As part of the University of Georgia’s Year 2000 millennial celebration, the University Libraries established the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame—a public awards program and a permanent Internet exhibit honoring Georgia’s most influential writers.

The  mission of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame is “to recognize Georgia writers, past and present, whose work reflects the character of the state—its land and its people. Although there are a few award programs in the state that recognize specific books, the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame is the first to honor Georgia writers for their overall contribution to our culture.”

The organizers also conceived the Hall of Fame as a library reference, or “gateway,” program. The annual induction process and the corresponding Internet Hall of Fame exhibit are designed to introduce interested groups to the university’s unparalleled collections of Georgia literature and literary source materials.

The Hall of Fame online presence includes a virtual pantheon or “cyberhall” of digital portraits, capsule biographies, and bibliographies of the authors’ published works. These lists of published works are compiled from the catalogs of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The staff manages the nomination process of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame awards program.

The program annually solicits nominations from the public and turns the eligible nominations over to a board of volunteer judges, which consists of twelve to twenty academics, civic leaders, librarians, and publishing professionals selected for rotating three-year terms by the director of the University of Georgia Libraries, who also chairs the board. To be eligible for nomination a writer “must have been either a native of Georgia or have produced a significant work during or subsequent to a substantial time of work and/or residence in Georgia.”

The Hall of Fame officially opened in April 2000. At that time the board of judges selected a charter membership of twelve famous writers from Georgia’s history. Since then, judges have convened annually to select new members from among the nominations. From the time of their selection, all living writers are invited to serve three-year terms as ex officio members of the board of judges.

Inductees to Georgia Writers Hall of Fame
Inductee Year of Induction
Conrad Aiken 2003
Raymond Andrews 2009
Toni Cade Bambera 2013
Coleman Barks 2009
Vereen Bell 2015
Furman Bisher 2018
Michael Bishop 2018
Roy Blount Jr. 2016
David Bottoms 2009
Elias Boudinot 2003
Taylor Branch 2015
Robert Burch 2009
Olive Ann Burns 2014
Erskine Caldwell 2000
Jimmy Carter 2006
Brainard Cheney 2016
James C. Cobb 2017
Judith Ortiz Cofer 2010
Pat Conroy 2004
Alfred Corn 2017
Harry Crews 2002
James Dickey 2000
W. E. B. Du Bois 2000
Henry W. Grady 2004
Melissa Fay Greene 2011
Joel Chandler Harris 2000
Paul Hemphill 2015
Mary Hood 2014
Georgia Douglas Johnson 2010
Tayari Jones 2018
Terry Kay 2006
James Kilgo 2011
John Oliver Killens 2000
Martin Luther King Jr. 2000
Sidney Lanier 2000
Augustus Baldwin Longstreet 2000
Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin 2016
Carson McCullers 2000
Ralph McGill 2004
James Alan McPherson 2016
Johnny Mercer 2011
Caroline Miller 2007
Judson Mitcham 2013
Margaret Mitchell 2000
Frances Newman 2018
Flannery O’Connor 2000
Eugenia Price 2017
Janisse Ray 2015
Byron Herbert Reece 2001
Ferrol Sams 2007
Cynthia Shearer 2018
Bill Shipp 2016
Celestine Sibley 2007
Anne Rivers Siddons 2007
Lillian Smith 2000
John Stone 2007
Jean Toomer 2002
Natasha Trethewey 2011
Alfred Uhry 2014
Alice Walker 2002
Bailey White 2008
Walter White 2010
Philip Lee Williams 2010
Calder Willingham 2008
Frank Yerby 2006
Kevin Young 2017
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