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James L. Townsend, Atlanta magazine's founding editor, passed away in 1981 after a battle with cancer. At his funeral, several former close associates—including Pat Conroy, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Terry Kay—decided to launch a literary award in his honor. Recent winners inspire us to follow Townsend’s frequent admonition: “Brilliant, dear heart. Write it down. Write it all down.”
Fifty years ago, Mary Hood was sitting in a classroom at Georgia Tech, where she was a graduate physics student, when she encountered the following test question: If it’s raining and a man needs to get to his car, will he get wetter if he runs or if he walks?