New Albany, MS – The July 31 deadline for most categories in the 2020 William Faulkner Literary Contest will be here Friday.
That is the last day to receive entries in the one-act play, poetry and adult short story categories. The deadline for the novel category has already passed, July 15, but entries in the student short story category have until Aug. 31 to be received.
Despite the disruption in daily life by the coronavirus, Union County Heritage Museum Director Jill Smith said they have received almost as many entries as usual, and expect several more to arrive in the next couple of days.
At least 60 novels have been submitted with more than 150 entries total.
Winners will be announced Friday, Sept. 25, on the anniversary of William Faulkner’s birth.
Previously, this has been done at an awards luncheon with a guest speaker, but it appears unlikely this will be the case this year due to pandemic precautions.
Smith said the awards and guest speaker will probably be seen via Zoom, Facebook Live or some other platform.
The guest speaker will be Robert Hitt Neil.
The Leland native wrote as a hobby while farming for 20 years, and was first published in late 1985. He has published nine books, has a syndicated weekly newspaper column, free-lances for many magazines, and is a professional storyteller. Most of his work is humorous.
Honors include being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Ernie Pyle Award, the Ernest Hemingway Award, Conservation Communicator of the Year, Southern Gentlemen of the Year and Governor’s Artist of the Year.
His books include The Flaming Turkey; Going Home; How to Lose your Farm In Ten Easy Lessons and Cope With It; The Jakes!; The Voice Of Jupiter Pluvius; Don’t Fish Under The Dingleberry Tree; an anthology The Magnolia Club; a compiled cookbook Outdoor Tables and Tales; and Beware The Barking Bumblebees.
The writing competition grew out of the festival that celebrated the centennial of William Faulkner’s birth.
He was born on Sept. 25, 1897, on Jefferson Street in New Albany and most famously won the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature, the 1955 and 1963 Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction and the 1951 and 1955 National Book Awards.
The contest has grown over the years with entries, and winners, from nearly all parts of the world.
Cash prizes go to winners, as well as the honor.
The winning novelist receives a $2,000 cash award.
The one-act play winner receives $600 with lesser amounts for second and third place.
The prizes for the poetry competition and adult short story are the same as for one-act plays.
The winner in the student short story competition receives $250, with lesser amounts for second and third place.
The writing competition is supported financially by a donation from former Union County resident Eric Saul, now living in Tennessee. Other supporters in the past have included the New Albany Gazette, Union County Heritage Museum, Holiday Inn Express, Jennie Stephens Smith Library and several civic groups include the New Albany Rotary Club and a tourism grant from the City of New Albany.
For more information about the competition and specific entry requirements, go to their website: