The Florida Humanities Council has announced that its 2014 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing goes to Janet Burroway. A five-person panel selected Burroway, 77, right, from among 14 nominees to be the award's fifth winner. The prize will be presented March 18 at a luncheon at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee.
The author of dozens of books — novels, short stories, plays, poetry and nonfiction — Burroway taught creative writing for 30 years at Florida State University and is now its Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita, the university's highest academic award. "Her reach is international yet is very firmly grounded in Florida, and she has been an amazing teacher," said Myra Mendible, a professor of literature at Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, who served as one of the judges.
Burroway's most recent novel, Bridge of Sand (2009), was set on Florida's gulf coast; her novel Raw Silk was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1977. She is best known, though, for her books for aspiring creative writers. One of them, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, is the most widely used fiction-writing text, now in its ninth edition. Look for an interview with Burroway in Latitudes soon. — Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor