Eudora Welty Ephemera Prize for High School Creative Writing - Welty Writers' Symposium

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 19-21, 2023. 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 and all sessions will also be streamed live.

2023 Judges
Halle Hill
Author of Good Women: Stories
Claude Wilkinson
Author of "Soon Done with the Crosses"

Rules & Eligibility

  • 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
    • Use of ChatGPT or other generative AI tools is not allowed
  • Entries must address this year’s Symposium theme:
    • “‘With an Instrument Made of Air’: The Transformative Magic of Story”
    • Or entries may respond to Eudora Welty’s story “Circe” from The Bride of Innisfallen
  • 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, 2023
  • Submissions should be emailed to
  • 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

Students must be enrolled at a high school (or be home schooled) in Mississippi in grades 10-12 for the 2023-24 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, 2023 are no longer eligible.

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