By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Katie Hart Smith & Carole Townsend

(L-R) Authors Katie Hart Smith and Carole Townsend

Congratulations Carole Townsend and Katie Hart Smith!

The 53rd Georgia Author of the Year Awards (books published in 2016) was held on June 3, 2017. Local authors Carole Townsend and Katie Hart Smith were recognized for their talent and craft.

Carole Townsend was nominated and was a Finalist in the Detective/Mystery category for her fourth book, BLOOD IN THE SOIL, published in 2016. Carole Townsend awards night slide

Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. Her fourth book, BLOOD IN THE SOIL, was published in 2016. It is the true tale of a crime that took place in Gwinnett County nearly 40 years ago. Her previous three books are written with Southern humor. Carole often appears on network television talk and news shows, as well as on national true crime radio shows. Her books can be found in bookstores, on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and at www.caroletownsend.com. When she’s not writing, Carole travels throughout the southeast, talking to groups about women, writing, family and life in her beloved South.

Katie Hart Smith was nominated for First Novel for the Historical Romance novel, Aspirations of the Heart, published in 2016. Katie Hart Smith award night slide

Katie Hart Smith has been an author for over 20 years. Smith’s literary work has been prolific and diverse ranging from medical and academic publications to children’s sto-ries, non-fiction, memoir and historical fiction. Aspirations of the Heart is the first in a series of historical fiction, based in 1900’s Atlanta. It is published by Deeds Publishing, Athens, Georgia and can be found on Amazon.com.

The Georgia Writers Association recognizes Georgia’s authors of excellence by presenting the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) Ceremony. The GAYA ceremony has the distinction of being the oldest literary awards ceremony in the Southeastern United States while reflecting the current publishing world. The GAYA honors both independently published authors and those whose books are published by traditional publishing houses.