Wilma Dykeman Awards for Writers of Color

The Wilma Dykeman Legacy, in partnership with The Urban News, supports and encourages writers of color to submit their writing for publication and recognition.

The writing can be of any genre: fiction, non-fiction, essay, poetry, or drama, with a limit of 500 words.

Submissions can address any topic, and will be judged on originality, content, clarity of expression, and creativity. However, preference will be given to writers who engage the values of the Wilma Dykeman Legacy, which promotes 1) Social justice; 2) Environmental Integrity; and 3) the Power of the Written word.

Submissions will be judged by a panel of three:

Dr. Mary (Mimi) Fenton, Professor of English, Western Carolina University, is a 2018 Fulbright Scholar, past dean of the Graduate School at WCU, former president of the Milton Society of America, and a member of the Wilma Dykeman Legacy Board of Directors. The author of four books and a practicing painter, Dr. Fenton specializes in early modern literature and the poetry of John Milton.

Becky Stone is a nationally known storyteller and performance artist who earned a B.A. in Drama from Vassar College, followed by an M.A. in Elementary Education and Counseling from Villanova University. She applies her acting and storytelling skills as a Chautauquan, doing interactive presentations of Pauli Murray, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman. She serves as a member of the Wilma Dykeman Legacy Board of Directors.

Elaine Smyth is a librarian, writer, and editor who retired from the Louisiana State University Libraries after 26 years of service. She curated a regional history collection and was the lead grant writer for the project “Free People of Color in Louisiana: Revealing an Unknown Past.”

Interested writers of color should submit unpublished work of no more than 500 words to The Urban News by the last day of each month. All submissions are welcome and all will be evaluated by the judges.

The winner will receive a $100 honorarium and publication of his or her piece in The Urban News. Submissions may be in electronic form (Word preferred) to info@theurbannews or in hard copy to Urban News, PO Box 2038, Asheville, NC 28802.

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