‘MTSU On the Record’ guest urges students to compe...

‘MTSU On the Record’ guest urges students to compete, participate in Southern Literary Festival

A tradition among Southern writers for generations was the focus of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Jennifer Kates, director of MTSU Write and a instructor in the Department of English

Dr. Jennifer Kates

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Jennifer Kates, a lecturer in MTSU’s Department of English, first aired Nov. 20 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and You can listen to their conversation above.

Kates is accepting creative writing from undergraduates through Monday, Dec. 3, for entry into the 2019 Southern Literary Festival.

This year’s contest is slated for April 11-13 at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Southern Literary Festival is an organization of Southern colleges and schools founded in 1937 at Mississippi’s Blue Mountain College to promote Southern literature.

Each year a different university hosts the festival, which is an undergraduate writing conference for a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, short stories, playwriting and nonfiction.

2019 Southern Literary Festival logo

Click on the logo for more information.

Authors associated with the festival over the years have included such luminaries as Eudora Welty, Shelby Foote, Katherine Anne Porter, John Gould Fletcher and Flannery O’ Connor, along with co-founder Robert Penn Warren. More recently, authors Frances Mayes and Natasha Trethewey have been among the festival’s guests.

MTSU served as host of the event in 2016, welcoming students and professors for writing workshops, readings and master classes as well as appearances by guest authors Ann Patchett and Minton Sparks.

Kates, who was organizer of the 2016 festival, said the event offers students cash prizes and represents a unique chance to grow as an author.WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web

“Even those who don’t place in the competition get to attend classes and readings and network with a lot of really great writers and up-and-coming writers,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities like that for undergraduates.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.