The Knoxville Writers’ Guild is now accepting submissions to its annual writing contest, which will be judged by established writers. Deadline for entries is July 15, 2016


First place winners in each category will receive $100.  They will be honored and invited to read at the Oct. 6, 2016 meeting of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild.


Contestants may enter their work in these categories: poetry, creative nonfiction, novel excerpt, and literary short fiction. There is also a category for Young Writers, which is open to East Tennessee students in grades 7 through 12.


Adult contests are open to anyone above the age of 18. Ineligible to enter the literary contests are: Members of the KWG Board of Directors, Contest Committee members and previous first prize winners (who include Youth Writers also).


The full Contest Guidelines and individual contest guidelines are below. (Or, to see the full Contest Guidelines as well as guidelines for individual contests, please visit the Knoxville Writers Guild website at


For more information, please email or visit



General Contest Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all Knoxville Writers Guild contest categories. See specific guidelines under each category heading for individual exceptions or additions. Contestants may submit work through midnight, July 15, 2016.

Please read the guidelines carefully in order to ensure entries are processed efficiently and fairly.

  1. Contests are open to all individuals above the age of 18 with the following exceptions: Members of the KWG Board of Directors and Contest Committee members may not submit entries to Knoxville Writers Guild contest. Previous first prizewinners are barred from entering the contest they won for one year. See Specific Guidelines under Young Writer’s Prizes for exceptions to those contests.
  2. Previous winners who have won five or more times in a single category are not eligible to enter that contest but are to be considered Writer Emeritus and can be invited to serve as a judge in that category.
  3. Contestants may enter more than one contest.  Additionally, contestants may enter a single contest more than once. Each submission must be entered separately. An entry fee is required for each submission.
  4. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. All submissions must be posted before midnight Eastern Standard Time on July 15, 2016.
  5. Submit entries online at: Entries received via email or through the mail will not be processed.
  6. Use black type on a white page with 12 point Times New Roman or Courier fonts. Set your margins to one inch, and double-space. Do not justify. See specific contest guidelines for additional formatting requirements.
  7. Entries must be submitted through the online entry form. The title of your attachment should match the title of your submission. You will receive an automated email confirmation that the committee has received your entry. Please send a follow-up inquiry if you do not receive an email confirmation of receipt of your submission.
  8. Do not put your name, pen name, or any other identifying information on the entries themselves. Failure to follow this rule will result in rejection of your entry and forfeiture of your entry fee.
  9. Previously published works will not be accepted. Submission of previously published works will result in disqualification from the contest and forfeiture of your entry fee.
  10. There is a $30 entry fee for nonmembers and no fee for Guild members. Guild membership is $30 per year; $15 for students. If you’re joining the guild, you must pay for the membership before you submit your entry. To join, make checks payable to Knoxville Writers Guild or pay by credit card at
  11. You can pay entry fees in two ways: (1) by personal check to the address below or (2) electronically via PayPal through the online submission process. If you opt to pay by check, include the title of your entry and category in the memo line of your check and the check number when you submit your entry online. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of the entry for lack of payment. Payments by check should be sent to: (Name of Category) Contest c/o The Knoxville Writers Guild, P.O. Box 10326 Knoxville, TN 37939
  12. The following prize will be awarded for each category: First Prize – $100.  Prizes may not be awarded in a category if an insufficient number of eligible entries are received.
  13. See below for descriptions of individual categories and specific guidelines for a particular contest.
  14. Winners will be notified by phone and/or email.
  15. Winners will be invited to read an excerpt of their winning submissions at the October 6, 2016 General Meeting of the Knoxville Writers Guild where they will be presented with their prizes. If you are unable to receive your prize in person, it will be mailed to the address on your submission unless otherwise notified.

Mailing Address: Knoxville Writers Guild, P.O. Box 10326, Knoxville TN 37939-0326

Equal Opportunity:  The Knoxville Writers Guild does not discriminate against any person because of race, age, gender, handicap or country of national origin.


2016 Annual Knoxville Writers Guild Contest

Categories and Guidelines


Literary Short Fiction


Entry consists of one short story totaling no more than 3,000 words. See General Guidelines for additional instructions.


Novel Excerpt

All genres


Entry consists of typed, double-spaced novel excerpt or novella totaling no more than 10,000 words.

Please, include the word count on the cover sheet.

See General Guidelines.




Entry consists of no more than three typed poems totaling 100 lines or fewer. If more than one poem is entered, poems will be judged as a collection.

There are no restrictions as far as style, content or spacing.

See General Guidelines.


Literary Nonfiction


Entry consists of one typed, double-spaced nonfiction essay of no more than 3,000 words.

See General Guidelines.


Young Writers

Open to all high school students, grades 7 through 12, of the East Tennessee area.


Fiction: Entry consists of one short story or stand-alone novel excerpt totaling no more than 3,000 words, double-spaced.

Nonfiction: Entry consists of essay totaling no more than 3,000 words, double-spaced.

Poetry: Up to a maximum of three typed poems totaling 100 lines or fewer with no restrictions as far as style, content or spacing.  Poems will be judged as a collection. There is no entry fee for this category.


Do not include any identifying information on the submissions themselves.

If you are a teacher or school submitting entries on behalf of your students, please add the following in the email body in addition to the information required by the General Guidelines:

  • School name
  • Teacher or school representative name
  • School Address
  • School phone number


Please contact if your school or club needs any additional information for bookkeeping or payment purposes.


For more information, contact:

Tyler Lewelling


Knoxville Writers’ Guild