Fellowship of Southern Writers


Founded in 1987 by a group of acclaimed writers who met in Chattanooga, the Fellowship of Southern Writers (FSW) is a nonprofit organization.  Its purpose is to commemorate outstanding literary achievement; encourage young writers through awards, prizes and fellowship; recognize distinction in writing by election to membership; and through other appropriate activities.  The FSW formed because its twenty-two founding members believe that the American South is an identifiable and distinctive cultural and social community, and that the vitality and power of its literature justify recognition and encouragement.


The Fellowship is composed of no more than 50 active members at any given time.  New members are nominated by current members and elected by majority vote.  Nominees are drawn from among writers of fiction, poetry, drama, criticism and history.  To be considered for membership a writer must have been born and raised, or have resided for a significant part of his or her life in the South, or have written works that in character and spirit embody aspects of Southern experience.

For purposes of being nominated for a FSW award, prize or fellowship, the same criterion for eligibility applies as those for being elected to membership.

The Fellowship is affiliated with the Southern Lit Alliance and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Lupton Library.  It holds its biennial convocation in partnership with the Southern Lit Alliance's Celebration of Southern Literature.  The FSW's archives are housed at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The Fellowship is now engaged in seeking funds for awards, prizes, fellowships and other projects.  Awards may be named for individuals, including donors.  The elected officers are: Wyatt Prunty, Chancellor; Jill McCorkle, Vice-Chancellor; Susan Robinson, Secretary/Treasurer; and Allen Wier, Immediate Past-Chancellor.

Learn more about the Fellowship of Southern Writers here.