Announcing SouthWord 2021!

November 2021

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


The SouthWord Literary Festival is two-day event presented by Southern Lit Alliance, featuring the Fellowship of Southern Writers and hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Like a beloved shortened novel, SouthWord is going to be "abridged" this year, as a combination of local authors and members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers come together for a hybrid experience of in person and virtual panels and events.  This year's SouthWord will be particularly special, as a local author panel will close out the festival by presenting Southern Lit Alliance's Local Distinguished Author Award.

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



















Confirmed Attending Authors

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

  • John Shelton Reed

  • Richard Bausch

  • Daniel Wallace

  • Bobbie Anne Mason

  • Elizabeth Cox

  • Steve Yarbrough

Three Keynote Speakers: John Shelton Reed, Richard Bausch, George Singleton

About John Shelton Reed  

John Shelton Reed--Friday


John Shelton Reed is a sociologist and essayist, having either edited or written over 23 books, most dealing with the American South.  He's written for The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and Oxford American.  Reed graduated from MIT in 1964 and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1971.  He taught at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill from 1969 until his retirement in 2000, and was elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers that same year.  His most recent work, On Barbecue, was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2021.  Reed has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the National Humanities Center, and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of the South and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and is an Honorary Fellow of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge.


Richard Bausch--Saturday morning

About Richard Bausch

Bausch is a novelist and short story writer.  He's published 12 novels, eight short story collections, and one volume of poetry/prose.  Born in Georgia, Bausch served in the U.S. Air Force from 1966-69, and toured in a rock band.  He has a B.A. from George Mason University, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.  His novels' themes vary from explorations of family life to historical pieces.  He edited the 6th edition of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction alongside R.V. Cassill, and solely edited the 7th and 8th editions.  Three feature films have been made of his work.  His most recent work includes the novel Before, During, After (2014) and the short fiction Living in the Weather of the World (2017). 

George Singleton--Saturday afternoon

About George Singleton


George Singleton's most recent short story collection, "You Want More" (2020), was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2020.  A Southern author, Singleton has written eight short story collections, two novels, and an instructional book on writing fiction.  Raised in Greenwood, SC, Singleton graduated from Furman University and then went on to obtain an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  He's been a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2011 was awarded the Hillsdale Award for Fiction by The Fellowship of Southern Writers.  Singleton was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers in April 2015, and was awarded the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence in 2016.