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About the Festival 


The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference was founded in 1996 to commemorate the 100th birthday of celebrated American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose paternal ancestors were from Montgomery County, Maryland; Fitzgerald is buried, along with his wife Zelda and his daughter Scottie, in the cemetery of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Rockville, Maryland.

In 2013, the name of the event was officially changed to the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival.

Since 1996, recipients of the Fitzgerald Award have included many of America’s most distinguished writers, all of whom have been present to accept the Award:

1996  William Styron

 1997  John Barth

 1998  Joyce Carol Oates

 1999  E. L. Doctorow

 2000  Norman Mailer

 2001 Ernest J. Gaines

 2002 John Updike

 2003 Edward Albee

2004 Grace Paley

2005 Pat Conroy

2006 Jane Smiley

2007 William Kennedy

2008 Elmore Leonard

2009 Julia Alvarez

2010 Alice McDermott

2011 Maxine Hong Kingston

2013 Robert Olen Butler

2014 James Salter

2015 Richard Ford

2016 Garrison Keillor

2017 Annie Proulx

2018 Richard Russo

2019 Amy Tan

2020 Barbara Kingsolver

2021 John Edgar Wideman

2022 Richard Powers

 The 2023 recipient will be Jonathon Franzen.

As a group, Fitzgerald Award honorees have received 16 Pulitzer Prizes.


The mission of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc. and its annual festival is:

-to foster understanding and appreciation of the literary arts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, 

play/screenwriting, and literary journalism)

- to sponsor the annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival and to award an outstanding American writer-to support, encourage, and assist aspiring and emerging writers and students through short story contests and workshops-to work with other cultural organizations in advancing public and private support for the literary arts

-to keep the legacy of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and their ties to Maryland alive


Our vision is an all-day event on a Saturday close to the date of Fitzgerald’s birth, September 24th, preceded by other events – with our partners such as Montgomery County Public Libraries and the
Writer’s Center. The vision includes workshops led by well-known, accomplished writers and teachers, a master class conducted by our honoree (sometimes a speech; sometimes an
interview), and other offerings connected to the honoree

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