For the 2013 Winners List Please Click Here


Covenant United Methodist Church

8350 Walnut Grove, Cordova, TN


David Waters

David Waters

Award Winning Journalist

Robert Hall

Robert L. Hall

Author and Conference Speaker

Director:  Frances Brinkley Cowden

Assistant Director: Mary Frances Broome

NATIONAL AWARDS: Open to anyone who pays the entry fees of 1-3 entries: $10; $2 for each additional entry. No limit on the number of entries in each category as long as fees are paid. Critique: $10 for 1-4; $15 for up to 10 entries (limit 4 in each category to be critiqued) but no limit on the number of entries in each category.

Work may be considered in only one category.

Poems non-published previously or published (except in Grandmother Earth) may be considered if writer owns reprint rights.

All poetry has a 40 line-limit and prose a 2000 word limit unless otherwise stated.

1. Patricia Smith Memorial: Fiction—inspirational or humorous

$75, 50, 40

2. Michael Denington Honorary Award: humorous poetry

$75, 50, 25

3. Riley Denington Memorial: A single haiku (no senyru)


4. Thomas McDaniel Honorary Award: Haiku, short form or free verse

10 line limit

$50, 30, 20

5. Laurie Boulton Award: Poetry— Subject—Veterans

$50, 30, 20

6. Sandra Hancock Award: a Cameo

$40, 20

7. Miriam Strauss Memorial: Subject—A Journey

$30, 20

8. Evelyn Mae Swinehart Rose Memorial: Subject—Quilt/Quilting

$30, 20

9. Matt McQuinn Memorial: Subject—Heroes We Have Known

$30, 20

CONFERENCE AWARDS: In addition to contests above, writers who pay the conference fee of $30 (includes lunch) and other appropriate fees are also eligible to enter categories 10-16.

10. Dorothy Tacker Award: Poetry—Subject—Biblical

$50, 30, 20

11. Frances Cowden Honorary Award (given by Mick and Marilyn

Denington): Subject— God’s Creation(s)

$50, 30, 20

12. Francis Mah Memorial: Poetry—Any subject, any form

$40, 20, 15

13. Henry Clay Anderson Memorial: Subject—Courage; 20-40 lines

$40, 20, 15

14. Walter M. Cannizzo Memorial (Husband of Bettye Kramer Cannizzo):

Subject—Valor at Sea (30 line-limit) or Prose ( 1200 word limit)

$30, 20, 15

15. Ann George Memorialrhymed couplets up to 40 lines

$30, 20

16. Florence Gibbs Memorial Subject—A Special Teacher in Your Life

$30, 20

All money prizes will be printed in Grandmother Earth XX, OUR FINAL ISSUE. One free copy will be given to each entrant. An additional copy will be sent to anyone included in the publication. Other finalists may be considered if the writer gives specific permission. All those not attending the conference SHOULD SEND SASE FOR RETURN. Send one copy with no identification except number and title of the entry. A second copy with identification may be sent or in lieu of a second copy indication that any work chosen for publication (money prizes) will be promptly emailed upon request. Include a cover sheet with name, complete contact information and a 25-30 word biographical statement. Send SASE FOR WINNERS’ LIST. Art no larger than 5x7 will be considered. No fee. Contributor’s copy only. All entries should be suitable for family publications. No trite language or careless imagery. No new age or profanity. Send any change of address to guarantee receipt of copies.


To: Grandmother Earth/Life Press

P. O. Box 2018

Cordova, TN 38088

Questions: Call 901-309-3692 or email:

PROGRAM: August 3, 2013

8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast: Smith Center, Covenant UMC

Cordova, TN.

8:45 Welcome and Introductions: Frances Brinkley Cowden, founder of Life Press Christian Writers Association and editor/publisher of Grandmother Earth and Life Press.

9:15 Dramatic Reading (Humorous or Inspirational) Contest: Prizes will be given. Guests will sign up to read and perform their original works (no more than 3-4 minutes each).

9:45 Break

10:00 David Waters—award-winning editor and columnist for The Commercial Appeal will focus on Telling the Faith Stories of Others. How and Why We Do it.*

10:50  Break

11:00 Robert L. Hall—author of over 20 novels, including The Learnin' Post, and the recent Worthy Stalker, will be speaking on the workshop topic, Inspiration...what is it and why is it important?”** 

12:00 Southern Style Lunch (included with registration) with Judges, Editors and Authors.  

1:00 Door Prizes

1:15 Anne Norris—humorous author and speaker will tell how to go From Real Life to Fiction.

2:00 Presentation of Awards

2:20 Panel Critique: a look at polishing work by Robert Hall, conference speaker, and Malu Graham, judge, and several of the other judges of the contest awards.  Some of the winning poems and excerpts from prose will be read with permission of the authors.

3:40   Break

4:00 Inspirations through Life Experiences: Roundtable discussion led by

Frances Cowden

*David Waters is an award-winning editor and columnist for The Commercial Appeal. He rejoined the newspaper in 2010 after serving as religion editor for The Washington Post from 2007-2010. Waters joined The Commercial Appeal in 1980 and has worked as a reporter, editor and columnist, primarily focused on religion. His awards include a 2010 Wilbur Award for best religion blog, a 2004 Wilbur Award for best religion column, and a 1997 Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors for his religion writing. In 2000, he was inducted into the Scripps Howard Editorial Hall of Fame for his work as a reporter, editor and columnist. An Ohio native, Waters is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where he majored in journalism and political science.

**Robert L. Hall—author of over 20 novels, including The Learnin' Post, and the recent Worthy Stalker, will be speaking on the workshop topic, "Inspiration."

    He speaks of the subject thusly: "Inspiration...what is it and why is it important?” 


        "The great inventor, Thomas Edison, perceived: 'Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.'

    And everyone wants to write works of genius. 

    So what else consists of 1% one thing and 99% something else?

    Diet Coke, brewed coffee and tea are all 99% water and 1% something else, so that you can taste and appreciate the difference. Earth's atmosphere is composed of 99% nitrogen and oxygen-less than 1% everything else-yet plants could not survive without that less than 1% that is carbon dioxide.  You can conceivably travel at 99% the speed of light, but no faster-the 1% left would increase your mass infinitely and slow you down from ever attaining that final goal of 100 %.    

    It seems to me that the one percent is where all the difference comes in, where things are sorted out, where the breaking point is reached, the tipping point, where the 'aha' moment happens; it is where both creativity and the quiet wonderment at life begins." 

Robert L. Hall writes contemporary fiction stories about the Mid-South, its people and culture. He is the author of The Evan Smith-Horseman Series of 3 books: The Learnin' Post (which was endorsed by Mike Huckabee-former Governor of Arkansas), Louie and Small Favors. Most of Robert's works, including these, are available in Kindle format on

He has also authored over 20 other works which will SOON BE COMING to the Digital Reader format.  This will include the Curt Haney and Louie Maziere detective series and other mysteries . A trained musician, he enjoys playing gospel and modern music. His wife, Joy, rides and shows horses. They live near Marion, Arkansas. He has a just-launched website at:  and invites others to see it and click on the live links to enjoy his works at Kindle Books on the site.

Anne Hall Norris, Collierville, TN,  is author of  The Charm Bracelet and Other Stories and  Uncle Nip and Aunt Zeenie, a  collection of her award-winning Aunt Zeenie stories,  Anne Norris has received regional and national    awards  and is noted for her humorous stories. A member and past president of Memphis Story Tellers' League, she is featured in the story tellers’ anthologies. She is a former member of National League of American Pen Women and is a member and teacher at Cross Roads United Methodist Church.

Malu Graham won the Hackney Award for fiction (Birmingham Southern College). She has poems and short stories published in St. Petersburg Times, Emerald Coast Review, Octoberfest Mag, Broomstick. She has won numerous prizes in poetry and prizes in fiction from Florida Writers’ Competition, Grandmother Earth  and Life Press.  She was PST's poet laureate for 2006-07.  She is one of the critics for the Poetry Society of Tennessee’s workshops and has won numerous awards including Grandmother Earth’s top prose award. She was also a “Best of the Fest” Award winner.


Covenant United Methodist Church, 8350 Walnut Grove, Cordova, TN

North East corner of Walnut Grove and Walnut Bend, just off Germantown PKWY. Approaching Memphis from I-40 take the Nashville east exit and then go past next Nashville exit and take the Walnut Grove east exit. Continue east on Walnut Grove over the overpass of Germantown PKY. The first traffic light will be Walnut Bend. Turn left and you will turn immediately into the parking lot on your right.

From East TN on I-40 take the Germantown Exit (South). Turn left on Trinity. Go to the first 4-way stop. Turn right (Walnut Bend).  Just before you get to the traffic light, you will see the church on your left. Turn left into the church parking lot. Go right around the church to the Smith Center on the East side of the church. If you miss Trinity, turn left onto Walnut Grove and continue to first traffic light.  

From South Germantown Rd or Comfort  Inn, go north and turn right just after Lowe’s onto Walnut Bend.  Go just past the first traffic light which will be Walnut Grove. The church is to your immediate right. Go around the building to the Smith Center.


See Website for rules for the Poetry Society of Tennessee’s Mid-South Poetry Festival

This conference will be of benefit for writers regardless of whether or now you write

for Christian publications.  Please pre-register by August 1. 

Conference Fees: $30 Continental breakfast and lunch. 


Registration (including food, but without entries) is $30.  Spouse Registration is $20.


Questions: Call 901-309-3692 or email: