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LitFest Creative Writing Competition

Undergraduate students at WCU are invited to submit their original work to the annual LitFest Creative Writing Competition. Winners in each genre receive a $250 prize (runners-up receive $50), publication in Nomad, and a chance to read at the Spring Literary Festival. The deadline to submit your work is March 5, 2021. 

Email entries to with “Student Writing Competition” in the subject line

Kathryn Stripling Byer Prize in Poetry

Winner: $250
Runner-up: $50

Submit up to three poems to

Judged by Jesse Graves, author of four collections of poetry: Merciful Days (2020), Specter Mountain (2018), Basin Ghosts (2014), and Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pines (2011).

Prize in Fiction

Winner: $250
Runner-up: $50

Submit a short story of up to 2000 words

Judged by Leah Hampton, author of the 2020 short story collection F*ckface and Other Stories; her work appears in EcotoneGuernicaMcSweeneysElectric LiteraturestorySouthLitHub, and elsewhere.

Prize in Literary Nonfiction

Winner: $250
Runner-up: $50

Submit a literary essay (memoir, personal essay, lyric essay, etc.) of up to 2000 words

Judged by Kristen Radtke, author of the graphic nonfiction book Imagine Wanting Only This (2017), and the forthcoming books Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness (July 2021) and Terrible Men, a graphic novel.

2020 award winners and runners-up

 Email Professor Jeremy Jones or the Nomad staff with questions.

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