Return to Nowhere was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Originated by the Lipinsky family, and funded by Mrs. JoAnn L. Edwinn, the Award has been presented annually, since 1955, for printed works that focus special attention on Western North Carolina
The author must be a native of the Western North Carolina region or a resident of WNC for at least twelve months prior to the closing date for the Award. If author does not qualify as a native or resident, the focus or setting of the work must be Western North Carolina.
Some authors who have received this award previously include John Paris, Gail Godwin, John Ehle, Charles Frazier, Robert Brunk, Michael McFee, Lee Smith, Ron Rash and Wayne Caldwell.