Agnes Scott College’s 52nd Annual Writers’ Festival will be held on Thursday and Friday, March 30-31, 2023. Finalist entries in the Steven R. Guthrie Memorial Writers’ Festival Contest will be judged by guest writers Elizabeth Acevedo, Caryl Phillips, and Samantha Jayne Allen ‘11.

Contest categories are poetryshort fictioncreative nonfiction, and playwriting. 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 also be invited to workshop with guest judges on Friday, March 31st.

For information about the event or to receive an electronic copy of the rules, write to Professor Alan Grostephan at The deadline for receipt of entries is December 1. Only entries following these rules will be considered. 

Contest Rules:

  • The Steven R. Guthrie Memorial Writers’ Festival contest in poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, 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  • Submissions must be previously unpublished.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: Submit each story, essay, play, or poem 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 titles 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). 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 creative nonfiction must be no longer than 5000 words, poems no longer than 100 lines. One-act plays must be no longer than 30 pages and typed in the approved professional format. (See the “Formatting Guide” at 

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