Valerie Nieman's latest, In the Lonely Backwater, a YA/crossover suspense novel in the Southern gothic tradition, is being published by Regal House/Fitzroy Books in 2022. To the Bones, her folk horror/thriller about coal country, was published by West Virginia University Press and was a finalist for the 2020 Manly Wade Wellman Award, joining Blood Clay (Eric Hoffer Award) and two other novels. She has also published a short fiction collection and three poetry collections, most recently, Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse from Press 53, which was runner-up for the Brockman-Campbell Prize. She has published widely in journals and anthologies, and has held state and NEA creative writing fellowships. A native of western New York, Nieman holds degrees from WVU and Queens University of Charlotte, and was a reporter and farmer in West Virginia before moving to North Carolina, where she worked as an editor and as a creative writing professor at NC A&T State University. Her activities include hiking and gardening.

Other Works

  • To the Bones

  • Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse

  • Hotel Worthy

  • Neena Gathering

  • Blood Clay

  • Wake Wake Wake

  • Fidelities

  • Survivors


Awards and Recognition

  • National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship
  • North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellowship
  • Kentucky Foundation for Women fellowship
  • West Virginia Commission on the Arts fellowship
  • Greg Grummer Prize in Poetry
  • Elizabeth Simpson Smith prize in fiction
  • Emma Bell Miles Prize for the Essay, Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, 2019
  • Runner-up, Brockman-Campbell Book Prize, 2019
  • Winner, Flyleaf Books annual poetry contest, 2017
  • Winner, Seven Hills annual contest, YA fiction, 2017