16th Annual Literary Festival

& High School Writing Contest

Come write with the pros. Read poems, short stories, novels and essays with some of today’s leading writers. Join a workshop for feedback on your own work. Have fun with words! Register to attend or submit to the contest!

Who Can Enter

Featured Writers


Chris Fink

Chris Fink
Farmer's Almanac

Mark Wagenaar
Mark Wagenaar
Voodoo Inverso

Faculty Writers

Randy Brooks
School's Out

Carmelia Braniger
No One May Follow

Carmen Aravena
Cirulo de Migas/Circle of Crumbs

Stephen Frech
If Not for These Wrinkles of Darkness


All current high school students are encouraged to participate.

What/How to Submit

Send your best poetry or fiction writing for consideration. Entries are limited to five pages per student. 

Who Will Judge

All entries will be reviewed by Millikin University English faculty and the annual Literary Festival Team.


  • 1st- $1,000 Millikin University Scholarship
  • 2nd- $750 Millikin University Scholarship
  • 3rd- $500 Millikin University Scholarship


Friday, November 9, 2018

7:00 PM Fiction Reading  
by Chris Fink
Pilling Chapel
8:30 PM Collage Reading
Pilling Chapel

Saturday, November 10, 2018

10:00 - 12:30 PM Writing Workshops: 
Poetry Workshop - Shilling 319
Fiction Workshop - Shilling 320
1:30 - 2:15 PM Fiction Craft Lecture
by Chris Fink
Pilling Chapel
2:15 - 2:30 PM Refreshments 
2:30 - 3:15 PM Poetry Craft  Lecture
by Mark Wagenaar
Pilling Chapel
3:15 - 3:30 PM Refreshments 
3:30 - 4:30 PM Reading by Millikin Faculty & Guests
Pilling Chapel
4:30 - 6:00 PM Poetry Reading 
by Mark Wagenaar
Pilling Chapel
Closing Remarks

CHRIS FINK is a professor of English and environmental studies at Beloit College, where he edits the Beloit Fiction Journal, His book of fiction, Farmer's Almanac, was published in 2013, A new collection, High Hope for Fatalists Everywhere, is in circulation, Fink writes radio essays for national public radio and teaches a course called Writing Wilderness in the boundary waters each summer.
MARK WAGENAAR is the author of Voodoo Inverso (Pollak Prize, University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbir ds Rising) (Juniper Prize, University of Massachusetts Press, 2016), and Southern Tongues Leave Us Shining (Saltman Prize, Red Hen Press, forthcoming summer 2018), His poetry has appeared widely, including in The New Yorker, the Southern Review, Tin House, 32 Poems, Pleiades, Boulevard, Image, Crazyhorse, Field, and many others, and his poems have won a number of prizes, including the James Wright Poetry Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize, the Mary C, Mohr Prize, the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize, the CBC Poetry Prize, the Auburn Poetry of Witness Prize, the New Letters Prize, & the Poetry lnternationalPrize, He teaches at Valparaiso University, in Indiana.