You Bright-Young-Thing Southern Scribes, send in your writing to the 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition

Bradley's Barn Pre-Construction, Mt. Juliet, TN

Bradley’s Barn Pre-Construction, Mt. Juliet, TN

You Bright-Young-Thing Southern Scribes, let me judge your best submission. I’m thrilled to be one of the judges for the Short Story category for the 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition. Undergraduates, send in your writing.

Is your college or university a member of The Southern Literary Festival Association? Ask your English Department chair or a professor or an instructor obsessed with Southern Literature because The 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition will award First, Second, and Third Certificate prizes and publish an anthology of the winning submissions in undergraduate writing of member institutions at the 2015 Southern Literary Festival held at The University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA, March 26, 27, and 28 in the following categories:

1. Poetry
2. Short Story
3. One-Act Play
4. Formal Essay
5. Creative Nonfiction
6. Literary Magazine (Print), and
7. Literary E-zine.

Each institution may submit two entries in each of the first five writing categories. Rules differ for the latter two categories. The electronic and postmarked deadline for submissions is January 9, 2015 to allow for judging and publication in the annual anthology. Note: MTSU students must submit entries by Friday, December 19, at 4:00 pm.

Submit entries by January 9, 2015, to  Literary magazine submissions must be postmarked January 9, 2015 and mailed to

Jennifer Kates
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University, Box 0070
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

PRO TIP: Follow all guidelines precisely. If you have any questions about guidelines, contact Jennifer Kates. Do not guess. Guessing may disqualify you and waste your time and effort.

The Southern Literary Festival website and Competition Guidelines offer the following information:

Writers must be undergraduates and must be enrolled for credit during the 2014-2015 school year at a member institution of the Southern Literary Festival Association. Essays, stories (including groups of stories), and plays may not exceed 5,000 words. Poetry may not exceed 100 lines for either one poem or a group of related poems. Works entered cannot have been published except in campus newspapers or magazines. Other rules apply. Please access the Festival website for complete submission guidelines and required forms.

The 2015 Southern Literary Festival will be hosted by the University of North Georgia on its historic campus at Dahlonega, Georgia Thursday, March 26 – Saturday, March 28 and take place along with 11th annual Dahlonega Literary Festival.

The Southern Literary Festival is held annually at a participating college or university in the South. The Festival features writing workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting; a writing competition in those areas as well as in formal essay and literary-arts magazine; and a venue in which the participating students, faculty, and general public attend readings by prominent Southern writers. What makes the Festival unique is its emphasis on undergraduate writing. The Festival has been held since 1937 and has featured many well-known Southern writers such as Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, James Dickey, Bobbie Ann Mason, Katherine Anne Porter, Natasha Trethewey, and Richard Ford. Robert Penn Warren was one of the original founders. And this year’s feature authors join the Festival’s tradition of writer-scholars who care deeply about nurturing and promoting undergraduate American Southern writers. They include Raymond L. Atkins, Ezekiel Black, Dottie Blais, Kimberly Brock, Leverett Butts, Brian Jay Corrigan, Tony Grooms, Karen Head, Kathryn Hinds, Alex Johns, Sandra Meek, Marissa Schwalm, Brad Strickland, and Walton Young.

Special funding for the Festival is generously provided by the Georgia Humanities Council, Wells Fargo, the UNG Foundation, the UNG College of Arts and Letters, the Visiting Authors Committee, the University Press of North Georgia, the UNG English Department, BookLogix, The Chestatee Review, the Georgia Writers Association, and the Robert Penn Warren Circle.

For more information about the competition contact Jennifer Kates at Middle Tennessee State University at For more information about the Festival please contact Gloria Bennett at or Leigh Dillard at

Face Book:
Hashtag: #southernliteraryfestival

I look forward to reading the Short Story entries and wish I could take part on every panel. Good Luck! April


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