Annual Writers’ Festival Contest

Each year in preparation for its annual Writers’ Festival in the spring, the Agnes Scott College Department of English holds a writing contest for students enrolled in colleges and universities in the state of Georgia during the fall of that year. Entries in four categories—poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction (the personal essay), and playwriting (the one-act play) are accepted until the deadline. A prize of $500 will be awarded during the festival to the winning entry in each category. Finalists will be notified by email in January. Their work will be included in the Agnes Scott College Writers' Festival Magazine, published in April; they will be invited to a lunch and a workshop with guest judges on Friday, April 6.

Submission deadline: Dec. 1, 2017

Finalist Judges: Eula Biss, Mat Johnson, and Jacqueline Goldfinger

Contest rules appear below. For information about the event, or to receive an electronic copy of the rules, write Prof. Alan Grostephan at Only entries following these rules will be considered. 

Contest Rules:

• The Writers’ Festival competition in poetry, short fiction, personal essay, and playwriting is open to anyone currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program in a college or university in the state of Georgia.

• Submissions must be previously unpublished. Finalist entries will appear in the Agnes Scott Writers' Festival Magazine; authors retain all rights to their materials and may publish them elsewhere after the competition.

Submit entries as Word-compatible or PDF attachments to the Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival at Submittable: Each story, essay, play, or set of poems must be in a separate file. The author’s name must not appear within the file. The brief cover letter must include the author’s name, school, email address, and phone number, followed by a list of titles of all works submitted, including of individual poems.

• Each entrant may submit up to five poems, up to two stories, up to two creative nonfiction essays, and one one-act play. Entries must be typed in a standard 12-point black-type font (no script fonts) and entries in short fiction and creative nonfiction must be double-spaced. Entries may use global formatting (for example, first line indents) that can easily be changed to our template for publication.

• Stories and personal essays must be no longer than 5000 words, poems no longer than 100 lines. One-act plays must be no longer than 30 pages and must be typed in the approved professional format. (See the “Formatting Guide” at