Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 18, 2020

Southern Lit Alliance awards Barnett Prize for Local Distinguished Author

Roy Morris, Jr. is the recipient of the Barnett Prize for Local Distinguished Author from Southern Lit Alliance. - Photograph provided

Southern Lit Alliance has awarded its annual Barnett Prize for Local Distinguished Author to Roy Morris, Jr.

This is the second year for the Barnett Prize, which is awarded annually to recognize an outstanding local author.

Southern Lit Alliance selected Morris based on his lifetime of work as an author, his awards and the quality of his submitted sample, the organization says in a news release.

Morris has published nine books on American history and literature, including “Gertrude Stein Has Arrived: The Homecoming of a Literary Legend” (Johns Hopkins University Press).

His books have covered a range of topics, including Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Ambrose Bierce, the stolen presidential election of 1876, and Union general Phil Sheridan.

Morris is a current contributing editor to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History and has spent the last 35 years writing eight books about American literature and history.

With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a master’s from University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Morris began his career in 1972 as a staff writer for the Chattanooga News–Free Press and then moved over to the Chattanooga Times (the first person to do so after the two newspapers ended their joint publishing agreement).

His writing has been featured in numerous prestigious publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the New Yorker, the New Criterion and the Boston Globe.

A lifelong Chattanoogan, Morris has served for nearly four decades as a writer and editor for a variety of popular-history magazines, including stints as editor of Military History, Military Heritage, Wild West, Sports History, America’s Civil War and Civil War Quarterly.

From 2004-2007, Morris was special projects editor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he edited a series of three scholarly books for Purdue University Press, drawn from UTC’s annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War and Freedom of Expression.

Morris resides in North Chattanooga with his wife, Leslie, and their mixed-breed terrier, Duncan.

Southern Lit Alliance also recognized two finalists and one honorable mention for the award. The finalists were Dr. Earl Braggs, a professor at UTC and author of “House on Fontanka,” and attorney Sam Elliot, author of “John C. Brown of Tennessee: Rebel, Redeemer, and Railroader.”

The honorable mention went to Jason Tinney for his “Ripple Meets the Deep.”

The Southern Literature Alliance will be holding a virtual event Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. to award the Barnett Prize to Morris, who will showcase his work and discuss his career.

Nominees worked in the various genres of fiction, non-fiction, short story and poetry. Warren Barnett, art philanthropist and president of Barnett & Company, made the award possible.

This year’s judges were Sunny Montgomery, digital editor for Get Out Chattanooga magazine and writer and editor for Chatter magazine, Dr. Nick Mansito, assistant professor of English at Chattanooga State Community College, and Dr. Victoria Bryan, dean of the Honors College and Academic Enhancement at Cleveland State University.

Source: Southern Lit Alliance