Announcing SouthWord 2020!

April 3 & 4, 2020

UTC University Center - 642 E 5th St, Chattanooga, TN 37403

A Literary Feast

The SouthWord Literary Festival is two-day event hosted by the Fellowship of Southern Writers and presented by SoLit and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


More than 40 members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers — poets, playwrights, fiction and nonfiction writers — will be in attendance at the festival, 

sharing their stories and their craft, hosting workshops, participating in panel discussions, signing books and mingling with the public.  In addition, a select number will be visiting classrooms in local schools to discuss their work and answer questions by the students. Readers and writers connect at the event.  It is a powerful experience on both sides. 

More information on the Fellowship of Southern Writers, its members, and more.
























Keynote Speaker: Tayari Jones

New York Times best-selling author, Tayari Jones, is this year's SouthWord Keynote speaker! Jones is the author of four novels, most recently An American Marriage. Published in 2018, An American Marriage is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection and also appeared on Barack Obama’s summer reading list as well as his end of the year roundup.  The novel was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), Aspen Words Prize and an NAACP Image Award.  With over 500,000 copies in print domestically, it has been published in two dozen countries.

Jones, a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers,  has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award,  United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship.  Her third novel, Silver Sparrow was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016.

Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is an A. D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University and the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.

The Keynote presentation will be held at the Westin Chattanooga, beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 3rd.

Confirmed Attending Authors

The following authors are confirmed to be attending this year's SouthWord Literary Festival! This list will be updated as additional authors are confirmed.

2-day ticket plus Keynote dinner -  $150. 
Early bird special $125 until March 1
Friday, 1-day ticket - $60.  
(includes luncheon.  does not include keynote dinner)
Sat. 1-day ticket - $60
includes luncheon
Keynote Dinner - $75
Table of 8  - $600
Student 2-day ticket - $40
Student 1-day ticket - $25
(student tickets do not include luncheons)
About the Book: An American Marriage
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. In this deft exploration of love, loyalty, race, justice, and both Black masculinity and Black womanhood in 21st century America, Jones achieves that most-elusive of all literary goals: the Great American Novel.



The Arts Building

301 East 11th Street

Suite 301

Chattanooga, TN 37403


(423) 267-1218

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© 2016 by Southern Lit Alliance