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2024 award winner
Jesmyn Ward is an author with a remarkable literary journey marked by numerous accolades. She is a professor of creative writing at Tulane University, influencing the next generation of writers with her powerful and empathetic narratives.
Jesmyn Ward Announced as the Recipient of the 2024 Fitzgerald Award
The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival Annual Award
Honors Distinguished American Writers

APRIL 8, 2024

Rockville, MD – The F. Scott Fitzgerald Festival is thrilled to announce Jesmyn Ward as the recipient of the 2024 Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature. The Festival, renowned for celebrating distinguished American writers, will pay tribute to Ward’s outstanding contributions to contemporary literature during a captivating event featuring a reading and a master class.

A two-time winner of the National Book Award for Fiction and a MacArthur Fellow, Jesmyn Ward is a luminary in the literary world. Ward’s poignant explorations of the complexities of race, class, and family in the American South have garnered widespread acclaim and solidified her place among the most influential literary voices of our time.

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival has a rich tradition of honoring prominent figures in American literature, including Pulitzer Prize winners John Updike, Jane Smiley, Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Edward Albee, and Barbara Kingsolver. The Festival organizers are pleased to add Jesmyn Ward to this list of honorees.

“Jesmyn Ward’s work embodies the essence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s exploration of the American experience,” said Gary Berg-Cross, President of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc. “Through her powerful storytelling, Ward illuminates the complexities of our society with a depth and nuance that resonates with readers around the world.”

The premier festival dedicated to F. Scott Fitzgerald and contemporary literary luminaries, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival was inaugurated in 1996 in the city where he and his family are buried to commemorate the centenary of the iconic author’s birth. Co-sponsored by the City of Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc., this event is a testament to Fitzgerald’s enduring impact and to the ongoing vitality of contemporary American literature.

Reflecting on the significance of recognizing accomplished American contemporary writers, one of the founders and former president of the Festival, Jackson R. Bryer, stated, “In honoring writers like Jesmyn Ward, we pay homage to the legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald while also celebrating the evolution and diversity of American literature. Ward’s contributions exemplify the spirit of innovation and artistic excellence that defines our Festival.”

The 2024 Fitzgerald Award ceremony promises to be an unforgettable occasion, showcasing Jesmyn Ward’s talent and impact on the literary landscape. Members of the media are invited to attend and cover this prestigious event.

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