Boyd Named to Georgia Writers Hall of Fame

Submitted by Camie on

Valerie Boyd, a writer, editor, professor and mentor, will be inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame later this year.

Portrait of Valerie Boyd smiling, with Georgia Writers Hall of Fame logo
Photo: Jason Thrasher

Boyd, a journalism professor at UGA, was elected to the Hall of Fame in the fall of 2021, but plans for the upcoming ceremony had not been set prior to her death on February 12, 2022.

“As we mourn our friend and colleague Valerie Boyd, we are grateful that we are able to celebrate her work as one of the 2022 inductees into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame,” said Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost. “Not only was Valerie a brilliant writer and editor, but she was instrumental in training and inspiring the next generation of writers through her work at UGA. From her journalism career to her contributions to the craft of literary nonfiction, Valerie undoubtedly left her mark as part of the Georgia’s literary legacy. 

“Valerie was a supportive friend to the UGA Libraries, serving as an editor-at-large for the UGA Press, an editor for its literary nonfiction series, and a member of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame Board of Jurors,” Graham added. “Valerie will be missed for her talents, insights, and service. We are honored to share her legacy through the work of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.” 

The acclaimed journalist is the author of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, which was named to the American Library Association’s Notable Books list in 2004. In addition to a Southern Book Award, the biography earned Boyd a Georgia Author of the Year Award in nonfiction.

In 2022, two of Boyd’s most recent projects, Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker and the anthology Bigger Than Bravery: Black Writers on the Pandemic, Shutdown and Uprising of 2020, are scheduled for publication.

In addition to her role as Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence and associate professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA, Boyd was senior consulting editor at Bitter Southerner magazine and served on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Established at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at UGA, the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame recognizes authors with ties to the state, from 19th century Cherokee journalist Elias Boudinot to 20th century essayist W.E.B. Dubois to 21st century poet Jericho Brown. Honorees include recipients of prestigious creative awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Academy Awards, and even the Nobel Peace Prize.

More details about the 2022 class of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and events honoring them will be released later this year. For more information, visit