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Author/educator, Judy Light Ayyildiz, conducts writing and women’s seminars in the USA and in Turkey. Internationally published and anthologized, she has been a literary magazine editor, a writers’ conference founder, a musical director for a student group touring Poland through the Friendship Ambassadors and a director of a USA nationally recognized choir of medical wives. Her eleven published books in various genres sprung from her life and teaching. A cross-cultural triumph-over-trauma memoir, Nothing but Time, was 2002 Virginia College Bookstores’ Award Nominee, Virginia Outstanding Book Award Nominee and the runner-up in the Duquesne University Emerging Writers Series. Her third volume of poetry, Mud River, was highly acclaimed by the renowned Fred Chappell and William Packard. Leyla Ismier Ozcengiz translated her 10th book and 1st novel, Forty Thorns into Turkish, titled, Kirk Diken, making Remzi’s best selling list and winner of a 1st Place in an international novel award. Her eleventh book, Intervals, Appalachia to Istanbul , was nominated for the Library of Virginia 2016 poetry award.
Judy’s honors include, Woman of Achievement-Education 2010, Va. Com. Of Arts, poetry and short story prizes, Daughters of Ataturk, Turkish Forum, Jim Wayne Miller Poetry Prize, College Bookstores Best Book Finalist, Gusto Poet Discovery Winner, Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival Prize Winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, Fellow VCCA, and 2012 Winner International Best Book Awards FORTY THORNS Winner for Literary Fiction. 1st Place Winner for Nonfiction Writers in VA Golden Nib Award 2018.
Her many lectures and workshops for writing and Women’s Studies include Eastern Mediterranean. Univ.-Cyprus/ the American. Turkish Embassy-Ataturk Society-Washington, DC/ Florida-North Carolina and NYC Turkish Associations/ Kirklareli/ Istanbul/ Izmir/ Gaziantep/ Ege Univ./ international schools of Istanbul/ American Women of Istanbul/ Turk-American Univ. Women of Istanbul/ American. University. Women/ Anadolu Univ. and the Turkish Army/ Turkish Rotary Clubs/ Guilford NC/ Turkish League of America at NYC Consulate/ Radford University/ Roanoke College/ C-Span Book TV/ Hollins Univ.Women’s Center and Hollins Summer Programs/ Marshall University/Roanoke Women’s Coalition, and Artist-in-Residence for The Virginia Commission for the Arts.