North Carolina Humanities Council Announces 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award Recipient

2017 Linda Flowers Award Winner Aaron Ballance

CHARLOTTE, NC (December 4 2017) – On November 4, 2017 the North Carolina Humanities Council announced Mr. Aaron Ballance as the recipient of its 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award for his entries of “Sugarfoot,” “Old Trouble,”  “The Peaks,” “One-Eyed Jenny,” “The Brink,” “Leading Flash to the Barn – January,” and “Rust.” 

This year’s judges, Hannah de la Cruz Abrams, Krista Bremer and Jaki Shelton Green described Ballance’s work as “wonderful stream of consciousness narrative” whose “grittiness in language takes you to a grounded place” and “embodies the spirit of the award. Sophisticated.”

As the chosen recipient, Ballance received an honorarium and a week-long residency at Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, which he will be taking in June 2018.  

The award was announced during the North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference panel discussion session “All Stories Connect” featuring Council Board Chair, Marian Fragola, Aaron Ballance, Hannah de la Cruz Abrams and Ed Southern, Executive Director of the NC Writers’ Network.

As a memorial to past Trustee, professor, writer, and humanist, Linda Flowers, the Council has annually awarded the Linda Flowers Literary Award to writers who care, as Flowers did, about North Carolina and writing truthfully since 2001.

The Council thanks all who submitted their entries of original, unpublished fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for consideration. Submission guidelines for the 2018 Linda Flowers Literary Award will be released in spring 2018. 

About Aaron Ballance: Originally from Winston-Salem, Aaron Ballance is a lecturer in English at Appalachian State University. He first studied creative writing as an undergraduate at Appalachian, and later earned an MA in English from Western Carolina University and an MFA in poetry from UNC-Greensboro. He is the winner of the Noel Callow Poetry Award, the Amon Liner Poetry Award, and his work has appeared in The Greensboro Review and Poetry Daily. He is also an accomplished musician and was the dobro player for the band Dehlia Low, whose fifth album, Ravens and Crows, was released on Rebel Records in 2011. He won the Rockygrass Dobro Championship in Lyons, Colorado in 2010 and was a finalist in the National Resonator Guitar Competition in 2005. He has recorded and performed with numerous musical artists, at venues and festivals across the country, and currently performs with the Americana band Tellico.


The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Through its public humanities programs and grants, the Council facilitates the exploration and celebration of North Carolina’s many cultures and heritage. Since 1972, the Council has served as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about our shared human experience. The Council is governed by a 23-member board of trustees. To learn more about the North Carolina Humanities Council, visit


Paula Watkins
Executive Director
(704) 687-1520