The FSW was formed because its twenty-two founding members believe that the American South is an identifiable and distinctive cultural and social community, and that the vitality and power of its literature justify recognition and encouragement. The Fellowship will be composed of no more than 50 members at any given time. New members are nominated by current members and elected by majority vote, and are drawn from among writers of fiction, poetry, drama, criticism, and history. To be considered for membership a writer must have been born and raised, or have resided for a significant part of his or her life in the South, or have written works that in character and spirit embody aspects of Southern experience.
For purposes of being nominated for an award, prize, or fellowship offered under the auspices of the Fellowship, the same criterion for eligibility applies as those for being elected to membership.
The Fellowship is affiliated with the Arts & Education Council of Chattanooga and the Lupton Library of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and will hold biennial convocations as part of the Arts & Education Council’s Conferences of Southern Literature. Its archives will be housed at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The Fellowship is now engaged in seeking funds for awards, prizes, fellowships, and other projects. Awards may be named for individuals, including donors. The elected officers are: Richard Bausch, Chancellor; John Shelton Reed, Vice-Chancellor; and George Core, Treasurer.
Learn more about the Fellowship of Southern Writers on their official website.