Literary March Madness: Festival and Awards

litfestThis spring, the Department of English brings together students, faculty, and the Dallas community-at-large in a literary version of March Madness. Its annual three-day SMU Literary Festival and celebration of Creative Writing Awards begins Thursday, March 21, and runs through Saturday, March 23. A complete schedule is available on page 2 and online at

For the second consecutive year, DFW area high schoolers participating in WordSpace Student Readings will open the festivities. The students, from public, private, parochial, home-schooled or out of school programs at Hockaday, Yavneh Academy, Greenhill School, Texans CAN Academies,

Prometheus Academy, Booker T. Washington School for the Visual and Performing Arts, and Dallas Poetry Youth Slam, will deliver their readings in McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20. After the readings, the students will discover which two individuals, selected by a panel of SMU professors, will win the $500 first prize and $250 runner-up scholarships funded by Big iDeas at SMU. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. After the energy and excitement of the opening festivities, the three-day SMU Literary Festival is a guaranteed slam-dunk, with author receptions and readings that are also free and open to the public and held in the Stanley Marcus reading room of DeGolyer Library. SMU creative writing students will enjoy three days of workshops and opportunities to meet oneon- one with the festival’s lineup of award-winning poets and prose writers.

On Saturday, at a luncheon prior to the festival’s final reading, the Department will honor the SMU student writing contest winners and award The David R. Russell Poetry Award and The SMU Prize for Prose, and will announce those selected by faculty for The Margaret Terry Crooks Award for outstanding creative writing student and The Lon Tinkle Scholarship awarded to a rising senior.

Charlie Lewis

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