Friday, March 28, 2008

A Message From Author Silas House

We thought your members/readers might want to know about a couple of great opportunities for writers. If you could pass this on we'd sure appreciate it. We're especially excited about the Ritchie Fellowship, in which your members are sure to be interested.

1. The Third Annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival Writing Awards

2. The Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian Writing-a $1,500 award for a deserving Appalachian writer

1. The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University announces its third annual writing competition. Visit our website at

The Jesse Stuart Prize for Young Adult Fiction will be judged by Anne Shelby , beloved author of
The Adventures of Molly Whuppie. Entries for this prize are limited to no more than 2,000 words and may not be entered simultaneously in the Still contest.

The James Still Prize for Short Story will be judged by Chris Holbrook , author of the modern classic Hell and Ohio. Entries for this prize should be no more than 4,000 words and there is no restriction on subject matter.

The George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry will be judged by Lyrae Van Clief Stefanon , Academy of American Poets award-winning author of Black Swan. There are no restrictions on subject matter or length for this prize and an entry is considered one set of up to three poems. If the winners so choose, the top three prize poems will be published in The Emancipator literary journal.

The Emma Bell Miles Prize for Essay will be judged by Karen McElmurray , award winning author of Surrendered Child and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven This prize is restricted to essays that address Appalachian life, literature, religion, folklore, culture, and/or values. Entries for this prize should be no more than 4,000 words.

Submitted entries must be unpublished. Photocopies are accepted. Submit two copies with a title page that includes your name, address, telephone number, email address, the title of the piece and the name of the contest to which you are submitting. Make sure that your name does not appear anywhere besides the title page to insure blind judging. Judging for this contest is completely blind and will go through a series of readers before getting to the final judge, who will pick the top three entries in each category. Contest entry fees cannot be refunded and no entries will be returned. Prizes will be awarded at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at LMU on June 14, 2008. Those winners not present will be mailed their prizes. Deadline for postmark is May 20, 2008. Any entry that is not postmarked will not be opened and failure to follow the above guidelines will result in disqualification.

Please enclose an $8 fee per entry (make check payable to LMU) and send your submission to Mountain Heritage Literary Festival Writing Contest, Kresge Hall, Lincoln Memorial University, 6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Harrogate, TN 37752. Please send email inquiries about the contest to Denton Loving at but please make sure your answer cannot be found above.


Through literature, a region tells stories to its citizens and the world. The Jean Ritchie Fellowship seeks to support, encourage and honor writers from the Southern Appalachians.

The fellowship is the first of its kind for the region's writers, and is committed to Appalachian voices.

Jean Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky, and Port Washington, New York, is a musician, author of prose and poetry, social activist, teacher, historian and folk music collector. The fellowship strives to support artists who, like Ritchie, create works of beauty and social relevance, while honoring traditional heritage and forging a new path.

Find out more about Jean Ritchie at

Award amount: $1,500

Fellowship Guidelines:

Poetry: Submit no more than ten pages.
Prose (Fiction and Nonfiction): Submit no more than twenty pages.

All work samples must be double-side printed and page numbered. Previously published material will not be accepted. No collaborative work samples or joint applications, please. Include a very brief, one page cover letter. To ensure an anonymous reading process, please do not put your name on any application materials excepting the cover letter.

For all genres, include a statement of purpose-no more than two pages-summarizing:

1. What Appalachia means to you (for example: identity, culture, sense of place, values, economics, environment).

2. What does writing mean in your life?

3. Your current writing project.

4. How would you utilize the fellowship funding?

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

If awarded a fellowship, you will not be eligible to apply for another five years. Please consult the map to determine if the county and state in which you live, or are originally from, is eligible as defined by the fellowship requirements. Indicate your county and state in the cover letter.

Fee: Five dollars per submission. You may apply in more than one genre. For each genre in which you apply, there is an additional five dollar reading fee.

Check or money order made out to LMU, Jean Ritchie Fellowship. No cash.

Submissions will be accepted from February 1 - April 1, 2008.

Postmarked deadlines are firm. Early, late, ineligible, and incomplete applications will be rejected. Manuscripts will not be returned but will be recycled.

Fellowship winner will be announced at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, June 14, 2008, and posted on this website by June 17.

Please do not seek information on the status of your application before the announcement date listed above.

Please mail your submission to: The Jean Ritchie Fellowship c/o Silas House Lincoln Memorial University P.O. Box 2005 Harrogate, Tennessee 37752 If you have questions, email: or 423.869.6432

No comments: