John Lewis Writing Awards

Complete Guidelines

Applicants must be emerging writers who are Black or African-American residents of Georgia for at least one year, or full-time students at a Georgia college or university at the time of application and on the date of the award. Writers who are eligible may apply annually but may only win the John Lewis award one time. There is no submission fee to enter. Applicants are ineligible if they are of relations to any of the Georgia Writers Association staff or board of directors. 

Writers may apply in only one genre and must submit the following:

  • A completed award application
  • An essay of at least 500 words as a concise description of work and goals as a writer. Please tell us what inspires or challenges your writing career.
  • Writing sample(s) of previously unpublished 10 pages to include fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

Submissions will be accepted from August 1-September 15, 2021 through Google Forms (link below)Winners will be announced at the 12th Annual Red Clay Writers (Virtual) Conference (November 13-14, 2021).

The Awards

Submissions will be reviewed anonymously; the winner in each genre will receive:

  • An award of $500
  • A scholarship to the next annual Red Clay Writers Conference
  • Invitation to present a writing project in a future GWA virtual program


A great award to commemorate a great man. 🙂