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For eighteen years, the annual Young Southern Student Writers contest has nurtured reading and writing skills in our student community. Students in grades K-12, in public and private schools, enter original works in prose and poetry to be judged by the English Department of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Each year, the reviewers read 3,000 or more submissions that are often hilarious, poignant, and witty, but always remarkable. The contest this year will culminate in a festive awards ceremony in April. 



We're bringing the impact of literature to arts-deprived populations such as incarcerated men and women. These reading groups allow the participants to escape the monotony and sensory desert of imprisonment. As the only educational program offered, the discussion groups also prepare them for reentering the outside. The reading groups are stewarded by So Lit and coordinated by Dr. Victoria Bryan, a professor at Cleveland State, and her colleagues Andréana Lofton, Kris Whorton, and Haven Wright.


An excerpt from the Turn the Page mission statement reads:


"We exercise our minds by discussing various aspects of life on the outside and life on the inside and relate our experiences to the things we read. We discuss things that people in the free world should know about jail and prison, and we use what we read to make ourselves more compassionate, more thoughtful, and more prepared for the challenges of the world, and in doing so, we become closer as a group–as one."




Southern Lit Alliance offers a variety of writing workshops throughout the year for teens and adults. Led by accomplished and published authors or Creative Writing professors in our community, the workshops cover fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Topics covered in the last few years include plot, poetry, and editing.  The Spark Creative Writing workshops are 5 - session camps for teens in the summer.  It covers each genre with writing prompts and opportunities to share.  Due to Covid, we are offering many of our workshops on Zoom, but hope to offer in-person events in 2022.  Watch our website for upcoming workshops.