Genie Smith Bernstein is named Georgia Independent Author of the Year for her story collection Skating on the Septic Tank – Telling Stories published by Black Opal Books. Known for stories of growing up in Putnam County, Bernstein credits a decade of writing for Georgia Connector Magazine with her wide readership and thanks Southern Pen Bookshop for this award.
Writing the forward to this story collection, Terry Kay, author of To Dance with the White Dog, describes Bernstein’s stories as “miniature novels…(that) leave a lingering of delight, or a tremor of melancholy.” Mentored by the inimitable Harriette Austin at UGA, Genie is a founding member of the Harriette Austin Writers Studio.
A graduate of Putnam County High School, Bernstein grew up in the Willard community, a daughter of Roy and Sally Smith. Her sisters, Esther Farley and Patrice Underkofler, reside in Eatonton and her brother, Roy, lives in Connecticut. Bernstein makes her home in Athens, and shares with her husband, Irwin, a retired professor, their joyously combined family of six children, 14 grandchildren, two great-grands, and counting.