Georgia Writers Association presents ... The Inaugural John Lewis Writing Awards!


There are five days left to apply for the inaugural John Lewis Writing Awards! Georgia Writers Association's John Lewis Writing Awards are inspired by the late civil rights icon and his more than three decades of service as Georgia’s 5th District representative. 

The John Lewis Writing Awards will be awarded annually in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The purpose of the John Lewis Writing Awards is to elevate, encourage, and inspire the voices of Black writers in Georgia.

Lewis' work includes Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement (1998), the March series, and Run: Book One. Lewis received the Georgia Author of the Year Award for Memoir in 2017 for March: Book Three.


Applicants must be 18 years of age and 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, and have published no more than one traditionally published book. 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  • Writing sample(s) of previously unpublished 10 pages to include fiction, non-fiction or poetry. If submitting poetry, one poem per page please.

Submissions will be accepted until September 15, 2021 via Google Forms.

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
  • An invitation to present a writing project in a future GWA virtual program

Winners will be announced at the 12th Annual Red Clay Writers (Virtual) Conference (November 13-14, 2021).

For more information and to apply, please visit here.


You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light…

John Lewis

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