Born in eastern Tennessee and raised in southwestern Virginia, Lonormi Manuel has called Kentucky home for over thirty years. Her writing, both fiction and nonfiction, addresses universal themes in Appalachian settings. A passionate historian and genealogist, Lonormi finds inspiration for her fiction in old newspapers, oral histories, and the stories of the working class. She writes not only about, but for the Appalachian people, and seeks to refute the “hillbilly” label through her work.
Her short fiction has appeared in Still: The Journal, Wraparound South, Barely South Journal, and Change Seven Magazine. Her short story, “An Unmarked Grave,” received the 2017 Short Fiction Prize from Still. Her narrative essay, “An Exultation for Appalachia” was awarded First Prize in the Appalachian Narratives for Our Time competition sponsored by the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center of Berea College, and was published by The Roanoke Review.
Lonormi holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Her first novel, "The Price of Bread and Shoes", is a work of historical literary fiction set in the coal camps of southern West Virginia during the 1920s.