Townsend Prize Home | About | Georgia's Most Prestigious Literary Award




"You have to like what you write about and maintain integrity.
    You can die with some comfort when you have good books
    on the shelf that you've created."

--- Anthony Winkler (1942-2015), 2014 Townsend Prize Winner



Mary Hood is The Winner of the 2016 Townsend Prize for Fiction

On Thursday, April 28, 2016, book lovers throughout the state gathered together to celebrate the works of the authors chosen as finalists for this biennium's awarding of the Townsend Prize for Fiction. The reception and award ceremony took place at the historic DeKalb History Center/Old Courthouse on the Square in Downtown Decatur.

The finalists for the 2016 award represented the very best achievements in letters by Georgia writers over the course of the preceding two years, reflecting the prize's celebration of the Southern voice in all its intricacies and incarnations. The finalists for the 2016 Townsend Prize for Fiction were:

  • The Coming by Daniel Black
  • Twain's End by Lynn Cullen
  • A Clear View of the Southern Sky by Mary Hood
  • Driving the King by Ravi Howard
  • An Isolated Incident by Soniah Kamal
  • Song of the Vagabond Bird by Terry Kay
  • Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell
  • Kismetwali & Other Stories by Reetika Khanna Nijhawan
  • Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich
  • Offerings from a Rust Belt Jockey by Andy Plattner


Congratulations to Mary Hood whose short-story collection A Clear View of the Southern Sky won the 2016 Townsend Prize. The next celebration of the biennial Townsend Prize for Fiction will take place in the spring of 2018, which will mark the thirty-seventh year of the award's existence and the twentieth awarding of the prize.



(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 (winner), Jesmyn Ward (guest speaker), and Charles McNair. Susan Rebecca White is not pictured.)