Campus News

Wanted: Award-Winning Writers


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2011) — The Kentucky Women Writers Conference (KWWC) will offer cash prizes and other benefits in four writing contests this year, each with a postmark deadline of July 1.

The KWWC is an annual event known for bringing notable women writers to Lexington for readings, writing workshops and discussions. The conference will run Sept.15–18, at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and several additional evening venues. Online registration for the conference is now open, but is not a requirement for entering its contests.

KWWC’s first annual Prize for Woman Playwrights has secured internationally renowned playwright and Kentucky native Naomi Wallace to serve as final judge. The prize carries a $500 cash award and a fully staged theatrical production at Balagula Theatre in Lexington, where it will be produced as a world premiere in early 2012. Joining Wallace on the judging panel are Balagula Theatre co-artistic directors Ryan Case and Natasha Williams, Lexington Herald-Leader theater critic Candace Chaney, Peabody Award-winning screenwriter and playwright and University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Playwriting Herman Farrell III, and KWWC director Julie Wrinn. A winner of this playwriting award will be announced on Sept. 1, 2011.

Wallace’s work has been produced in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Her play "One Flea Spare" was recently incorporated into the repertoire of La Comédie Francais, where it will be produced in 2012, the only play by a living American playwright to receive this distinction. "One Flea Spare" will also open Balagula Theatre’s fall 2011 season.

Wallace has received such honors as the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, and an Obie. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.  Wallace's award-winning film "Lawn Dogs" is available on DVD. Her newest film, "The War Boys," co-written with Bruce McLeod, was released in 2010. Currently, Wallace is writing new works for the Public Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare festival. Her new play, "And I and Silence," just premiered May 10 at the Findborough Theatre in London.

The KWWC staff is also accepting entries for their annual Betty Gabehart Prize, to be judged by its Board of Advisors. Three prizes will be awarded as part of the contest in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Individuals making submissions for these contests should include a $10 entry fee. Each winner will receive $200, two 2-day passes to the conference, and the opportunity to read her winning manuscript at this year’s conference on Friday or Saturday, Sept. 16 or 17. Manuscripts must also be postmarked by July 1. Winners will be notified and announced on the KWWC website by Aug. 12.

For contest guidelines and details on the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, visit or call (859) 257-2874.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-1754 ext. 229;