The Eudora Welty Ephemera Prize

for High School Creative Writing

Named in honor of Mississippi University for Women alumna Eudora Welty and one of the W’s early creative writing journals, Ephemera, the $200 prize will be awarded to up to 5 entries. All prizewinners will be honored at the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium at Mississippi University for Women on October 21-23, 2021. They will be invited to lunch with symposium authors, receive their award, and give a brief reading. Winning entries and honorable mentions will also be published on our website. School groups are invited to the Symposium, pending COVID restrictions, and all sessions will be streamed live.

  • One entry per student in one of the following categories: Fiction, Essay, or Poetry.
  • Fiction and Essays must be double-spaced, 2,000 words or less
  • Poetry must be single-spaced, 1-3 poems, 100 total lines or less
  • Longer is not necessarily better!
  • Each entry must be the original work of the student who submits it
  • Entries must address this year’s Symposium theme:
    • “‘All They Saw Was at the Point of Coming Together’: A Confluence of Southern Writers”
    • Or entries may respond to Eudora Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter
  • Do not include your name on your story, essay, or poems
  • Do include a cover page with:
    • Your name, high school, and teacher’s name
    • The title of story or essay or titles of poems submitted
    • Your address, phone number, and email address
  • Submission deadline: September 15, 2021
  • Submissions should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Or may be mailed to: Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg

Dept. of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy
1100 College St., P.O. Box MUW-1634
Columbus, MS 39701

The final judges for the contest will be Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium authors Kendra Allen and Annette Saunook Clapsaddle.

Students must be enrolled at a high school (or be home schooled) in Mississippi in grades 10-12 for the 2021-22 school year. Students from nearby schools in Alabama (within approximately 100 miles of Columbus) or from a school sponsored by a W alum are also eligible. To sponsor a school outside Mississippi, the W alum needs only to attach a brief letter, indicating her/his graduating class or year(s) of attendance.

Children and close relatives of faculty in the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy or of the judges are ineligible. Students who graduated high school prior to September 1, 2021 are no longer eligible.

Ephemera Prize 2021 Flyer

Ephermera Prize 2021 Lesson Plan