Lincoln Memorial University

Contest Guidelines

The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University announces its eleventh annual writing competition. Prize amounts of $150 for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place are awarded in each category. Honorable mentions are awarded at the discretion of the judges.

$150 for first place
$75 for second place
$50 for third place


The Jesse Stuart Prize for Young Adult Fiction
Entries for this prize are limited to no more than 3,000 words and may not be entered simultaneously in the Still contest.  Courtney C. Stevens will judge. Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. She is also the author ofFaking Normal, which Kirkus Reviews called "a story that resonates" and Publishers Weekly called a "rich debut," as well as the e-novella The Blue-Haired Boy.
The James Still Prize for Short Story
Entries for this prize should be no more than 4,000 words and there is no restriction on subject matter.  Carrie Mullins will judge. Carrie Mullins' first novel, Night Garden, was published by Old Cove Press in March 2016. Her fiction has also appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, Appalachian Heritage, Kudzu, Still: The Journal, and the anthology Appalachia Now: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia. In 2015, she was awarded a Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant to travel to Croatia to research her next novel. She lives in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. 
The George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry
There are no restrictions on subject matter for this prize. One entry is considered a single poem or a set of up to three poems.  Jane Hicks will judge. Jane Hicks is a teacher, poet, and fiber artist from upper East Tennessee. Her poetry collection, Blood & Bone Remember, was published by the Jesse Stuart Foundation in 2005 and won the Poetry Book of the Year 2006 Award from the Appalachian Writers Association. Jane's newest book, Driving with the Dead, was a finalist for the Weatherford Award and won the Poetry book of the Year from the Appalachain Writers Aossciation for 2015.
The Emma Bell Miles Prize for Essay
Entries for this prize should be no more than 4,000 words, and there is no restriction on subject matter.  Lucinda MacKethan will judge. Lucinda MacKethan is Professor of English Emerita at NC State University where she taught American Literature and Creative Non-Fiction. She is the author or editor of six books, including Daughters of Time: Creating Women’s Voice in Southern Story. Her co-edited work, The Companion to Southern Literature, was named a “Best Reference Work by the American Library Association. She leads online webinars for teachers at the National Humanities Center, gives talks for the NC Humanities Council, and is senior consultant for a radio play audio website 
General Contest Rules
Submitted entries must be unpublished. Simultaneous entries are accepted. Manuscripts should be typed in a “plain” 12 point font (i.e. Times, Arial). Photocopies are accepted. Prose must be double spaced. Poetry must be single spaced.

Submit one copy of your manuscript with one 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.

Please enclose a check or money order for $10 per entry. Multiple entries are welcome and may be submitted in one envelope (this includes even if you’re submitting in multiple genres, which we welcome).  Please provide separate title pages for each entry. There is no need to write multiple checks or money orders for more than one entry; one payment for the total amount is encouraged (so long as the total check covers all individual submissions).

We do not acknowledge receipt of submissions. And, while we take the greatest care in handling your submissions, we assume no responsibility for lost or damaged manuscripts. Contest entry fees cannot be refunded under any circumstances.

Contest winners will be announced and recognized at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at LMU on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Contest prizes will be mailed to winners who are not present at the festival’s award ceremony.

Contest results will be announced on the festival’s website within the following week. Email notification will be sent to contest entrants if a working email address is included on the submitted title page. Contest results will only be announced online and by email; please do not send a SASE for results.

Deadline for postmark is Friday, May 26, 2016. Any entry that is not postmarked on or before that date will not be opened. Failure to follow any of the above guidelines could result in disqualification. Do not send the only copy of your work as all entries will be recycled.

Please enclose $10 fee per entry (unlimited entries per person) and send your submission to:

Mountain Heritage Literary Festival Writing Contest
Lincoln Memorial University
P.O. Box 2005
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752

Send email inquiries to Darnell Arnoult at







423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752