The Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, is running its annual literary contest and a new Young Writers portfolio contest. Both seek entries from high school students, grades 9-12, and the former also accepts submissions from current undergraduates. Submissions will be accepted until December 31, 2020, so there’s plenty of time after the end of the fall semester to put together an entry for those interested.
The contest is coordinated by Foster Dickson, a prominent Alabama writer himself, especially invested in Southern literature. His publications include Closed Ranks: The Whitehurst Case in Post-Civil Rights Montgomery and the anthology Children of the Changing South. More recently, Dickson has also launched the project level:deepsouth. An online anthology, it seeks to “document the experiences of Generation X in the Deep South” from the ‘70s to the ‘90s.
For those interested, the winners of the previous year’s contest, on the theme “Love + Marriage,” may be read here.
The Inaugural Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald Young Writers Award
Only for high school students in Alabama, this award seeks to “identify and honor Alabama’s high school students who share [Zelda’s] talent and spirit.” It also celebrates the recent induction of Zelda into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, as of spring 2020. Interested students should submit a portfolio of 5-15 pages, including literary works such as short stories or poems. The contest encourages innovative pieces, also allowing for artwork or other “graphic elements” that “enhance the work[s].”
The Young Writers Award will be judged by Josef Vice, a professor at Purdue University Global with focuses on Southern Literature and modern poetry. More information and details for how to submit can be found on the Fitzgerald website, located here.
The Fitzgerald Museum’s 2020-2021 Annual Literary Contest
The literary contest judges in three categories, separated by age (grades 9-10; 11-12; undergraduate), and accepts submissions of single fiction, poetry, drama or multi-genre pieces. Submissions should fit the year’s theme, “The Education of a Personage,” taken from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. The website especially emphasizes that such pieces may “include works about learning, growing up, and maturing.” Like in the Young Writers Award, innovation is encouraged and graphic elements that enhance the work allowed.
Ashley M. Jones, organizer of the Magic City Poetry Festival and a teacher at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, will judge the undergraduate category, along with Alina Stefanescu, a poet and fiction writer herself. More information and instructions to submit can be found on the Fitzgerald website, located here.