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Fellowship of Southern Writers

Fellowship of Southern Writers

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The Fellowship of Southern Writers is a literary
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 organization founded in 1987 in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

 by 21 Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 writers and other literary luminaries. The group meets in every odd-numbered year, usually during the Chattanooga Arts & Education Council Conference on Southern Literature
Southern literature
Southern literature is defined as American literature about the Southern United States or by writers from this region...


In 2007, the fellowship formalized its own structure, electing its first board of directors and hiring its first executive director, Susan Robinson.

Charter Members

  • A.R. Ammons
  • Cleanth Brooks
    Cleanth Brooks
    Cleanth Brooks was an influential American literary critic and professor. He is best known for his contributions to New Criticism in the mid-twentieth century and for revolutionizing the teaching of poetry in American higher education...

  • Fred Chappell
    Fred Chappell
    Fred Davis Chappell is an author and poet. He retired after 40 years as an English professor at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997-2002...

  • George Core
  • James Dickey
    James Dickey
    James Lafayette Dickey was an American poet and novelist. He was appointed the eighteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1966.-Early years:...

  • Ralph Ellison
    Ralph Ellison
    Ralph Waldo Ellison was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953...

  • Horton Foote
    Horton Foote
    Albert Horton Foote, Jr. was an American playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies, and his notable live television dramas during the Golden Age of Television...

  • Shelby Foote
    Shelby Foote
    Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. was an American historian and novelist who wrote The Civil War: A Narrative, a massive, three-volume history of the war. With geographic and cultural roots in the Mississippi Delta, Foote's life and writing paralleled the radical shift from the agrarian planter system of the...

  • John Hope Franklin
    John Hope Franklin
    John Hope Franklin was a United States historian and past president of Phi Beta Kappa, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Southern Historical Association. Franklin is best known for his work From Slavery to Freedom, first published in 1947, and...

  • Ernest J. Gaines
  • George Garrett
    George Garrett (poet)
    George Palmer Garrett. was an American poet and novelist. He was the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2002 to 2006. His novels include The Finished Man, Double Vision, and the Elizabethan Trilogy, composed of Death of the Fox, The Succession, and Entered from the Sun...

  • Blyden Jackson
  • Madison Jones
    Madison Jones
    Madison Percy Jones is a novelist, born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1925. He has published almost a dozen novels, and is considered "one of the major figures of contemporary southern letters".-Biography:...

  • Andrew Nelson Lytle
    Andrew Nelson Lytle
    Andrew Nelson Lytle was an American novelist, dramatist, essayist and professor of literature. He was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and early in his life planned to be an actor and playwright...

  • Walker Percy
    Walker Percy
    Walker Percy was an American Southern author whose interests included philosophy and semiotics. Percy is best known for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, the first of which, The Moviegoer, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1962...

  • Reynolds Price
    Reynolds Price
    Reynolds Price was an American novelist, poet, dramatist, essayist and the James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University. Apart from English literature, Price had a lifelong interest in ancient languages and Biblical scholarship...

  • Louis D. Rubin, Jr.
  • Mary Lee Settle
    Mary Lee Settle
    Mary Lee Settle was an American writer and winner of the National Book Award for her 1978 novel Blood Tie...

  • Lewis P. Simpson
  • Elizabeth Spencer
    Elizabeth Spencer (writer)
    Elizabeth Spencer is a writer. Spencer's first novel, Fire in the Morning, was published in 1948. She has written a total of nine novels, seven collections of short stories, a memoir , and a play...

  • William Styron
    William Styron
    William Clark Styron, Jr. was an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work.For much of his career, Styron was best known for his novels, which included...

  • Walter Sullivan
    Walter S. Sullivan
    Walter Seager Sullivan, Jr was considered the "dean" of science writers.Sullivan spent most of his career as a science reporter for the New York Times...

  • Peter Taylor
    Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor
    For other people named Peter Taylor, see Peter Taylor.Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor was a U.S. author and writer.-Biography:...

  • Robert Penn Warren
    Robert Penn Warren
    Robert Penn Warren was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He founded the influential literary journal The Southern Review with Cleanth Brooks in 1935...

  • Eudora Welty
    Eudora Welty
    Eudora Alice Welty was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Welty was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous awards. She was the first living author to have her works published...

  • C. Vann Woodward
    C. Vann Woodward
    Comer Vann Woodward was a preeminent American historian focusing primarily on the American South and race relations. He was considered, along with Richard Hofstadter and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., to be one of the most influential historians of the postwar era, 1940s-1970s, both by scholars and by...

Elected Members

  • Wendell Berry
    Wendell Berry
    Wendell Berry is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, short stories, poems, and essays...

  • Ellen Douglas (Josephine Haxton) (1990)
  • C. Eric Lincoln (1990)
  • Romulus Linney
    Romulus Linney (playwright)
    Romulus Zachariah Linney IV was an American playwright and professor.-Life and career:Linney was born in Philadelphia, the son of Maitland Clabaugh and Romulus Zachariah Linney III. His great-grandfather was Republican Congressman Romulus Zachariah Linney. Linney was raised in Boone, North...

  • Lee Smith
    Lee Smith (author)
    Lee Smith is an American fiction author who typically incorporates much of her home roots in the Southeastern United States in her works of literature. She has received many writing awards, such as the O. Henry Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, and the North...

  • Monroe Spears (1993)
  • Charles Wright
    Charles Wright (poet)
    Charles Wright is an American poet whose awards include the National Book Award Charles Wright (born August 25, 1935) is an American poet whose awards include the National Book Award Charles Wright (born August 25, 1935) is an American poet whose awards include the National Book Award (19830 for...

  • Doris Betts
    Doris Betts
    Doris June Betts is a short story writer, novelist, essayist and Alumni Distinguished Professor Emerita at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill....

  • Marsha Norman
    Marsha Norman
    Marsha Norman is an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. She received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play night, Mother...

  • James Applewhite
    James Applewhite
    James Applewhite is an American poet, and Professor Emeritus in creative writing at Duke University.He graduated from Duke University with a B.A., M.A...

  • Richard Bausch
    Richard Bausch
    Richard Bausch is an American novelist and short story writer, and Moss Chair of Excellence in English at the University of Memphis. He has written eleven novels, eight short story collections, and one volume of poetry and prose....

  • Clyde Edgerton
    Clyde Edgerton
    Clyde Edgerton is an American author and English literature professor.Born in Durham, North Carolina, his books are known for endearing characters, small-town Southern dialogue and realistic fire and brimstone religious sermons...

  • Gail Godwin
    Gail Godwin
    Gail Kathleen Godwin is an American novelist and short story writer. She has published one non-fiction work, two collections of short stories, and eleven novels, three of which have been nominated for the National Book Award and five of which have made the New York Times Bestseller List.Godwin was...


  • William Hoffman
    William Hoffman
    William Hoffman may refer to:* William Hoffman , American novelist* William M. Hoffman - American playwright* Bill Hoffman , American baseball player* Billy Hoffman , American hacker...

  • Donald Justice
    Donald Justice
    Donald Justice was an American poet and teacher of writing. In summing up Justice's career, David Orr has written, "In most ways, Justice was no different from any number of solid, quiet older writers devoted to traditional short poems. But he was different in one important sense: sometimes his...

  • Dave Smith
    Dave Smith
    -In sports:*Dave Smith , Scottish football goalkeeper*Dave Smith , Scottish football fullback for clubs including Burnley, managed several clubs in the 1970s/1980s...

  • Joseph Blotner (2001)
  • Allan Gurganus
    Allan Gurganus
    Allan Gurganus is an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist whose work is often influenced by and set in his native North Carolina. His writing has been compared to the work of William Faulkner and Eudora Welty, who also were identified with the American South.-Biography: Gurganus was...

  • Beth Henley
    Beth Henley
    Elizabeth Becker "Beth" Henley is an American dramatist and actress. She writes primarily about women's issues and family in the Southern United States. She is also a screenwriter who has written many film adaptations of her plays...

  • Josephine Humphreys
    Josephine Humphreys
    Josephine Humphreys is an American novelist.A native of Charleston, South Carolina, which is also the setting of her novels Dreams of Sleep, Rich in Love and The Fireman's Fair, Humphreys was educated at Ashley Hall , studied creative writing with Reynolds Price at Duke University , and went on to...

  • Bobbie Ann Mason
    Bobbie Ann Mason
    Bobbie Ann Mason is an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and literary critic from Kentucky.With four siblings Mason grew up on her family's dairy farm outside of Mayfield, Kentucky. As a child she loved to read, so her parents, Wilburn and Christina Mason, always made sure she had...

  • Henry Taylor
    Henry S. Taylor
    Henry S. Taylor is a Pulitzer Prize winning American poet and author of over 15 books of poetry.Taylor was born on 21 June 1942 in rural Loudoun County, Virginia, where he was raised as a Quaker. He went to high school at George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of...

  • Madison Smartt Bell
    Madison Smartt Bell
    Madison Smartt Bell is an American novelist. He was raised Nashville, and lived in New York, and London before settling in Baltimore, Maryland....

  • Kaye Gibbons
    Kaye Gibbons
    Kaye Gibbons is an American novelist. Her 1987 debut, Ellen Foster, received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Special Citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, and the The Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Prize in Creative Writing from...

  • Barry Hannah
    Barry Hannah
    Howard Barry Hannah was an American novelist and short story writer from Mississippi.The author of eight novels and five short story collections , Hannah worked with notable American editors and publishers such as Gordon Lish, Seymour Lawrence, and Morgan Entrekin...

  • Yusef Komunyakaa
    Yusef Komunyakaa
    Yusef Komunyakaa is an American poet who currently teaches at New York University and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Komunyakaa is a recipient of the 1994 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, for Neon Vernacular and the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He also received the Ruth Lilly...


  • Jill McCorkle
    Jill McCorkle
    Jill Collins McCorkle is an American short story writer, and novelist.She graduated from University of North Carolina, in 1980, where she studied with Max Steele, Lee Smith, and Louis D...

  • John Shelton Reed
    John Shelton Reed
    John Shelton Reed is a sociologist and essayist, author or editor of eighteen books, most of them dealing with the contemporary American South. Reed regularly contributes articles to non-academic publications such as The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and the Oxford American...

  • Ellen Bryant Voigt
    Ellen Bryant Voigt
    Ellen Bryant Voigt is an American poet. She has published six collections of poetry and a collection of craft essays. Her poetry collection Shadow of Heaven was a finalist for the National Book Award and Kyrie was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her poetry has been...

  • Allen Wier
    Allen Wier
    Allen Wier , is an American writer and a professor at the University of Tennessee.Wier was born in 1946 in San Antonio, Texas and spent parts of his childhood in Louisiana and Mexico...

  • Larry Brown
    Larry Brown (author)
    Larry Brown was an American novelist, non-fiction and short story writer. He was a winner of numerous awards including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Award, and Mississippi's Governor's Award For Excellence in the Arts...

  • Percival Everett
    Percival Everett
    Percival Everett is an American writer and Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.-Life:Everett lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, novelist Danzy Senna and their two sons....

  • Robert Morgan
    Robert Morgan (poet)
    -Life:He studied at North Carolina State University as an engineering and mathematics major, and University of North Carolina Greensboro.He teaches at Cornell University beginning in 1971.-Awards:...

  • Lewis Nordan
    Lewis Nordan
    Lewis Nordan grew up in Itta Bena, Mississippi. He is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1983, at age forty-five, Nordan published his first collection of stories, Welcome to the Arrow-Catcher Fair...

  • Sam Pickering (2005)
  • Wyatt Prunty
    Wyatt Prunty
    Wyatt Prunty is an American poet and author associated with the New Formalism movement. He is the author of eight collections of poetry and two books of criticism and is a frequent reviewer and essayist for poetry and literary journals...

  • Dorothy Allison
    Dorothy Allison
    Dorothy Allison is an American writer, speaker, and member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.-Early life:Dorothy E. Allison was born on April 11, 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina to Ruth Gibson Allison, who was fifteen at the time. Ruth was a poor and unmarried mother who worked as a...

  • Roy Blount, Jr.
    Roy Blount, Jr.
    Roy Alton Blount, Jr. is an American writer. Best known as a humorist, Blount is also a reporter, actor, and musician with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band composed entirely of writers. He is also a former president of the Authors Guild....

  • Andrew Hudgins
    Andrew Hudgins
    Andrew Hudgins is an American poet.His book The Never-Ending: New Poems was a finalist for the National Book Awards, After the Lost War: A Narrative received the Poetry Prize; and Saints and Strangers , which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.He is also the author of a book of essays, The...


  • Randall Kenan
    Randall Kenan
    Randall Kenan is an American author of fiction and nonfiction. Raised in a rural community in North Carolina, Kenan has focused his fiction on what it means to be black and gay in the southern United States. Among his books is the collection of short stories Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, which was...

  • Shannon Ravenel (2007)
  • Alfred Uhry
    Alfred Uhry
    Alfred Fox Uhry is an American playwright, screenwriter, and member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is one of very few writers to receive an Academy Award, Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for dramatic writing....

  • Will D. Campbell
    Will D. Campbell
    Will Davis Campbell is a Baptist minister, activist, author, and lecturer. Throughout his life, he has been a notable white supporter of civil rights in the Southern United States...

  • Rita Dove
    Rita Dove
    Rita Frances Dove is an American poet and author. From 1993-1995 she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position now popularly known as "U.S. Poet Laureate"...

  • Percival Everett
    Percival Everett
    Percival Everett is an American writer and Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.-Life:Everett lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, novelist Danzy Senna and their two sons....

  • Jim Grimsley
    Jim Grimsley
    -Biography:Born to a troubled rural family in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Grimsley said of his childhood that "for us in the South, the family is a field where craziness grows like weeds"....

  • Edward P. Jones
    Edward P. Jones
    Edward Paul Jones is an American novelist and short story writer. His 2003 novel The Known World received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.-Biography:...

  • Fred Hobson (2009)
  • Rodney Jones
    Rodney Jones
    Rodney Jones is an American poet and professor of English at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Jones was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the winner of the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award. His other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Peter I.B...

  • Eleanor Ross Taylor
    Eleanor Ross Taylor
    Eleanor Ross Taylor is an American poet who has published six collections from 1960 to 2009. Her work received little recognition until 1998, but since then has received several of the major poetry prizes...

  • Natasha Trethewey
    Natasha Trethewey
    Natasha Trethewey is an American poet who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her 2006 collection, Native Guard.Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. She earned the A.B. in English from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in poetry from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. in poetry from...

  • Al Young
    Al Young
    Al Young is an American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and professor. On May 15, 2005 he was named Poet Laureate of California by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In appointing Young as Poet Laureate, the Governor praised him: "He is an educator and a man with a passion for the Arts...


Awards and Honors

  • The Hillsdale Prize for Fiction
  • The Hanes Prize for Poetry
  • The Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction
  • The Bryan Family Foundation Award for Drama
  • The Cecil Woods, Jr. Prize for Non-Fiction
  • The Fellowship's New Writing Award for Fiction
  • The James Still Award for Writing About the Appalachian South
  • The Fellowship's New Award for Poetry
  • The Cleanth Brooks Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Southern Letters

External links