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Authors, it’s time to submit!!


Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction – Accepting Submissions – 2021



The University of Mississippi’s Department of Writing & Rhetoric is the new home of the Willie Morris Awards for Southern Writing, a return to the home state of the award’s namesake. Established to promote under-recognized Southern writers while also preserving the life and legacy of Morris, the award comes with a $10,000 cash prize.


Books must be published during the 2021 calendar year. The winner will be notified in January of 2022 and invited to attend the Oxford Conference for the Book and Willie Morris Award ceremony (March 30 – April 1) in Oxford, Mississippi, with travel expenses paid for the occasion. There is no entry fee. 


In addition to being published during 2021, fiction is judged according to these criteria: 

  • Compels readers to engage with or reflect on the complexities of the American South; 

  • Stands out for quality of prose, originality, sense of period and place, and appeal of characters; 

  • Ultimately uplifting, suggesting hope or optimism; 

  • Author is an under-recognized, original voice in Southern fiction. 


Fiction submissions will be accepted until September 30, 2021. Advance reading copies or proofs for books published in October – December 2021 are eligible. Register your submission, then mail a hard copy of your entry:  


The University of Mississippi Department of Writing & Rhetoric
P.O. Box 1848
B-10 Lamar Hall
University, MS 38677-1848 

Visit this link to apply.