The Longleaf Writers Conference (formerly Seaside Writers Conference) is proud to offer two scholarships to students from the University of Mississippi MFA program every year, and we are also proud to be nearly doubling our financial aid this year with TWO Fiction Fellowships, ONE Poetry Fellowship, as well as ONE CNF/Fiction Scholarship, and ONE Scholarship for Veterans. Applications for the 2017 conference have closed, but apply now for our 2018 conference (see pulldown menu above).

Don’t forget:  AWP members can apply for $500 scholarships* through their site:  AWP Member Scholarships

*We are proud AWP conference members, but this AWP scholarship is not sponsored by SWC, and SWC does not have any affiliation with judging or award. This opportunity would apply to the conference fee.


DAVID JAMES POISSANT Sundog Fiction Fellow
David James Poissant is the author of The Heaven of Animals: Stories (Simon & Schuster, 2014), currently in print in five languages, winner of the GLCA New Writers Award and a Florida Book Award, longlisted for the PEN/Bingham Prize, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Glimmer Train, The New York Times, Ninth Letter, One Story, Playboy, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

MARY AKERS Watson Family Fiction Fellow
Mary Akers is the author of two books of short fiction from Press 53 and co-author of a non-fiction book that has sold in seven countries. Her work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Guernica, The Fiddlehead, Mississippi Review Online, Brevity, and other journals. Akers has been a Bread Loaf work-study scholar, a fellow at VCCA and the Ucross Foundation, and is the proud and enthusiastic editor of r.kv.r.y. quarterly.
ANDREW McFADYEN-KETCHUM Davis Family Poetry Fellow
Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum is an award-winning freelance editor, ghostwriter, writer, and lecturer of writing at the University of Colorado. He is also acquisitions editor for Upper Rubber Boot Books, founder and editor of, founder and editor of The Floodgate Poetry Series, founder of the Little Grassy Literary Festival, and editor of two anthologies. His first book of poems, Ghost Gear, (University of Arkansas Press 2014) was a finalist for the Miller Williams Prize, the Colorado Book Award, and the INDIEFAB. His second book, Visiting Hours, was a Finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Jake Adam York Poetry Prize, the Akron Poetry Prize, and the Georgia Poetry Prize. Read and learn more at

KAREN TUCKER Sundog Fiction Scholar

Karen Tucker’s short fiction has appeared in Epoch, Tin House: The Open Bar, American Literary Review, Carve Magazine, upstreet, and Salamander. Born and raised in North Carolina, she currently lives in Tallahassee, where she’s pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State.

BENJAMIN HERTWIG Baker Veteran Poetry Scholar

Benjamin Hertwig’s work has taken him from Kandahar province as an infantry grunt to northern Canada as a treeplanter. His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in the New York Times, Pleiades, the Sugar House Review, Prairie Schooner, the Maine Review, Ruminate, Word Riot, and War, Literature & the Arts. His debut poetry collection, Slow War, is coming out in the fall with McGill-Queen’s; fiction and non-fiction manuscripts are in progress. He is currently a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, living on the unceded land of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations.

ABIGAIL GREENBAUM, Sundog Creative Nonfiction Scholar
Abigail Greenbaum lives in Atlanta and is an assistant professor of English at Georgia Highlands College. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Mississippi. Her essays and stories have appeared in The AtlanticEcotone, Orion, The Butter, Creative Loafing Atlanta, The Hairpin, CNN’s Eatocracy, Gravy, New World Writing, The Louisville ReviewGrist and other places. Her essay “Notes From a Nonnative Daughter” received Special Mention from Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses 2015. 


Elsa Nekola
Elsa Nekola - University of Mississippi Scholar in Fiction

Elsa Nekola is a writer from Wisconsin. She is currently a candidate for her MFA in fiction at the University of Mississippi. Her work has been featured in Rosebud Magazine and is forthcoming in Midwestern Gothic.

Jennifer Key
Jennifer Key - University of Mississippi Seaside Scholar in Poetry

Jennifer Key was a Diane Middlebrook Fellow at the University of Wisconsin and a Henry Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia. Her work has appeared in Callaloo, The Carolina Quarterly, The Hopkins Review, and The Southwest Review. In 2013 The University of Tampa Press published her poetry collection The Old Dominion as winner of the Tampa Review Poetry Prize. She has taught at Southern Methodist University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University. She currently holds a John and Renée Grisham Fellowship in poetry at the University of Mississippi.

Our fellowship/scholarship selection procedures follow the CLMP Contest Code of Ethics:

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believe that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

SWC Financial Aid selection process:
Round one of judging: creative pieces are blind read by anonymous readers (these change every year) who are asked only to score manuscripts.

Final round: professionals blind-score finalists in each genre. Faculty and directors are not a part of the selection process, and the composite scores from selected professional readers are the sole evaluative tool for selection, and CV/resume are used only to confirm winner eligibility.

Sponsor of the Seaside Writers Conference




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