The Everett Southwest Literary Award
Every two years, the UCO Department of English hosts the Everett Southwest Literary Award. This contest is open to writers residing in or writing about Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Current and former employees, faculty and students of UCO are not eligible to participate.
The Everett Family Southwest Literary Award honors the late Dr. Mark Allen Everett and is just one of the many generous donations given through the Everett Family Foundation Fund.
This award is unique because it aims to reward writers in this region of the country and because of the generous prize amount," notes novelist and short story author Constance Squires, Director of the Everett Southwest Literary Award.
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2022-2023 Contest Dates
Short story manuscripts for the 2023 contest will be accepted from Oct. 20 – Dec. 5, 2022.
Winners will be announced in spring of 2023.
The first place winner will receive $5,000.
The second place winner will receive $3,000.
The third place winner will receive $1,000.
The contest accepts short story manuscripts of 140-250 manuscript pages by authors living in or writing about Oklahoma, Texas, or New Mexico.
Individual short stories within the collection may have been previously published, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. Provide a complete list of any story publication credits with the manuscript.
- Submissions should include a cover letter with author bio and contact information. The manuscript should not have the author’s name on it after the cover page.
- The manuscript should be emailed as a PDF attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission fee is $25.00 payable by money order, personal check or cashier’s check, and should be mailed to:
UCO Everett Southwest Literary Award
c/o Dr. Constance Squires
100 N. University Dr. Box 184
Edmond, OK 73034
Guest Judge: Brandon Hobson
For the 2023 contest, National Book Award finalist and UCO Creative Writing alumni Brandon Hobson, Ph.D., will serve as the contest’s final judge. Hobson is a 2022 Guggenheim fellow. He received his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and his M.A. from the University of Central Oklahoma. His novel, "Where the Dead Sit Talking," was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Reading the West Award and long-listed for the Dublin Literary Award, among other distinctions. His latest novel, "The Removed," was named a Best Book of 2021 in Publishers Weekly, Time, Kirkus, Library Journal, Good Housekeeping, Harpers Bazaar and was Winner of the Western Heritage Award.
Hobson's short stories have won a Pushcart Prize and have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, McSweeney’s, Conjunctions, NOON, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at New Mexico State University and at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.
Previous judges of this competition include Sandra Cisneros, Rilla Askew, Allison Hedge Coke, Lee K. Abbott, Rob Roensch, and Brian Turner and Kelli Jo Ford.
2021 Contest Winners
For the 2021 contest season, short story writer Ashley Jeffalone won first prize for her story collection "Rekindled." The second prize was awarded to Sidney Thompson for "You Don't Get to Take This Home." The third place winner, for his manuscript "Whims of Light Wind," is Seth Wieck. Congratulations to all the winners!
Ashley Jeffalone's work has appeared in The New York Times, Longleaf Review, Wordrunner eChapbooks, and elsewhere. Her stories have been nominated for Best Microfiction and the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She works as a writer in the video game industry. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Sidney Thompson is the author of "Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves (2020) and "Hell on the Border" (2021). These historical novels narrate the life of Bass Reeves, an enslaved youth who became the greatest lawman of the American Old West.
"Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves" received the following accolades:
Finalist for the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Historical Fiction (Pre 1900s)
2021 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction
2021 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction
2021 Spur Award for Western Novel
2021 Peacemaker Award for Best First Western Novel
2020 Arkansas Gem
"Hell on the Border" was a 2021 Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award for Western Fiction.
Thompson holds a Ph.D. in American literature/African-American narratives and an M.F.A. in creative writing. Thompson’s other books include "Sideshow," winner of the 2006 Foreword INDIE Silver Award for Short Story Collection of the Year, and "Kudzu’s Enormous New Life," a forthcoming middle-grade novel. Thompson lives in Fort Worth, where he teaches creative writing and African-American literature at Texas Christian University.
Seth Wieck's stories, poetry, and essays can be found in Narrative Magazine, The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, and the Broad River Review. He recently became the inaugural poet in the Dorothy Patterson Poetry Series hosted by West Texas A&M University. He lives in Amarillo with his wife and three children.
2019: "Crooked Hallelujah" by Kelli Jo Ford, M.F.A.
Read more at Liberal Arts Blog.
2017: "The Affinities." by Bayard Godsave, Ph.D.
2015: "Imaginary Homeland" by Jenna Bazzell, M.F.A.
2012: "The Stories We Tell Ourselves" by Leslie Jill Patterson, Ph.D.
Category: Short Story
Guest Judge: Lee K. Abbott
2010: "Poplar Crescent" by John Tait
Guest Judge: Sandra Cisneros
Read more at the Liberal Arts Blog.
2008: "Words Before Dawn" by William Wenthe
2006 "Landfall" by Julie Hensley
Guest Judge: Rilla Askew