The Mississippi Writers Trail pays tribute to the state’s most acclaimed and influential writers through a series of historical markers that recognize the importance of place in an author’s life while educating the public about the history and legacy of Mississippi writers. This statewide community improvement activity connects historical preservation, tourism and transportation. The cast aluminum markers, shaped like an open book inform travelers and highlight information about local authors including their birthplace, home, gravesite, museum, or literary locale. These markers will eventually span the entirety of the state from the Gulf Coast to the Hills. Mississippians such as Natasha Trethewey, Richard Wright, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, Larry Brown, Jesmyn Ward, and many more will be honored with a Mississippi Writers Trail marker.

Statewide Partners

Representatives from the organizations listed below comprise the Writers Trail Advisory Committee:

• Mississippi Arts Commission
• Mississippi Development Authority, Visit Mississippi
• Mississippi Humanities Council
• Mississippi Library Commission
• Mississippi Department of History and Archives
• Community Foundation for Mississippi
• Mississippi Book Festival

Selection and Placement Process

In order to ensure the integrity of the project, a panel of experts have selected a group of literary scholars to identify the authors and provide appropriate language for each marker. To ensure historical accuracy, the scholars make recommendations for marker placement, which are then shared with the Writers Trail Advisory Committee. Locations are determined in partnership with the local community associated with each author. Living authors and surviving families are also consulted in the drafting of the text and location for each marker.

Members of the public can also submit a nomination proposal for the inclusion of a specific writer on the Mississippi Writers Trail using the nomination form. The committee of scholars review submissions to determine the eligibility for inclusion on the Trail. If approved, the nominated writer will be added to the queue for future production as funding becomes available. Writers nominated should meet the criteria established by the Writers Trail Scholars Committee listed below.

Criteria for Mississippi Writers Trail Markers

Mississippi Writers Trail markers celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding Mississippi writers, particularly those who have discovered or revealed something essential about Mississippi.

1. These writers must have strong Mississippi connection (either must be born here or lived here majority of their life). These markers serve as a record of the writers achivements over a lifetime, so priority is given to writers whose works are complete or nearly complete.

2. The writer must exhibit many of the following characteristics:

  • national reputation
  • significant award
  • significant publisher
  • historical significance
  • contribution to or inspiration for the culture of the region or state (but regional or local importance not sufficient)
  • has written at least one book, script, or chapbook
  • strong literary influence on other writers

3. The writer has published significant works in at least one of the genres listed below

  • fiction (novel & short story)
  • poetry
  • non-fiction (creative nonfiction, essay, biography, memoir)    
  • journalism                               
  • scholarly works
  • playwriting/drama
  • screenwriting
  • juvenile literature
  • culinary literature

Marker Locations

  • Margaret Walker Alexander – July 8, 2019
    • Margaret Walker Center, Jackson State University
    • Jackson, MS
  • William Faulkner – October 10, 2019
    • Rowan Oak
    • Oxford, MS
  • Shelby Foote – October 18, 2019
    • E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center
    • Greenville, MS
  • Walker Percy – October 18, 2019
    • E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center
    • Greenville, MS
  • Elizabeth Spencer – October 5, 2019
    • Merrill Museum
    • Carrollton, MS
  • Ida B. Wells – November 7, 2019
    • Rust College
    • Holly Springs, MS
  • Eudora Welty – September 10, 2018
    • Eudora Welty House and Garden
    • Jackson, MS
  • Tennessee Williams – October 17, 2019
    • Cutrer Mansion
    • Clarksdale, MS
  • Richard Wright – July 23, 2020
    • George W. Armstrong Library
    • Natchez, MS
  • Anne Moody – May 26, 2021
    • Louis Gaulden and Riquita Jackson Family Memorial Park
    • Centreville, MS
  • Dorothy Shawhan – July 23, 2021
    • Wright Gallery of Kethley Hall, Delta State University
    • Cleveland, MS
  • Richard Ford – September 2, 2021
    • Carnegie Public Library
    • Clarksdale, MS
  • Willie Morris – June 4, 2022
    • Yazoo Triangle Cultural Center
    • Yazoo City, MS
  • Stark Young – November 12, 2022
    • Emily J Pointer Public Library
    • Como, MS

Important Links

Writers Trail Sponsors