Tournament of Writers competition now open

A collection of Small Town Anthologies containing the work of winning Tournament of Writers contestants.

By Jake Munson

The Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center is now accepting submissions for the Seventh Annual Tournament of Writers. The tournament is a local writing competition for writers in the genres of fiction, nonfiction and poetry and is open to eligible authors in the four age groups: Youth – through 7th grade, Young adult – 8th grade through 25 years old, Adult – ages 26 through 50, and Senior – ages 51 and above.

Each writer may submit one piece per category for a maximum of three entries. All entries must be received by midnight on Friday, June 4. 

Prior to the submission deadline, the VCAC will host writing clinics for participants to receive both creative and critical feedback on their work. Guest authors are also being scheduled for live Zoom events in order to share insights into their own creative processes. Watch the VCAC social media accounts and website for dates and times of these clinics and guest speakers. 

Once the entries are received, local authors, educators and book lovers will evaluate all submissions using an established rubric. Winners will be announced on Friday, July 2 with prizes awarded for first, second and third place in each category and division. The location for this announcement has yet to be determined, but the VCAC has made provisions to make the announcement virtually if pandemic restrictions persist.

One special feature the tournament offers is the publication of the “Small Town Anthology,” a compilation of all works accepted into the competition. A celebration and book signing event is scheduled for September 16. The Judges’ Choice winner, selected from the first and second place entries, will be announced at this time. The VCAC is prepared to hold the event virtually if pandemic restrictions persist.

Writers can access the new, improved submission form online at the VCAC’s website, Those who wish to enter the competition but prefer an alternative to the online process may call the VCAC for instructions. There is an entry fee of $10 per writer this year. This provides writers with access to the writing clinics, submission of up to three entries, scores and feedback from the judges and a copy of “Small Town Anthology, vol VII.” Scholarships are available.

The Tournament of Writers isn’t the only program the VCAC has planned. A student-led art exhibit, “Mind of Mine: 2021, A Collective Exhibition of Vicksburg High School AP Art Students,” will be opening Saturday May 14. For the younger set, another exciting “Arts in the Burg” day camp returns this summer. The camp for 8 to 12-year-olds is a unique multi-disciplinary art experience and can’t be missed. Until then, happy writing!

Information for the Seventh Annual Tournament of Writers can be found on the VCAC website at or by calling (269) 200-2223.

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