SCWA Contests


2018 Carrie McCray Winners


2018 Carrie McCray Memorial Award in Novel First Chapter

  • First Place: “Muddy Waters” by Candace Cooper 
  • Second Place: “Redeeming Hills” by Sharon May

2018 Carrie McCray Memorial Award in Poetry

  • First Place: “Wilder Nest II Bleat” by Gayle Baldwin
  • Second Place: “Swimming at Nick’s” by Allen Guest
  • Third Place: “Behind the Lines” by June Freeman Baswell

2018 Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award in Short Fiction 

  • First Place: “Chains” by Kathryn Etters Lovatt
  • Second Place: “Ice Will Suffice” by June Freeman Baswell
  • Third Place: “Namaste” by Denis Lynn

2018 Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award in Creative Non-fiction

  • First Place: “Cuttings” by Vivian Bikulege
  • Second Place: “Hillbilly Crazy and Mountain Queer” by Sharon May
  • Third Place: “A Pink Tree for Christmas” by Bob Strother

Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards

The Carrie McCray Award seeks to honor one of the founders of the South Carolina Writers Association: Carrie Allen McCray. Her published works include Ajös Means Goodbye (1966), The Black Woman and Family Rules (1980), and a memoir about her mother, Freedom’s Child: The life of a Confederate General’s Black Daughter (1998). Her poetry has appeared in magazines such as Ms. and The River Styx. She died on July 25, 2008 at the age of 94.

Winning entries receive:

  • $200—First Place
  • $100—Second Place
  • $50—Third Place
  • Publication in The Petigru Review
  • One (1) contributor copy

Honorable Mentions will be given for exceptional work and publication may be offered for those pieces the judges deem of high quality.  There will be no cash prizes for honorable mention pieces, However, anyone who wins an honorable mention will receive one (1) contributor copy.

 Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award winners specifically highlighted for praise in the Kirkus Review

TPR -coverFive of our 2016 Carrie McCray Award winners were specifically chosen for a favorable Kirkus Review!

Read the review here.

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The Petigru Review Editors:

 Editor Adrienne Mathues
Vice Editor Jayne Bowers

The Petigru Review Associate Editors:

Carrie McCray Awards – Submission Guidelines

Submission taken: April 1 through May 31 each year.

The Carrie McCray Awards feature four (4) genres:

  • First Chapter of a Novel – 3,500 word limit.
  • Short Fiction – 3,000 word limit.
  • Creative Nonfiction – 3,000 word limit.
  • Poetry – submit up to three (3) poems, not to exceed 80 lines in total.

Reading fee

$20 for Nonmembers.
$15 for Members.

Required information

The author’s name, address, email, or any identifying features must not appear anywhere on the manuscript, including in the body of the work. All submissions must follow standard manuscript formatting: 12 point Times New Roman font and be double spaced, except for poetry which can be spaced according to the author’s choice. The title and page number must appear on every page of the submission.

Rules & Rights

All submissions must be previously un-published. If the work has appeared in any capacity in print or online, we cannot accept it.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but the editors request you inform them if the work is accepted elsewhere.

SCWA retains first-time print publication rights until the anthology is published, after which the rights revert back to the author. Multiple submission are encouraged. However, a reading fee must be submitted for each additional entry.

Contestants who won or placed in a category cannot enter that same category the following year; anyone winning or placing in the Carrie McCray Memorial Awards for two (2) consecutive years is not eligible for one (1) year in any category.

Response Time

Submitters should receive a response by the late summer. The publication date is late fall, during the annual SCWA conference.


All entries are read blind. Judges, or anyone associated with the judge may not enter the contest and are prohibited from grading works they have seen previously or any authors’ work(s) they recognize.



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