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 presented by Southern Lit Alliance, featuring the Fellowship of Southern Writers and hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


More than 30 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: Steve Yarbrough

Music, Morsels, and Musings

Apr. 3, 7:00 p.m.

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.)
Saturday Evening Dinners at Private Homes with Authors

We are seeking volunteers to help us with SouthWord 2020! Click below for more information.

About Steve Yarbrough

Steve Yarbrough will bring not only his literary and musical talent to the stage for Music, Morsels and Musings, the keynote address for SouthWord. Steve is the author of eleven books, most recently the novel The Unmade World, published in January 2018, which won the 2019 Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction.  His other books are the nonfiction title Bookmarked: Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, the novels The Realm of Last Chances, Safe from the Neighbors, The End of California, Prisoners of War, Visible Spirits and The Oxygen Man, and the short story collections Veneer, Mississippi History and Family Men. 

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the California Book Award, the Richard Wright Award and the Robert Penn Warren Award. He has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

The son of Mississippi Delta cotton farmers, Yarbrough, is currently a professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College.  He has two daughters—Lena Yarbrough and Antonina Parris—and is married to the Polish writer Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough.  They divide their time between Boston and Krakow.

Steve is an aficionado of jazz and bluegrass music, which he plays on guitar, mandolin and banjo, often after midnight.

About the Book

The Unmade World


Set against a backdrop of the current political and cultural upheaval in the U.S. and Eastern Europe, The Unmade World is a thoughtful, literary novel with a dose of suspense that moves from Poland to California to the Hudson Valley and back to Poland. It covers a decade in the lives of an American journalist and a small Polish businessman turned petty criminal and the wrenching aftermath of an accidental, tragic encounter between these two on a snowy night in 2006 on the outskirts of Krakow.

The accident costs the lives of the American journalist Richard Brennan’s wife and daughter, an event that colors the rest of his life. It also leads to a downward spiral for Bogdan Baranowsk, leaving emotional scars as he suffers the seemingly inevitable loss of his business, his home, and his wife.

The Unmade World is a story of ordinary, otherwise decent people from various backgrounds and circumstances who must learn how to live with personal grief, sense of guilt, and the emotional consequences of violence.

Thank you Sponsors!


Norma & Olan Mills

CHI Memorial Medical Group

Melissa & Kent Blye

Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau

Hamico Inc.



The Arts Building

301 East 11th Street

Suite 301

Chattanooga, TN 37403


(423) 267-1218

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