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Scholastic Writing Awards


The Eudora Welty Foundation, in partnership with the Eudora Welty House and Garden, administers the Scholastic Writing Awards. Students in grades 7-12, from public, private or home schools in all 82 counties in Mississippi, can submit original work in nine categories: dramatic script, flash fiction, humor, journalism, personal essay/memoir, persuasive writing, poetry, science fiction, and short story. Seniors may submit writing portfolios containing 4-6 works from multiple genres.

Pictured above: Sally Birdsall, standing at the podium, introduces the 2018 American Voices Nominees. From left, Dae Robinson, St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Ridgeland, journalism; Polly Watkins, Jackson Preparatory School, Flowood, poetry; Shelly Castilaw, Mississippi School of the Arts, Brookhaven, short story; and Lilly Hunt, Northpoint Christian High School, Southaven, personal essay and memoir.

Scholastic Writing Awards

To participate: Registration for the 2019 Scholastic Writing Awards will open on September 12, 2018. All interested students should create an online account at Writing entries can then be uploaded directly to the student account. All submission forms and fees or fee waivers should be mailed to:

Scholastic Writing Awards
1109 Pinehurst Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Individual entries are $5.00 per entry. Senior portfolios are $20.00. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the Eudora Welty Foundation. Fee waivers are available to students who otherwise would be unable to participate.

Deadlines and Adjudication: The submission deadline is December 13, 2018. All entries must be uploaded to the online system by 5 p.m. CST. Following the deadline, entries will undergo a blind adjudication - judges do not know which students produced the work or what schools they attend. Entries are scored by a minimum of two judges. Scoring takes place on a 1-10 scale based on the criteria of originality, technique, and personal voice. Judges are selected from writers, teachers, college faculty, and members of the community who are knowledgeable about writing and who have an interest in student writing.

Awards: At the regional (State of Mississippi) level, works can be awarded Gold Key, Silver Key, or Honorable Mention. All works receiving the Gold Key designation are forwarded to New York to undergo adjudication at the national level. Five of those the regional Gold Key recipients are nominated for an American Voices Award, which is a "best in region" award. These entries undergo a separate adjudication in New York, and one of them is named as the American Voices Medalist for the Mississippi Region.

Regional Ceremony: The regional awards ceremony will be held April 14, 2019, on the front lawn of the Welty House & Garden at 2 p.m. Students receive certificates and pins, and student readers are featured as part of the program.

Questions? If you have any questions about the Scholastic Writing Awards, please call (601) 353-7762 or


C-Spire FoundationA generous grant from the C Spire Foundation allows the Eudora Welty House and Garden and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to administer the awards. For information about submitting work, please visit