Kennesaw State professor among Georgia Author of the Year Award winners

Ellen Taber Headshot 2009.JPG

Co-authors recognized for creatively capturing history of Tybee Island  Kennesaw, Ga. (June…

Georgia (Jun 23, 2010)Co-authors recognized for creatively capturing history of Tybee Island

 Kennesaw, Ga. (June 23, 2010) – The Georgia Writers Association awarded one of its annual Georgia Writer of the Year Awards to a Kennesaw State University professor for a book she co-authored on the social history of coastal Georgia’s Tybee Island.
Ellen Lyle Taber, assistant professor of English, and co-writer Polly Wylly Cooper garnered the award for the creative nonfiction – history genre at the annual awards ceremony June 19 at Kennesaw State. Their book, “Tybee Days: One Hundred Years on Georgia’s Playground Island,” presents stories, anecdotes and photographs collected during four years of research, including interviews with more than 400 families. 
“Our purpose was to capture Tybee’s important oral histories, before they are lost to time,” the authors noted in the book’s preface. “Due to progress and recent rapid growth, a new era has changed the face of the little island that played such an important role in American and Southern history.”
 Both authors spent their childhood summers on Tybee. During her acceptance speech Taber noted, “As authors we never believed that this book belonged to us but to the people of Tybee Island… finally their story has been told.”
“Tybee Days” and a companion photo journal, “Sand Between Our Toes,” were published in December 2009 by The Kennesaw State University Press. Both have received critical acclaim for their often witty and realistic portrayals of Tybee’s people, places, events and customs over the past one hundred years. The books topped the Savannah Ga., bestseller list for the first three months following their release. 
Pat Conroy, best-selling author of several novels about the South, said in his endorsement of “Tybee Days”: “[Taber and Cooper] capture the essence of Tybee in this marvelous tour of one of the last places on the Southern Coast to retain its identity and integrity.” 
The Georgia Writers Association, which is housed at Kennesaw State, presented 13 GAYA awards in 12 categories from among 102 nominees whose works are reviewed by judges from across the state.  Taber’s win represented the first for a KSU faculty member in four years. 
 Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 22,300 students from 142 countries.
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit