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Governor’s School introduces Govie Writing Awards

Statewide writing contest for students

Submission deadline: Friday, March 15, 2019
The Govie Writing Awards is a new, state-wide contest for South Carolina students in grades 6-12. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Department at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, the awards are named for the department's founding faculty members—Jan Bailey and George Singleton—and recognize student works in fiction and poetry. Prize winners will receive a gift card from a local indie bookstore. Teachers of the winning students will also be recognized. Guidelines and more are here. Good luck!

2005 Fellowship recipient Bren McClain a fiction award finalist

Bren McClain, who was the S.C. Arts Commission's prose fellow in 2005, is a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. From Authorlink Writers & Readers Magazine:

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction announced its shortlist today.  The annual award is given to a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of its namesake, Willie Morris, “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.”

The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip for the winner to New York City for the reception and ceremony, which will be held on Monday, October 22nd, 2018. The award is sponsored by Reba and Dave Williams.

Congratulations, Bren! Read more about Bren in her excellent website bio.

SC Academy of Authors increases prize money for awards, adds student category

scacademyof authorslogo Apply for fiction and poetry awards by Dec. 1 The South Carolina Academy of Authors has expanded its annual award competitions to include a separate category for student writers of fiction and poetry and an increase in prize money. Thanks to a recurring grant from the Penelope Coker Hall and Eliza Wilson Ingle Foundation, the SCAA now sponsors two prizes in both fiction and poetry. The Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Fellowship in Fiction and the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Student Prize in Fiction offer winning authors $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. The grant honors the memory and literary legacy of the late Elizabeth Boatwright Coker (1908-1993), who was herself an SCAA inductee in 1991. Likewise, the Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship and SCAA Student Prize in Poetry offer winning authors $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. The entry deadline for all awards is Dec. 1, 2016. Applicants for the Fellowships in Fiction and Poetry must be full-time South Carolina residents. Applicants for the Student Awards in Fiction and Poetry must be 18 to 25 years old at the time of submission, legal residents of South Carolina and enrolled full time at a private or public South Carolina institution of higher education. Complete submission guidelines can be found at www.scacademyofauthors.org. Fellowship winners in fiction and poetry will be invited to the SCAA induction ceremony and awards brunch in Florence, S.C., in April 2017. The winning entries will be published in “Fall Lines, “an annual literary journal published by Muddy Ford Press in Columbia, S.C. Student award winners in each category also will be invited to the SCAA Awards brunch. Questions about the fiction prizes may be directed to Tim Johnston at editors@shortstoryamerica.com; questions about the poetry prizes may be directed to Daniel Cross Turner at dturner@coastal.edu. About the South Carolina Academy of Authors The SCAA was founded at Anderson College in 1986. Its purpose is to identify and recognize the state’s distinguished writers and their influence on our cultural heritage. The Academy board selects new inductees annually whose works have been judged culturally important. Each inductee, whether living or deceased, has added to South Carolina’s literary legacy by earning notable scholarly attention or achieving historical prominence. Entry fees help support the SCAA in its mission to preserve and promote South Carolina’s literary legacy.

S.C. Academy of Authors announces annual awards in fiction and poetry

The S.C. Academy of Authors has expanded its annual award competitions to include a separate category for student writers of fiction and poetry and an increase in prize money. Thanks to a recurring grant from the Penelope Coker Hall and Eliza Wilson Ingle Foundation, the SCAA will now sponsor two prizes in both fiction and poetry. The Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Fellowship in Fiction and the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Student Prize in Fiction will offer winning authors $1500 and $1000, respectively. The grant honors the memory and literary legacy of the late Elizabeth Boatwright Coker (1908-1993), who was herself an SCAA inductee in 1991. Likewise, the Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship and SCAA Student Prize in Poetry will offer winning authors $1500 and $1000, respectively. Fellowship winners in fiction and poetry will be invited to the SCAA induction ceremony and awards brunch in Anderson, S.C., in April, 2016; their entries will be published in Fall Lines, an annual literary journal published by Muddy Ford Press in Columbia. Student Award winners in each category will also be invited to the SCAA Awards brunch. The entry deadline for all awards is Dec. 1, 2015. Applicants for the Fellowships in Fiction and Poetry must be full-time South Carolina residents.   Applicants for the Student Awards in Fiction and Poetry must be 18-25 at the time of submission, legal residents of South Carolina, and enrolled full time at a private or public South Carolina institution of higher education.  Complete submission guidelines can be found at www.scacademyofauthors.org. Questions about the fiction prizes may be directed to Jon Tuttle at juttle@fmarion.edu; questions about the poetry prizes may be directed to Libby Bernardin at libbypoet@gmail.com. The Fellowship in Fiction is now in its fifth year. Previous winners are Rachel Richardson of Spartanburg (2015), Nancy Brock of Columbia (2014), Thomas McConnell of Spartanburg (2013), and Craig Brandhorst of Columbia (2012). This year’s fiction judge is Ron Carlson, the award-winning author of four story collections and five novels, most recently Five Skies and Return to Oakpine. His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, Playboy, and GQ, and has been featured on NPR’s This American Life as well as in Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Carlson is the director of the UC Irvine writing program and lives in Huntington Beach, California. Recent winners of the Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship include Barbara G.S. Hagerty of Charleston (2015), Jo Angela Edwins of Florence (2014), Susan Laughter Meyers of Givhans (2013), and Kit Loney of Charleston (2012).  This year’s poetry judge is Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and the author of eight books of poetry, including This Metal, nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award, and Restoring Sacred Art and Concertina, both winners of the Roanoke Chowan Prize. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. About the South Carolina Academy of Authors The South Carolina Academy of Authors was founded at Anderson College in 1986. Its purpose is to identify and recognize the state’s distinguished writers and their influence on our cultural heritage. The Academy board selects new inductees annually whose works have been judged culturally important. Each inductee, whether living or deceased, has added to South Carolina’s literary legacy by earning notable scholarly attention or achieving historical prominence. Entry fees help support the SCAA in its mission to preserve and promote South Carolina’s literary legacy. For more information about the South Carolina Academy of Authors, visit www.scacademyofauthors.org.

Winnsboro, SC native Jack Livings awarded 2015 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize

Jack LivingsWinnsboro, S.C., native Jack Livings has been awarded the 2015 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for The Dog, a collection of short stories. The prize honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work—a novel or collection of short stories—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. The winner receives a cash award of $25,000, a stipend intended to permit a significant degree of leisure in which to pursue a second work of literary fiction. The winner is also encouraged to become an active participant in the PEN community and its programs. From the Judges' Citation: The stories in Jack Livings' collection The Dog take place in contemporary China, but they are the opposite of exotic. Livings’ precise, measured sentences draw on an intensity of knowledge which makes a glass factory in Beijing as familiar as any American office, a feat which speaks of long experience and careful research, but also, and more importantly, of a deep curiosity about the vagaries and vanities of human nature, the brutish demands of collective endeavor and the austerity of freedom, and the strange occasions for compassion in societies where corruption and betrayal are the norm. The Dog reminds the reader that fiction need not be autobiographical in order to be honest; it is an investigation, an act of empathy and imagination which brings the world to life." The Dog was also named a Best Book of the Year by the Times Literary Supplement, and The New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani included the book as one of her 10 favorites of 2014. Livings’ stories have appeared in A Public Space, The Paris ReviewStory Quarterly, Tin House, The New Delta Review, Guernica, Best American Short Stories, and have been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He lives in New York with his family, is an editor at Time, Inc. and is at work on a novel. Read the New York Times book review. Read an interview with Livings from August 2014. Via: PEN/America

South Carolina Academy of Authors announces Fellowship recipients

SC Academy of AuthorsThe South Carolina Academy of Authors (SCAA) has announced the winners of this year’s fellowship competitions in fiction and poetry. Rachel RichardsonRachel Richardson of Spartanburg is the winner of the fourth annual SCAA Fiction Fellowship. Richardson’s short story, “Schism” was chosen by this year's judge, novelist Ann Hood, from among 30 submissions. Hood described “Schism” as “100 percent fresh and original, a unique new voice in the world of fiction. Quirky and honest, with a keen eye toward detail and the inner machinations of the human heart and mind, ‘Schism’ completely won me over from the very beginning.” Hood described the submission pool as “mostly wonderful, and at a high level of writing skill. Many times, I got lost in the story and the writing, which made it difficult to choose just one winner.” Barbara G.S. HagertyBarbara G. S. Hagerty of Charleston is the winner of the sixth annual Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship in Poetry. Her entries were chosen by judge Traci Brimhall, who described Hargerty’s submission as evincing “an incredible command of language. I was also struck by the poems' concision--how a word pairing could pull up a startling association or how the poet's mind could leap from one line to the next. Even more than strong images, emotion, and music in the poems, there was a deep intelligence here that had me returning again and again to the poems.” Of all the submissions, she said, “There are some truly amazing poets in South Carolina. I was really blown away by the talent in the submissions. The seven finalists were especially hard to choose amongst. There were some strong voices in there, a wide range in subject matter and aesthetics, and a compelling use of language.” (Note: Hagerty received the South Carolina Arts Commission's 2011 Poetry Fellowship.) Richardson and Hagerty will each receive a $1,000 prize at a special brunch held in conjunction with the Academy's 2015 induction ceremony in Charleston on April 11-12, at which Dorothea Benton Frank, Bret Lott, Marjory Wentworth and 19th-century playwright William Ioor will be inducted into the state's literary hall of fame. The submission period for next year’s fellowships will open next autumn. For more information about the South Carolina Academy of Authors or to make reservations for the induction, please visit scacademyofauthors.org. Via: S.C. Academy of Authors  

Writers, poets, playwrights: enter the Porter Fleming Literary Competition!

Writers age 18 and over residing in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are eligible to apply for the Porter Fleming Literary Competition. Entries must be postmarked no later than Feb. 2, 2015. Entries must be original, previously unpublished in print or online media and not accepted by any publisher at the time they are entered. Manuscripts previously submitted to the Porter Fleming Literary Competition may not be resubmitted. Submit as many entries in as many categories as you wish. Competition categories:

  • Fiction – short stories only (2,500 words maximum)
  • Nonfiction – article or essay (2,500 words maximum)
  • Poetry – (up to three poems per entry, not to exceed five pages total per entry)
  • One-Act Play – (professional format required, limited to 15 pages)
Awards (cash awards in each category):
  • First Place – $1,000
  • Second Place – $500
  • Third Place – $250
View the complete guidelines and application online. Organized by the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia, the Porter Fleming Literary Competition is in its 22nd year of recognizing outstanding writing and writers. The competition honors the memory of Porter Fleming, one of Augusta’s leading citizens and foremost philanthropists. Via: Morris Museum of Art

Charleston author launches novel by walking Natchez Trace

From MidlandsBiz.com: (Images: AndraWatkins.com)

Andra WatkinsWhen Charleston author Andra Watkins launched her novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, she decided on an unorthodox approach. She committed to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace in 34 days. The Natchez Trace is a 10,000-year-old road that runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Thousands of years ago, animals used its natural ridge line as a migratory route from points in the Ohio River Valley to the salt licks in Mississippi. It was logical for the first Native Americans to settle along the Trace to follow part of their migrating food supply. When the Kaintucks settled west of the Appalachians, they had to sell their goods at ports in New Orleans or Natchez, but before steam power, they had to walk home. The Trace became one of the busiest roads in North America. Chickasaw AgencyNicknamed the Devil's Backbone, the Natchez Trace was also one of the most dangerous places on the continent. Men banded together in packs to walk home, hopeful their numbers would discourage bandits and murderers. Sometimes, that worked. [caption id="attachment_11772" align="alignleft" width="150"]Ross Barnett Reservoir Ross Barnett Reservoir[/caption] Others, it backfired. Explorer Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark fame, ended up in the latter group. He died on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. He was only 35. His death remains a mystery. Some historians believe he committed suicide. Others are convinced he was murdered.
Watkins is following Lewis's footsteps. She is the first living person to walk the Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. Fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. Along the way, she is taking readers into the world of her novel. She reached the halfway point, 222 miles walked, on March 17. She expects to reach the terminus of the Trace—Nashville, TN—on April 3. Readers can follow her trek at andrawatkins.com. Her novel, To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook and Kobo.

South Carolina Academy of Authors announces Fiction Fellowship winner

The South Carolina Academy of Authors is pleased to announce Nancy Brock of Columbia, S.C, as the 2014 Fiction Fellowship winner. Brock’s short story, “Davy Crockett’s Last Stand,” was chosen by this year's judge, professor and author Randall Kenan of the University of North Carolina.

“Davy Crockett’s Last Stand” is set in 1956, when Disney’s “Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter” was met with eager anticipation by television audiences--particularly by an earnest young high school history teacher who finds herself in a battle of wills with her better-informed, even-more-earnest student. Of the story, Kenan said, “this story has a simple, almost old-fashioned shape, like a bell. And though it is set in the so-called more innocent times of the 1950s, it gets at some important social undercurrents efficiently and not at the expense of character and story and drama. The main character remains a captivating young woman throughout this journey, and her parents have so much personality. Well-written, well-made, wonderfully memorable. I admire ‘Davy Crockett's Last Stand’ tremendously.”

Of the pool of submissions, Kenan added, “This lot of writers covered the water front, from soldiers in Iraq to shape-shifters, from moonshine runners to noir-ish lovers running about in the night, from family dramas to dystopian trouble. This group of stories shows me how varied the world of writing remains, and, more important, it demonstrates how strong the written word remains in our land. Congratulations to them all.”

Brock will receive a $1,000 prize at a special brunch held in conjunction with the Academy's annual induction ceremony. This year's ceremony will be held in Greenville, S.C., April 26-27, when John Lane, Gilbert Allen, Janette Turner Hospital and Robert Quillen are inducted into the state's literary hall of fame.

The submission period for the 2015 Fellowship will open next autumn.

For more information about the South Carolina Academy of Authors, visit www.scacademyofauthors.org.

Pee Dee Fiction & Poetry Festival features award-winning authors

The eighth annual Pee Dee Fiction & Poetry Festival at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., will bring to campus five nationally known and award-winning authors on Nov. 7 and 8. The two-day festival will celebrate the works of Tom Franklin, Allison Joseph, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Evie Shockley and Jane Yolen. The event is held in Cauthen Educational Media Center’s Lowrimore Auditorium and is free and open to the public. There will be readings, lectures and panel discussions for participants. A number of fiction and poetry topics will be covered, and there will be opportunities for book signings. This year’s authors provide a variety of voices in poetry and fiction, said FMU faculty chair and English professor Rebecca Flannagan, who, along with Dr. Jo Angela Edwins, organized the event with a committee of faculty members from the Department of English. “These authors have written in varied genres, tackling themes of identity, historicity and social responsibility,” said Flannagan. “Some of the authors share commonalities but the festival strives to showcase diverse ways of looking at the world through writing.” The Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival originated in 2006 as the Pee Dee Fiction Festival, the brainchild of FMU President Luther F. Carter. Now an annual autumn event coordinated by members of the English faculty, the festival has expanded to include poets as well as fiction writers. Visit peedeefiction.org for more about the featured writers and to view the complete schedule. Via: Francis Marion University