Deadline for Faulkner literary writing competition is Aug. 31

Writers, wordsmiths, and others that love the English language come together once again to put their thoughts into words for the annual William Faulkner Literary Competition. 

The categories are adult short story, one-act playwriting, and student short story and the deadline for submissions is just around the corner.

The deadline for all submissions for all competitions is Aug. 31, 2012.

Cash prizes totaling $2,200 are awarded in the adult categories and $500 in college scholarships are awarded in the student category. 

The winners in the adult short story competition will receive $600 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. 

The competition is open to original, unpublished short fiction with no more than 5,000 words. Judging is blind. Judges outside of Union County will evaluate the short story competition. The judges will not have access to the cover sheets, so the student will remain anonymous. 

In the one-act playwriting competition, the first place winner will receive $600 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place.

The Tallahatchie River Players will produce the selected entry/entries at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at during the annual RiverFest of the 2011 winners. The 2012 winners will be produced in 2013. The play will be free to the public in the Magnolia Civic Center in Historic Downtown New Albany. 

“The Gazette and the Tallahatchie RiverFest is excited about working with the River Players in this production,” said corporate sponsor, Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the New Albany Gazette Newspaper. “This is exactly the kind of partnership the RiverFest committee likes to have so both groups can host a successful event and get the community involved on an even higher level.” 

This competition is open to all ages.

Prizes are being funded by a grant from the New Albany Gazette and Eric Saul of Nashville, Tenn.

The short story student competition is open to original, unpublished short fiction with no more than 5,000 words. Judging is blind. Winner will receive $300 scholarship, 2nd place will receive $125 scholarship and third place will receive $75 scholarship. 

The short story student competition is supported by Union County Development Association, Friends of the Union County Library, Union County Heritage Museum, and the Tallahatchie River Players.

Winners will be notified beforehand and will be recognized and have prizes awarded at the Tallahatchie RiverFest Kickoff Community Luncheon at noon on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 at First United Methodist Church in New Albany. 

Nationally acclaimed author and columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson will be the speaker at the luncheon.  

Johnson, whose weekly column appears in more than 50 newspapers including the Gazette, published an autobiography, “Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming,” in 2010. She lives in nearby Iuka.

“We are fortunate to have one of the South’s greatest living writers as the speaker for our second annual kickoff community luncheon,” said Wayne Mitchell, Gazette publisher and a member of the Tallahatchie RiverFest Literary Committee, sponsor of the luncheon.

Mitchell said Johnson will be the event’s keynote speaker and will stay after to autograph books, which will be available for purchase following the lunch.

Tickets for the luncheon, which will be catered by Tallahatchie Gourmet, will go on sale Aug. 20. Individual tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at the Union County Development Association or the Union County Heritage Museum. Businesses and organizations can purchase reserved tables seating eight people for $80. All tickets will be sold in advance.

For details about the literary submission guidelines, please click on the Literary/History tab at or call the Union County Development Association at 662-534-4354. Mail to UCDA , PO Box 125, New Albany, MS 38652.

 Employees of UCDA and New Albany Gazette Newspaper and their immediate families are not permitted to enter the contest.