17th 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


Teague von Bohlen

Teague von Bohlen

Emily Skaja
Emily Skaja

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 8, 2019

7:00 PM Fiction Reading  
by Teague Bohlen
Albert Taylor Theatre
8:30 PM Collage Reading
Albert Taylor Theatre

Saturday, November 9, 2019

10:00 - 12:30 PM Writing Workshops: 
Poetry Workshop - Shilling 319
Fiction Workshop - Shilling 320
1:30 - 2:15 PM Fiction Craft Lecture
by Teague von Bohlen
Albert Taylor Theatre
2:15 - 2:30 PM Refreshments 
2:30 - 3:15 PM Poetry Craft  Lecture
by Emily Skaja
Albert Taylor Theatre
3:15 - 3:30 PM Refreshments 
3:30 - 4:30 PM Reading by Millikin Faculty & Guests
Albert Taylor Theatre
4:30 - 6:00 PM Poetry Reading 
by Emily Skaja
Albert Taylor Theatre
Closing Remarks

TEAGUE VON BOHLEN is an Associate Professor of Fiction at the University of Colorado Denver, where he runs the student newspaper The Sentry and serves as one of the Fiction Editors of the literary magazine Copper Nickel. He works the literary, pop-culture, and commentary beats for the alt-weekly Westword, and his short fiction has been seen nationwide. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award, and he’s the co-author of the student-strategy textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success. Flatland is his first collection of stories; he’s currently at work on a second novel, also set in the Midwest heartland. He makes a home in Colorado now, and grew an abiding love for the desert in his time in Arizona. But his corn-fed heart never left Illinois.
EMILY SKAJA was born and raised in rural Illinois. Her first book, BRUTE, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets (Graywolf Press, 2019). A Creative Writing graduate of Millikin University, she holds an MA from Temple University, an MFA from Purdue University, and a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Cincinnati, where she also earned a certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Emily’s poems have been published in Best New Poets, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, FIELD, and Gulf Coast, among other journals. She is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She also works as the Poetry Co-Editor of Southern Indiana Review. She lives in Memphis.