UA Cason Award to Honor Journalist and Novelist Roy Hoffman

Roy Hoffman
Roy Hoffman

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Roy Hoffman, an acclaimed novelist and journalist, will receive the 2009 Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing from The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences Thursday, March 5 at a dinner in his honor at the Hotel Capstone.

Hoffman is a staff writer for the Mobile Press-Register and is author of “Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile,” a collection of narrative nonfiction, profiles and essays from the Press-Register, the New York Times, Newsday, Preservation and Southern Living. He is also author of the novels “Almost Family,” winner of the Lillian Smith Award and Alabama Library Association Award for fiction, and “Chicken Dreaming Corn,” a BookSense pick praised by Harper Lee as “a story of great appeal in prose – lean and clean.”

A native of Mobile, Hoffman lived in New York City for 20 years where he wrote articles and reviews for numerous publications and penned speeches for the chancellor of NYU and the governor and first lady of New York before returning to Mobile with his family in 1996 to join the Press-Register.

He reviews periodically for the New York Times Book Review and his Times essay, “My Own Private New York,” was a notable essay of the year in Best American Essays 2003. His essay, “On Keeping a Journal,” a My Turn column for Newsweek on Campus, is in the Prentice-Hall Handbook for College Writers.

A graduate of Tulane University with a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University, Hoffman has taught writing workshops at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, University of Wisconsin’s Write by the Lake program and is on the faculty of Spalding’s brief-residency MFA in Writing program.

Hoffman is completing a new nonfiction collection, “Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations,” and a novel, “Come Landfall.”

The journalism department in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at UA established the Cason Award in 1997 to honor exemplary non-fiction over a long career. All of the recipients have had strong connections to the state of Alabama.

Tickets for the dinner honoring Hoffman are $50. The event will begin with a 6 p.m. reception. Hoffman will accept the award and speak at the dinner. To order tickets, phone Sheila Davis at 205/348-4787 or email


Deidre Stalnaker, UA Public Relations, 205/348-6416,


Bonnie LaBresh, director of the development, 205/348-5868,