UA Little Rock English Department sponsors Cornbread Festival storytelling contest

Members of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock community are invited to enter a storytelling contest on the intersection of food, community, and culture in the American South.

UA Little Rock’s Department of English is seeking short creative works of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and spoken work exploring the themes of food, culture, and community in the South.

Submissions should be less than 1,000 words and submitted online through the UA Little Rock English department website by 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. This contest is open to college students and the community at large. Individuals can use this opportunity to develop short, creative works and share their stories with the community. 

The first 20 submissions in the following three categories will be judged: Cornbread Lover (grades 6-12), Hot Skillet Cornbreader (college student), and Cornbread Aficionado (community member, no age limit).

A panel of scholars and authors will select the winners from each category, and winners will be invited to read at a special event on Tuesday, Oct. 22,  at South on Main in Little Rock. Select pieces will also be published in Rock City Eats and the Oxford American blog.

UA Little Rock got involved with the Cornbread Festival after Jeremy Ecke, chair of the English Department, reached out with the idea of creating a literature-themed event to accompany the festival.

I had spent the summer researching and designing a syllabus for a new offering in southern literature,” Ecke said. “One section of the class was dedicated to readings on food, community, and culture. In this section of the class, we crowdsourced cornbread recipes and selected a winner to compete in the competition: cornbread crostini with a side caesar salad.”

For more information, contact Ecke at

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