2023 Frances Mims- Paul Talmadge Literary Advocacy Award
Randy Akers, executive director of South Carolina Humanities, has been selected to receive the 2023 Frances Mims-Paul Talmadge Literary Advocacy Award. Given biennially by the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Academy of Authors, the award honors a person, persons or organization that demonstrate or have demonstrated long and continuing service to the literary arts in South Carolina. “The South Carolina Academy of Authors was founded to advocate the talents of the many extraordinary writers of the state,” said Marybeth Evans, chair of the SCAA board of governors. “Under the many years of Dr. Akers’ directorship of South Carolina Humanities, that advocacy has continued with its links to South Carolina’s cultural heritage and history.” Now in his 35th year as executive director of South Carolina Humanities, Akers is the longest-serving executive director of a humanities council in the United States. He is the second recipient of the Mims-Talmadge award. Sara June Goldstein, the long-serving literary arts coordinator at the South Carolina Arts Commission, was the first, in 2021. Founded in 1986 at Anderson University, then Anderson College, the SCAA’s principal purpose is to identify and recognize the state’s distinguished writers and promote their literature’s influence on our cultural heritage. The late Frances Mims, an English professor at Anderson College, and the late Paul Talmadge, a vice president and academic dean at Anderson College, established the academy together. The SCAA’s literary advocacy award honors them. Dr. Akers was honored at a luncheon on October 28 in the Campus Room at the University of South Carolina.