Middle & High School Writing Contest

The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society, an organization of over 250 members worldwide, invites middle and high school students to submit a story or a poem on any aspect of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’s work. Possible topics might include the following:

  • Landscape and character in Rawlings’s fiction and/or non-fiction
  • The struggle for existence in Rawlings’s Cross Creek and/or The Yearling
  • The Yearling as a coming-of-age story
  • Rawlings and film
  • Rawlings’s Cracker characters
  • Sex and gender roles in Rawlings’s fiction
  • Rawlings’s portrayal of Florida
  • Concern for the environment in Rawlings’s work

Reading assignment: The Yearling, South Moon Under, Cross Creek, The Sojourner, Golden Apples, or any of Rawlings’s poems or short stories.

Judging: University and college professors will judge the submissions on the basis of originality, creativity, and knowledge of Rawlings’s writings.

Recognition: Winners will read their work at the annual conference.  Their work will also be published in The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society Newsletter. Parents or guardians will be asked to sign a permission form giving the MKR Society permission to publish their student’s work.


  • Entries may be either a story, a poem, or an essay.
  • Poems must be 100 to 250 words in length.
  • Short stories or essays must be 500 to 700 words in length.
  • Papers must be typed and double spaced.
  • Send an email copy in MS Word (saved as a .doc or .docx—no .pdfs) to Florence Turcotte at floturc@uflib.ufl.edu
  • A separate title page must include the student’s name, address, home phone, school, and teacher’s name.

The deadline for submission is March 1st every year.

University and Graduate School Writing Awards

The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society is sponsoring a writing contest for currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students. Prizes include $1,000 for graduate students and $500 for undergraduate students. Students are expected to write 1500—3000 words—either a critical essay or a piece of creative work—on a subject related to the works, career, or legacy of Rawlings. They are expected to present their work at the next annual Rawlings conference.

The deadline for submission is February 1st every year.

For more information on any of these writing contests, contact Dr. Anna Lillios,
Department of English,
University of Central Florida,
P. O. Box 161346
Orlando, FL 32816-1346. Email: