The South Carolina Academy of Authors was founded at Anderson University in 1986. Its principal purpose is to identify and recognize the state's distinguished writers and to promote their literature's influence on our cultural heritage. Public recognition of our state's literary hall of fame not only serves to increase the general readership of authors working today but also leads to the rediscovery of works from the past.
The Board of Governors selects new inductees annually whose works have been judged culturally important. Each inductee, whether living or deceased, has added to South Carolina's literary legacy by earning notable scholarly attention or achieving historical prominence.
The Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Fellowship in Short Fiction and Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship in Poetry each awards $1500 to a South Carolina resident writer. The Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Student Prize in Short Fiction and the Carrie McCray Nickens Student Prize in Poetry each awards $500 to students enrolled full-time in a South Carolina private or public college. Fellowship applications are welcomed each fall. Competitions are judged anonymously by established out-of-state authors.
Although not a state agency, the South Carolina Academy of Authors benefits from close affiliations with the South Carolina State Library, the South Carolina Arts Commission, and many of the state's colleges, universities, and corporations.