Historical fiction contest for students

Young writers in grades 4-12 have a chance to show off their creativity and their writing skills. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial hosts “Telling Our Tales,” a short story competition. According to the Wolfe Memorial, participants are “encouraged to interview an elder and then craft a fictional narrative inspired by the interviewee. This serves as a fantastic opportunity for young people to foster inter-generational relationships, to learn about earlier periods of the American past, and to exercise and exhibit their imaginations and writing skills.”

Submissions should be 500-1,000 words “and should express a climatic, suspenseful, & emotionally engaging tale based on an elder’s life experiences.” There are three ages categories (grades 4 and 5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12) with cash prizes for the top three winners in each. First prize received $100, second received $50 and third gets $25.

This competition is inspired by Wolfe’s short story, “Chickamauga,” “In 1937, Thomas Wolfe interviewed his then 95 year old great uncle, John Westall, about the old man’s experience in the Civil War,” says a press release. “Motivated by the aged veteran’s memories of the 1862 Battle of Chickamauga, Wolfe composed a fictional short story based on the account.  ‘Chickamauga’ became one his most famous short narratives.”

Entries are to be mailed or delivered to Thomas Wolfe Memorial at 52 North Market Street, Asheville, NC, 28801, no later than Friday, April 27. Awards are announced on Saturday, May 19.

For a list of complete guidelines, instructions and submission form, click here


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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