The Southern Literary Festival is an organization of southern colleges and schools founded in 1937 to promote southern literature.
Each year a different school hosts the festival, an undergraduate writing conference that offers participants workshops, readings, and master classes in a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, playwriting, and non-fiction.
Ann Patchett is a celebrated author, a devoted reader and a champion of literary culture. She has written seven books and is a frequent contributor to many publications, including The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and The Wall Street Journal. She has served on the board of the Nashville Public Library Foundation and in 2011, when the last of Nashville's bookstores had...
Tennessee Literary Project
Young Adult Fiction
Each year one of the highlights of the Southern Literary Festival is the undergraduate writing contest, in which students from member schools compete in five genres: short story, poetry, formal essay, creative non-fiction, and one-act play.
Winning submissions are published in the SLF anthology, and first, second and third place winners read their work live at the Festival. This year’s contest is being run by SLF member school the University of Arkansas at Ft. Smith.
“My experience at the 2013 Southern Literary Festival inspired a poem, "Gramma's Kitchen," that went on to win the Collage Fall 2014 Creative Expression Award. SLF not only deepened my relationship with my own creative work, I found inspiration in the people I met in the workshops, at open mic night, and at the multitude of other events.”StarShield Lortie
“To find community as a writer is to find yourself a Home. I found a home for my stories in every person I met at SLF, and their work made homes out of me too.”C . Jones
“Attending the Southern Literary Festival was a great experience; with two days of informative workshops and interesting speakers, I learned a lot. I attended workshops on various interesting subjects from publishing to poetry, and had the opportunity to meet keynote speaker, Frances Mayes; it was a memorable event and I am excited for SLF 2016.”Heather Hickox
“Attending the Southern Literary Festival was one of the most galvanizing benchmarks in my early writing career. I'm proud to see my alma mater hosting an event that has proven so critical to student success.”Christopher Merchant
“It’s difficult not to feel like something important is happening, in your work and in the work of those around you. A tremendous sense of community permeated my time at SLF. Makes you feel like someone's got your back. Many of those same people, whom I got to know at the festival, still have my back, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful.”Lukas Tallent
Each year’s Festival includes an undergraduate writing contest in which students from member schools compete in several genres. Winners read their work at the Festival and are published in the SLF anthology.
This year’s Festival will be held March 24-26 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. We hope you will join us!