Georgia Writers Association
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Georgia Writers Association (GWA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that works across the state to encourage and strengthen the proficiencies of writers in both the creative and business aspects of the writing life, and to provide networking opportunities for writers through regularly scheduled meetings and events.
Organization and activities
Georgia Writers Association is hosted by Kennesaw State University and sponsors workshops, conferences, seminars, contests, and other events while encouraging the formation of satellite groups, critique groups and other writer resource groups. The Association is supported by and located at the Kennesaw State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences under the executive directorship of Dr. Margaret Walters. The intended role of the GWA at Kennesaw State University is to encourage the education of writers from all backgrounds including teachers, independent writers, and students. Some GWA events are in cooperation with Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University. The Association is also supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA)  through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly and its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts .
GWA was founded in 1994 by Geri Taran - a poet, writer, and artist - with prize-winning author and Professor of Creative Writing Anthony “Tony” Grooms, and literary agent Susan L. Graham. Ms. Taran served as the executive director of the organization until July 1, 2006; the GWA is now directed by Dr. Margaret Walters, Associate Professor of English at Kennesaw State University.
Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA)
GWA recognizes Georgia's authors of excellence by presenting the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA).
The purpose of GAYA is similar to that of GWA itself: to recognize and acknowledge Georgia's wealth of outstanding writers and to acquaint them with the public and one another, thus continuing the literary heritage. GWA was established in 1964 by the founders of the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists. In 1984, that organization became the Council of Authors and Journalists (CAJ). Ten years later in 1994, the CAJ had diminished, having lost its drive and its leadership. Five months after GWA was created, responsibility for GAYA was accepted as an integral part. GAYA has the distinction of being the oldest literary award in the Southeastern United States while reflecting the current publishing world.
GAYA is unique in that independently published authors and those whose books have been published by traditional publishers are both recognized since every author's work deserves an opportunity to stand against the works of other authors. The writing of a book, any book, requires not only a certain degree of talent but also commitment and focus. In these days of deteriorating language skills and independent publishing, it is hoped that independently published authors will give greater regard to both the art and the skill required to produce works of lasting value and to pay serious attention to the editing process.