North American Cold Medal for Essay/Creative Nonfiction, Independent Publisher (IPPY) for The Patron Saint of Dreams, 2012

Sam Talmadge Ragan Award for Contribution to the Fine Arts of North Carolina, 2012

Universiity of North Carolina Wilmington, Faculty Exellence Award, 2009-2010

University of North Carolina Wilmington, Distinguished Teaching Professorship, 2001-2003

University of North Carolina Wilmington, Award for Faculty Scholarship, 2003

University of North Carolina, Board of Trustees Teaching Award, 2001

University of North Carolina Wilmington, Graduate Mentor Award, 2000

University of North Carolina Wilmington, Chancellor's Execllence in Teaching Award, 1993

North Carolina Arts Council, Individual Artist's Fellowship, 1994-1994

University of North Carolina Wilmington, College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, 1992

University of North Carolina Wilmington, English Department Service Award, 1992-1993

Arts Council of the Lower Cape Fear, Emerging Artist Grant, 1991

Blumenthal Series Winner, 1989, 1994

Ernest Hemingway First Novel Prize nominee, 1986

Bread Loaf Fellow in Fiction, 1987

Bread Loaf Scholar in Fiction, 1982

Established by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1961, the North Carolina Award recognizes significant contributions fo the state and nation in the fields of fine art, literature, public service, and science. It is the highest civilian honor awarded by the state.

North Carolina Award in Literature, 2019

AWARDS