The Govie Writing Awards is a state-wide contest for South Carolina students in grades 6-12. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Department at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, the awards are named for the department's founding faculty members—George Singleton and Jan Bailey—and recognize student works in fiction and poetry. Prize winners will receive a gift card from a Greenville indie bookstore, M. Judson Booksellers. Teachers of the winning students will also be recognized.

Winners in fiction and poetry will receive the following awards:

  • First Prize: $200 bookstore gift card
  • Honorable Mention: $50 bookstore gift card

Important Dates:

Deadline: November 12, 2021 

Winners Announced: January 2022

The George Singleton Prize in Fiction

George Singleton

George Singleton’s new collection is You Want More: New and Selected Stories. He’s published eight other collections, two novels, and a book of writing advice. Over 200 of his stories have appeared in Harper’s, the Atlantic Monthly, the Georgia Review, One Story, Southern Review, the North American Review, and elsewhere. Ten of his stories have been republished in New Stories from the South—the Year’s Best. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the South Carolina Academy of Authors. He’s received a Pushcart Prize, the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, and the Hillsdale Award for Fiction. 

Entry Guidelines

Middle School Division, Grades 6 - 8
  • Submit one story with a maximum length of 1500 words. Only one short story submission per student.
  • Stories must be double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  • Please number your pages.
  • Remove any identifying information from the story (e.g., name, address, phone number).
  • Submit your work as a Word document or a pdf file.
High School Division, Grades 9 - 12
  • Submit one story with a maximum length of 2500 words. Only one short story submission per student.
  • Stories must be double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  • Please number your pages.
  • Please title your work.
  • Remove any identifying information from the story (e.g., name, address, phone number).
  • Submit your work as a Word document or a pdf file.

The Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry

Jan BaileyPoet Jan Bailey has published three collections of poetry, including Midnight in the Guest Room and Heart of the Other. She is a past winner of the Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Prize from Kalliope and the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Passages North and Ploughshares. She is also a Pushcart Prize nominee and South Carolina Poetry Fellow. Bailey grew up in the foothills of South Carolina and holds an MFA from Vermont College. 

Entry Guidelines

Middle School Division, Grades 6 - 8
  • Submit one poem only of any length or form. Only one poetry submission per student.
  • Poem must be single-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  • Please title your work.
  • Remove any identifying information from the poem (e.g., name, address, phone number).
  • Submit your work as a Word doc or a pdf.
High School Division, Grades 9 - 12
  • Submit one poem only of any length or form. Only one poetry submission per student.
  • Poem must be single-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  • Please title your work.
  • Remove any identifying information from the poem (e.g., name, address, phone number).
  • Submit your work as a Word doc or a pdf.

Complete the Entry Form


Frequently Asked Questions

The Govie Writing Awards
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