Knoxville Writers’ Guild launches revamped writing contests

The Knoxville Writers’ Guild is offering more $1,200 in prizes for four contests in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, as well as a poetry contest specifically for high school students, Awards Chairman Art Stewart announced.

The deadline for the contests is Feb. 28. Winners of the contests will be announced in late spring and honored at a Guild event to be announced. First, second and third place prizes for each of the contests is $150, $100, and $50, respectively. Participants will note some changes in the contests. The most noticeable to long-time Guild members will be the combination of the Libba Moore Gray Poetry Prize and the Robert Burns/Terry Semple Poetry Prize into one contest, now known as The KWG Award for Poetry, in honor of Libba Moore Gray and Terry Semple. The entry fee is $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. The same fee structure applies to The KWG Award of Creative Nonfiction, which replaces the Essay Contest. In order to keep the tradition of no entry fee for the Young Writers’ Award and the Leslie Garrett Prize, sponsors have come on board. Laura Still and John Reaves are sponsoring The KWG Young Writers’ Award for Poetry. Don Williams and Jim Johnston are the sponsors of The KWG Award for Fiction, in honor of Leslie Garrett.

Some of the general guidelines include: contestants must be residents of Tennessee, entries may be made to more than one contest, and all contests are judged blind. Entries must be mailed to: (Name of Contest), Awards, Knoxville Writers’ Guild, P.O. Box 10326, Knoxville, TN 37939. No e-mail entries will be accepted.

For a complete list of general and specific guidelines, see the Web site or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Awards at the above address. The four contests and some specific information about each:

The KWG Award for Fiction, in honor of Leslie Garrett: An entry consists of one typed, double-spaced short story or novel excerpt totaling no more than 6,000 words each. Only one entry per contestant. The lead judge is Jeanne McDonald.

The KWG Award for Poetry, in honor of Libba Moore Gray and Terry Semple: An entry consists of not more than three types poems. Multiple submissions by a single contestant are allowed. The lead judge is Judy Loest.

The 2007 KWG Prize for Creative Nonfiction: The topic is hometown. Can relate to any hometown as long as it is the author's true hometown, which must be identified in the piece. Names may be changed. Since this is creative nonfiction, the piece should read more like a story than an essay, with a very strongly developed sense of place, and elements of conflict and character development (the author and/or any other persons in the story). The piece does not necessarily have to feature the author; it can involve someone the author knew or knew about. Preference will be given to narrow subject matter - an event, an experience, or a memory binding the author or another real character to the town or city, for good or bad, comedic or tragic, past or present. Entry consists of one typed, double-spaced creative nonfiction piece of no more than 3,000 words. Multiple submissions by the same contestant are allowed. The lead judge is Julie Auer.

The 2007 Young Writers’ Prize in Poetry: Entry consists of three typed poems of no more than 100 lines total. Only one entry per contestant. There are no restrictions as to style or content. The contest is open to all high school students in the Greater Knoxville Area of East Tennessee. Laura Still is the lead judge.

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