Books that are eligible for the 2020 Townsend Prize must be works of fiction, including novels, collections of novellas, collections of short stories or collections of novellas and short stories combined, written by authors living in Georgia during the time the works were written and/or published.
All books considered for the 2020 award must have been published between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019. Books cannot be self-published, published by companies who print on demand, or published by vanity presses (presses funded, at least in part, by the author). E-books are eligible only if the print version of the book will follow by the prize’s book publication deadline of December 31, 2019.
Books by authors affiliated with Georgia State University, including Perimeter College; the Georgia Center for the Book; Atlanta Writers Club members sitting on the board within the current prize cycle; other sponsoring and partnership agencies; and or their family members; are not eligible for consideration. Authors, publicists, and publishers may suggest eligible books to The Chattahoochee Review and the Georgia Center for Book, the prize’s administrators.
Throughout the book-consideration period, the staff of The Chattahoochee Review and the Georgia Center for the Book continuously read and cull through all submissions to produce a list of all eligible books. This list is then cut to 10 finalists. The final books are then passed on to a panel of independent judges comprised of award-winning literary professionals who determine the winner of the award.
The recipient of the Townsend Prize is announced at a ceremony held in Atlanta, Georgia in the spring.