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Raymond L. Atkins resides in Rome, Georgia, where he is an instructor of English at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Author of four novels, his first, Front Porch Prophet, won the 2008 Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel. His third novel, Camp Redemption, was awarded the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction and the 2014 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Fiction. His fourth novel, Sweetwater Blues, was a Townsend Prize nominee. Learn more about him at

Georgia Northwestern Technical College English Instructor and novelist Raymond L. Atkins offers a lighthearted change of pace in a collection of humorous essays just released titled, “South of the Etowah: The View from the Wrong Side of the River.”

In this most recent of Atkins’ publications, he explores a diverse range of topics as seen from the porch of his home on the southern bank of the mighty Etowah River in northern Georgia. From this lofty height, Atkins shares some unique perspectives on holidays, parenthood, cars, home ownership, aging, travel, medicine, technology, ballet, movies, marriage, Shakespeare, dogs, cats, music, swimming pools, vintage television, nicknames, amusement parks, restaurants, school projects, language, computers, hair, bad jobs, William Faulkner, weddings, advertising, Broadway plays, yard work, hospitals, cooking, Elvis Presley, moving, money, art, college, dinner theater, and a variety of other subjects.

“In a world polluted with bad news, shallow sound bites, sadness, and terror, South of the Etowah is a breath of fresh air,” says Catherine McCall, author of the international best-selling memoir, Never Tell. “Each story has that down home Southern texture so typical of Atkins’ books, but here we get to meet him in the intimate worlds of his marriage and family life, where we experience his compassion, integrity, and his imaginative and humorous twists on the day to day. I enjoyed with out-loud laughter every chapter of this book and the last one touched me with tears, as well. Read it. You’ll be a better person for having met him in this way.”

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Atkins lives and writes on a river, and the view from South of the Etowah is unique. It is funny, irreverent, wise, and well worth the trip. So come along! There is plenty of room on the porch, the coffee pot is on, and a cool breeze is blowing up from the river. “Simply put, Raymond Atkins is an insightful and funny storyteller,” says Jeff High, award-winning author of the Watervalley Books Series.

“Whether talking about nicknames, dogs, or home remedies, few people can capture Southern life with his level of cleverness and hilarity,” added High. “In South of the Etowah, Atkins quickly draws you in to the familiar settings of everyday life and then takes you on a whimsical ride. This sharply written collection of essays is brilliantly witty, occasionally humbling, and addictively entertaining. I just couldn’t put it down!”

To learn more about Atkins, you can go to Or, meet him and learn from him yourself! Classes are held at GNTC year-round. You can enroll for online and on-campus classes. Currently, GNTC teaches courses in more than 200 programs across five different North Georgia campuses in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield County. The college’s sixth-campus, the Catoosa County Campus, will open its doors later this year in Ringgold, Georgia.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.