist and activist Silas House. The imprint strives to publish creative work by authors with unique perspectives, diverse backgrounds and compelling voices, who are telling the complex stories of Appalachia and rural America.

“I was surprised and elated when I was notified that my book won the Weatherford Award,” said Ductan. “I've read and loved many of the previous award winners. Thank you, Berea College, the awards committee, ASA and Kentucky Press. I'd also like to congratulate the other finalists on this great accomplishment.”

The Weatherford Award, presented by Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association, honors books in the fiction, nonfiction and poetry categories that “best illuminate the challenges, personalities, and unique qualities of the Appalachian South.”

Finalists in the fiction category were "Good Women: Stories" by Halle Hill, "On the Savage Side" by Tiffany McDaniel, and "The Songs of Betty Baach" by Glenn Taylor.

Released by the University Press of Kentucky in November 2023, "Daughters of Muscadine" was selected by Garden & Gun magazine as one of “The Best New Books for Southerners in 2023” and named one of the “Books All Georgians Should Read” for 2024 by the Advisory Council for the Georgia Center for the Book.

Ductan teaches literature and creative writing at Tennessee Tech University. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including Oxford American, Good River Review, Southeast Review, Shenandoah, Appalachian Heritage and South Carolina Review. Her essay “Fantasy Worlds” was listed as notable in The Best American Essays 2019.

About University Press of Kentucky
The University Press of Kentucky is the statewide nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Serving all Kentucky state-sponsored institutions of higher learning as well as seven private colleges and Kentucky’s two major historical societies, it was organized in 1969 as successor to the University of Kentucky Press. The Press is dedicated to the publication of academic books of high scholarly merit as well as significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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