2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction Shortlist Announced

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction announced its shortlist today.  The annual award is given to a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of its namesake, Willie Morris, “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.”

The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip for the winner to New York City for the reception and ceremony, which will be held on Monday, October 22, 2018. The award is sponsored by Reba and Dave Williams.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Joshilyn Jackson, The Almost Sisters (William Morrow)
  • Bren McClain, One Good Mama Bone (The University of South Carolina Press)
  • J.C. Sasser, Gradle Bird (Koehler Books)
  • Stephanie Powell Watts, No One Is Coming to Save Us (Ecco)​ 

This year’s reception and award ceremony will include a special panel on the life and writings of Pat Conroy and a major announcement about an expansion of the Willie Morris Award.

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