The Education of a Personage: The Fitzgerald Museum’s Annual Literary Contest

The first year, it was “What’s Old Is New” to coincide with Scott and Zelda meeting in Montgomery, and the second year, it was “Love + Marriage” to coincide with their courtship and wedding. This year, The Fitzgerald Museum’s annual Literary Contest for students opens its submissions period on September 1, 2020 with the theme “The Education of a Personage” to celebrate the centennial of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920 debut novel This Side of Paradise. For more information, please see the guidelines below— and please feel free to share them with any parents, teachers, students, and organizations that may be interested, as well as with any media outlets that may be willing to spread the word. As contest coordinator, I’ll be glad to answer any questions that folks may have, or questions can be directed to the museum.

The Fitzgerald Museum’s third annual Literary Contest: 
The Education of a Personage

F. Scott and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald were daring and revolutionary in their lives and in their art and writing. More than one hundred years after they met in Montgomery, Alabama, the Fitzgeralds’ literary and artistic works from the 1920s and 1930s are still regarded as groundbreaking, and the Fitzgerald Museum is seeking to identify and honor the daring and revolutionary young writers and artists of this generation.

Genres accepted: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Multi-Genre
: Grades 9–10, Grades 11–12, Undergraduate

General Guidelines for 2020 – 2021:

The Fitzgerald Museum’s annual Literary Contest is seeking submissions of short fiction, poetry, ten-minute plays, and multi-genre works that exhibit the theme “The Education of a Personage,” which is the title of the second section of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920 debut novel This Side of Paradise. Works with traditional forms and styles will be accepted for judging, yet writers are encouraged to send works that utilize innovative forms and techniques. Literary works may include artwork, illustrations, font variations, and other graphic elements, with the caveat that these elements should enhance the work, not simply decorate the page.

The submissions period is open from September 1 until December 31, 2020. Works will be judged in three separate age categories, not by genre, so please be clear about the age category. Submissions should not exceed ten pages (with font sizes no smaller than 11 point). Each student may only enter once. Awards will be announced by March 15, 2021. Each age category will have a single winner and possibly an honorable mention.

Submissions should be sent to with “Literary Contest Submission” in the subject line and relevant information in the email. Due to issues of compatibility, works should be attached as PDFs to ensure that they appear as the author intends. Files should be named with the author’s first initial [dot] last name [underscore] title. For example, J.Smith_InnovativeStory.pdf.

This year’s judges are Ashley M. Jones for the undergraduate category and Alina Stefanescu for the high school categories. Jones is the author of the poetry collections Magic City Gospel and dark // thing. She teaches at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and organizes the Magic City Poetry Festival. Stefanescu is a prolific poet, fiction writer, editor, and reviewer, whose most recent collection is Every Mask I Tried On. For more information, contact the Fitzgerald Museum or contest coordinator Foster Dickson.


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