Welcome to the home of the Townsend Prize for Fiction, Georgia’s oldest and most prestigious literary award, created in memory of James “Jim” L. Townsend. Founding editor of Atlanta magazine, Townsend was an early mentor to some of the state’s most lauded men and women of letters including Pat Conroy, Terry Kay, William Diehl, and Anne Rivers Siddons, The Townsend, as it has affectionately become known, is presented biennially to a Georgia writer who has published an outstanding work of fiction during the preceding two years.

The Chattahoochee Review, the literary journal of Georgia Perimeter College, and the Georgia Center for the Book are the prize’s administrators, responsible for organizing book selections and judging. Georgia Perimeter College is The Townsend’s custodian and principle sponsor, hosting the award’s reception and ceremony at which the winner is announced.

Each winner of The Townsend Prize for Fiction receives a check for $2,000 and a silver tray commemorating the achievement. Past winners of The Townsend have included such noted authors as Alice Walker (1984, The Color Purple), Ha Jin (2002, The Bridegroom: Stories) and Kathryn Stockett (2010, The Help). 2016 will mark the eighteenth presentation of the award.


(Photo Credit: Bill Roa. Pictured left to right, back row are the following 2014 prize finalists: Stacia Brown, Amber Dermont, Josh Russell, Sheri Joseph, Joshilyn Jackson, Jamie Quatro, and Philip Lee Williams. Front row: Anthony Winkler, Jesmyn Ward (guest speaker), and Charles McNair. Finalist Susan Rebecca White is not pictured.)