The South has generated many great writers all across history, and there’s no better way to explore every literary icon the region has to offer than with the Southern Literary Trail.

Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville, Alabama
[/media-credit] Monroe County Courthouse, Monroeville, Ala.

“The trail currently includes writers of classic Southern literature who hailed from or spent a significant amount of time in and were therefore influenced by, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia,” said William Gantt, founder and chair of the trail. “Sites range from writers’ homes to libraries that house their collections.”

In Alabama, groups can visit six different regions: Demopolis, Hartselle, Mobile, Monroeville, Montgomery and Tuskegee. Literary icons in these areas include: Lillian Hellman, William Bradford Huie, William March, Albert Murray, Eugene Walter, Turman Capote, Harper Lee, Ralph Ellison, and Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“The trail is truly an experience; (groups can experience) the places that inspired writers who produced some of the greatest works of literature,” Gantt said. “Experiencing the trail therefore includes experiencing the towns and rural areas in which they lived.”

The Little Manse: Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and Museum in Moreland, Georgia
[/media-credit] The Little Manse: Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and Museum, Moreland, Ga.

There are 16 additional regions across Georgia and Mississippi that groups can venture to, including: Oxford (William Faulkner), Natchez (Richard Wright), Atlanta (Margaret Mitchell) and Columbus (Carson McCullers).

Due to the large size of the trail, numerous events and exhibits are almost constantly taking place at one of the sites; details can be found on the trail’s website and social media platforms. And every two years, trail organizers host Trailfest — the only tri-state literary festival in the United States with free events, theatrical performances and heritage tours.

“The trail is unique in several aspects: It is the country’s first tri-state literary trail and it focuses on a region of the world that produced some of the greatest writers, and continues to produce great writers,” Gantt said.

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