Home : Events : Literary Festival

Jeff Hodges
Director of Public Relations
Hollins University
P.O. Box 9657
Roanoke, VA 24020-1657
(540) 362-6503
Fax: (540) 362-6500

Office location:
Cocke Memorial Building, Third Floor

Brittany Foutz
Special Programs Coordinator
(540) 362-6021

Office location:
Bradley Hall

Surrendered Child Black Swan The Lichtenberg Figures
Karen Salyer McElmurray
M.A. '89

fiction writer
and memoirist
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Ben Lerner
novelist and poet


Lex Allen Literary Festival

April 5, 2014

Hollins hosted its first Literary Festival when the creative writing program began in 1960. It's now an annual spring event known as the Lex Allen Literary Festival, named in honor of the former Hollins English professor. Writers-in-residence take part, along with other guests, who over the years have included Elizabeth Janeway, William Styron, John Barth, James Dickey, Richard Wilbur, Maxine Kumin, Lisel Mueller, Doris Betts, Diane Wakoski, Elizabeth Spencer, and many others.

The daylong festival begins at 9:30 a.m. with check-in and refreshments. Participants may purchase lunch in the Moody Center dining room. The Literary Festival is free and open to the public. All readings and the panel discussion will be held in the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center Auditorium (Room 200).

Support for the Literary Festival is provided by the John Alexander and Mary Josephine Haynes Allen Literary Endowment, the Dee Hull Everist Visiting Speaker Series, and the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence Fund. The Lex Allen Literary Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. Learn more...


Literary prizes

Undergraduate college students are invited to submit up to three poems and/or up to two short stories for:

  • Literary Festival Poetry Prize ($100)
  • Literary Festival Fiction Prize ($100)

All entries must include the author's name and contact information (e-mail or phone number) and the name, city, and state of the author's college or university. All fiction must be double-spaced.


Submission deadline: Friday, February 14, 2014

Email entries (in Word format) to:

Mail entries to:
Literary Festival Contest
Hollins University
P.O. Box 9677
Roanoke, VA 24020-1677


For more information:

Call (540) 362-6317 or e-mail creative.writing@hollins.edu.



9:30 a.m. Check-in and refreshments, second floor lobby, Wetherill Visual Arts Center
10:30 a.m. Reading by Karen Salyer McElmurray
11:30 a.m. Poetry panel discussing student-submitted work
12:45 p.m. Luncheon, Moody Dining Hall (pay at the door)
1:15 p.m. Roundtable session for high school writers with Hollins English and Creative Writing students, Mary Rowland Lounge, Moody Center, third floor
2:00 p.m. Reading by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
3:15 p.m. Reading by Ben Lerner
4:15 p.m. Reception, second floor lobby, Wetherill Visual Arts Center