The deadline for the Knoxville Writers’ Guild annual contests in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, including a poetry competition exclusively for high school students, is Feb. 29, Awards Chair Pam Strickland announced.

Winners of the contests will be announced in early to mid-April and honored at the Guild’s annual gala the afternoon of Saturday, April 26. First, second and third place prizes for each of the contests are $150, $100, and $50, respectively.

Some of the general contest 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 KWG Web site ( or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Awards at the above address.

There is no entry fee for the KWG Award for Fiction, in honor of Leslie Garrett, which is in honor of the Guild’s founders, or the KWG Young Writers' Prize in Poetry, which is designed to encourage high school students to explore poetry.

Entry to the two remaining contests is $20 for nonmembers and $10 for Guild members. Guild membership is $25 per year; $10 for students. To join, make checks payable to KWG or pay by credit card at the website,

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 5,000 words each. Only one entry per contestant. The lead judge is Pamela Schoenewaldt, a prize winning short story writer and former Writer in Residence at the University of Tennessee Hodges Library. She is a writing lecturer at UT.

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 Marianne Worthington, whose chapbook. Larger Bodies Than Mine was the Appalachian Writers Association 2007 Poetry Book of the Year. She is on the faculty at University of the Cumberlands.

Creative Nonfiction – This year’s topic is Streets, Avenues and Roads. The piece can relate to any street, avenue or road as long as it is real and identified in the piece. Other 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 street, avenue, or road, 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, experience, or memory binding the author or another real character to the street, avenue, or road, 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 essayist Sue Weaver Dunlap, who teaches at Seymour High School and Walters State Community College.

The 2008 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. Poet and essayist Candance Reaves, a former high school and college teacher, is the lead judge.