Aliu was announced as the winner on Thursday, May 28, 2020, during a virtual award ceremony. The finalists for the 2020 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.
All of the finalists for the 2020 award were:
Brass by Xhenet Aliu
The Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnaffons
The Day’s Heat by Roberta George
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
The Vain Conversation by Anthony Grooms
The Magnetic Girl by Jessica Handler
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
Wild Milk by Sabrina Orah Mark
Dixie Luck by Andy Plattner
Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
With a legacy of more than a quarter century, the Townsend Prize for Fiction is the state of Georgia’s oldest and most prestigious literary award. The next celebration of the biennial Townsend Prize for Fiction is slated to take place in the spring of 2022, which will mark the thirty-ninth year of the award’s existence and the twenty-second awarding of the prize.