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The Carson McCullers Literary Festival

Carson McCullers Literary Award Winners

Prizes: The Carson McCullers Literary Awards offer prizes for Georgia and Alabama high school students in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, expository essay, playwriting and screenwriting: with $300 for first place in each of those categories, $200 for second place, $100 for third place.

Prizes are awarded to CSU students, including the Sara Ayres Jordan Awards in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction, as well as prizes in expository essay, playwriting and screenwriting, with $300 first place, $200 second place, $100 third place.

Entry Deadline: Friday, January 14, 2022

Limit one entry in each category per student



Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians Website

The Festival will include workshops, readings by published writers, and an Awards Ceremony honoring the winners of student writing contests, to be held on Saturday, February 19, 2022, 10 AM – 1 PM.

Location: On the Main Stage of CSU‘s Riverside Theatre Complex, 901 Front Avenue, Columbus, Georgia 31901

2021 CMLA Award Winners

High School Poetry: Brick Road Greear Prize for Poetry

First Place: Gabrielle DeWeese, “Taurean Fathoms,” Alan C. Pope High School
Second Place: Rebekah E. Smith, “I am a Columbus Author,” Rainey McCullers School of the Arts
Third Place: Sydney Womack, “Aesthete,” Columbus High School

High School Fiction: Dr. Joseph Francavilla Prize for Fiction

First Place: Macy Cardwell, “The Song We Were,” Homeschool
Second Place: Charlotte Young, “The Invaders,” Columbus High School
Third Place: Jasmine Drawdy, “697 Miles,” Rainey McCullers School of the Arts

High School Creative Nonfiction: Melissa Pritchard Schley and Dr. Philip Schley Prize

First Place: Andrew Song, "Long Way Home," Heritage High School
Second Place: Macy Cardwell, "I Talk to My Mother's Best Friend," Homeschool
Third Place: Emily Woody, “The Reality of Negativity," Heritage High School

High School Expository Essay: Susan Schley Gristina Prize for Expository Essay

First Place: Andrew Song, “Treasures of Sierra Madre: A Critique of Laissez-Faire,” Heritage High School
Second Place: Bobby Livingston, “How Should Thomas Jefferson be Commemorated in the 21st Century?”Columbus High School
Third Place: Khayla Truitt, “AAVE vs ‘Internet Slang’: Muzzling Black Voices,” Rainey McCullers School of the Arts

High School Screenwriting:

First Place: Brynn Dean, "Becoming the Department Head," Heritage High School
Second Place: Beth Webb, "The Rose," Heritage High School
Third Place: Ivie Kirby, "Bats!" Rainey McCullers School of the Arts

High School Playwriting:

First Place: Andrew Song “Blackjack,” Heritage High School
Second Place: Sarah Phillis, “Squirrels...” Rainey McCullers School of the Arts

CSU Poetry: Sara Ayres Jordan Prize for Poetry

First Place: Sidney Ducleroir, “Secrete/Secret”
Second Place: Jessica DeMarco-Jacobson, “From Lavinia to Creusa”
Third Place: Adrienne Baxter-McNeil, “Chocolate”

CSU Fiction: Sara Ayres Jordan Prize for Fiction

First Place: Gavin Moss, "Northern Lights"
Second Place: Jeffrey J Maynard, "Peripheral"
Third Place: Kiara Herron, "Shallow"

CSU Creative Nonfiction: Sara Ayres Jordan Prize for Creative Nonfiction

First Place: Vivian Duncan, “Oxford Pre-Pandemic”
Second Place: Hayley Maine, “I Don't Cry at Funerals”
Third Place: Anayia Cook, “The (re) Creation of Joe”

CSU Expository Essay: Naartjie Multimedia Prize in Expository Essay

First Place: Anayia Cook, “Gandalf the White in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings”
Second Place: Cynthia Short, “Exposed: Media and Opinion”
Third Place: Kayla Pipkins, “Her Philosophy”

CSU Screenwriting:

First Place: Dallas Curry, “Projects”
Second Place: Donni "Les" Anderson, “Little Victories”
Third Place: Jeffery J Maynard, “Sunken Ship”

CSU Playwriting: Dr. Barbara Hunt Prize in Playwriting

First Place: Theodore Pound, “Elmer and Paul
Second Place: Katherine Lovern, “Phoenix”
Third Place: Dallas Curry, “Tone Deaf”