Feature Stories Campus Events

Campbell's Book Wins People's Choice Award

Julie Campbell, associate director of communications and public affairs at Washington and Lee University, was honored on Saturday, Oct. 15, when her book, The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History, won the People’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Library of Virginia’s 14th Annual Literary Awards, in Richmond.

At the same event, Lesley Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee, was one of three finalists for the Literary Award for Poetry for her collection, Heterotopia. A panel of judges chooses the finalists in that category. Wheeler, who recently completed a Fulbright Scholarship in New Zealand, previously won the Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize for that work.

The Library of Virginia established the People’s Choice Awards in 2004 to let readers share their enthusiasm for favorite works by Virginia authors. A panel of independent booksellers and librarians selects the finalists from the books nominated for the library’s Literary Awards. Winners are chosen by readers who cast their ballots online and in public libraries and bookstores. The winners, one for fiction and one for nonfiction, each receive a cash prize and an engraved crystal book.

The University of Virginia Press published The Horse in Virginia in 2010. It is the first book to cover the entire 400-year history of the horse in the commonwealth. Among the subjects are famed Virginia horses Secretariat, Misty of Chincoteague, Robert E. Lee’s Traveller and Stonewall Jackson’s Little Sorrel; well-known horsemen and horsewomen such as Olympians Karen and David O’Connor; breeds developed in Virginia, like the Thoroughbred and the Quarter Horse; sports such as foxhunting and steeplechasing; and the role of horses in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

The book also depicts Virginia horses through extensive illustrations: photographs, paintings, broadsides and prints, plus images of sculptures and artifacts.

Here’s the story we ran when the book came out in March 2010.

Campbell is the second person with Washington and Lee ties to win this particular prize. In 2009, renowned news correspondent and W&L alumnus Roger Mudd, of the Class of 1950, received it for his memoir, The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News.