The Knoxville Writer’s Guild has held annual literary contests for more than 20 years. Founded in 1992, the Guild developed the writing awards as part of its mission to promote literary arts and literacy. In about 2000, KWG consolidated all its contests with common rules, deadlines and a single awards ceremony.

The contests spotlighted many talented writers who went on to publish nationally recognized work. Particularly distinctive was the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel, named for the renowned novelist Peter Taylor and conducted in collaboration with University of Tennessee Press. Its winner often received honors at a a Book Launch Party and celebration.

Other distinctive contests included the Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize, honoring the late Knoxville author, the Libba Moore Gray Poetry Prize, honoring the late Knoxville poetry and children’s author, the Essay Contest, a Young Poet’s Prize for secondary school students, and the Robert Burns Poetry Award/ Terry Semple Memorial Contest.

Today the Knoxville Writers’ Guild Literary Contest continues its tradition of encouraging and celebrating East Tennessee writers.  The advancement of young writers and professional and literary development of writers of all ages are key goals of the Guild. Please look at the categories and enter your best work!

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