Sunday, September 8, 2019

Scissortail 2020

16th Annual R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma presents
Oklahoma’s Most Prestigious High School Writing Competition

Prizes awarded at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, April 2-4, 2020 
Fiction: 1st Place $200; 2nd Place $150; 3rd Place $100
Poetry: 1st Place $200; 2nd Place $150; 3rd Place $ 100
20 Honorable Mention Awards of $25 each
* All Oklahoma high school students (9th - 12th grade) are eligible.  
* Poetry (up to 100 lines) or Short Fiction (up to 6,000 words) is acceptable.  
* Limit 5 poems and 1 short fiction piece per student.  
* All entries must be the original work of the student.  
* All entries must be neatly typed; please double-space fiction entries.  
* Entries will not be returned, so keep your originals.  
* No identifying marks should be on the manuscript itself, except for the title.  
* Provide cover page with contact information: 1) Student’s name; 2) Teacher’s name  
   3) School 4) Classification (senior, junior, etc.) 5) Phone number, Email and mailing address.  
* Work may be submitted through conventional mail or email. 

DEADLINE: Conventional mail must be postmarked on or before Friday, January 31, 2020. Email entries must be sent by 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2020. There will be no exceptions. Winners will be notified in early March, and awards will be presented Saturday, April 4 in the Cole University Center (Estep Auditorium), on the East Central University campus.  A list of winners and winning entries may be posted online at  Please visit this site for festival and contest history and information.  Previous award-winning Fisher contest entries are also available .        

Poetry Submissions: send work electronically as attached files to or mail to Dr. Joshua Grasso, East Central University, Dept. of English & Languages, 1100 E. 14th St., Ada, OK 74820  
Fiction Submissions: send work electronically as attached files to or mail to Dr. Mark Walling, East Central University, Dept. of English and Languages, 1100 E. 14th St., Ada, OK 74820 
Contest Information: Dr. Joshua Grasso (580-235-3197); Dr. Mark Walling (580-559-5440).  Scissortail Creative Writing Festival Information: Dr. Ken Hada (580-559-5557) 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Scissortail 2019: The Poster

From the Director, 2019

Welcome to the 14th annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.

On behalf of so many: sponsors, colleagues, administration, students and volunteers, it is my pleasure to welcome to you Ada, Oklahoma and East Central University. This year we welcome 19 new voices to the festival. I hope all of us, new and returning writers, guests and workers, greatly enjoy our time together.

A stanza from a Stanley Kunitz poem has been speaking to me:

The sands whispered, Be separate,
The stones taught me, Be hard.
I dance, for the joy of surviving,
On the edge of the road.
(Stanley Kunitz, “An Old Cracked Tune” Passing Through: The Later Poems)

And a couple of lines from my poem “In Kyoto” (in my latest collection, Not Quite Pilgrims):
“not unlike Basho, making something / that may outlive itself.”

As writers, as teachers, as citizens trying to make a positive difference, we sometimes find ourselves “on the edge of the road” – on the margins of a consumer society. I hope the gathering together at the festival inspires us all to continue the good work of making something / that may outlive itself.

See you soon!
Ken Hada

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Winners of the 15th Annual R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

Poetry Winners
First Place: Olivia Robertson, "Nannerl," Norman HS (Instructor: Sara Doolittle)
Second Place: Checotah Fulks, "Witness of Rust," Purcell HS (Liz Leonard)
Third Place: Amanda Baskett, "Sexual assault feels like a rite of passage," Edmond Memorial HS (Kelly Bristow)

Honorable Mentions:
Evie Sondag, "At the End," Norman HS (Sara Doolittle)
Brenna Sawney, "Love is a Weapon," Sallisaw HS (Sarah Wilson)
Mia Di Renzo, "Untitled," Lawton HS (Terence Freeman)
Jacob Compton, "Past Tense," Lawton HS (Terence Freeman)
Adam Nunez, "The Contract," Epic Charter Schools (Richard Filbert)
Trinity Whitehead, "Chasm," Ada HS (Megan Moiser)
Ariana Delarosa, "Shoes/Heart," Norman North HS (Brent Taylor)
J.D. Wright, "Revelation 13," Altus HS (Jessica Robinson)
Kyle Marshall, "Ripples," Edmond Memorial HS (Kelly Bristow)
Zoe Hamilton, "Stockholm Syndrome," Edmond Memorial HS (Kelly Bristow)

Fiction Winners:
First Place: Rachel Owen. “The Skeleton of the Daylily.” Norman (Sara Doolittle)
Second Place: Evan Boothe. “The Tones of the Void.” Washington (Dawn Lanham)
Third Place: Amanda Baskett. “If You Love Something.” Edmond Memorial (Kelly Bristow)

Honorable Mentions:
Rachel Black. “The Final Frontier.” Grove (Terri Guthridge)
Perrisa A. Borders. “All Smiles.” Santa Fe South Pathways (Michelle Manning)
Georgia Campbell. “Siren Song.” Norman (Sara Doolittle)
Hayleigh Carrillo. “Ecstasy.” Santa Fe South Pathways (Michelle Manning)
Olivia Clayton. “Late Night Drive.” Tulsa Union (Henry Cribbs)
Chassidy Dixon. “Lost Justice.” Marlow (Ann Field)
Harper Keppel. “Mysterious Letters from X.” Norman (Sara Doolittle)
Megan Roach. “The Story of a Yankee.” Washington (Dawn Lanham)
Jamie Slaton. “A Rebel at Heart.” Santa Fe South Pathways (Michelle Manning)
Hayley Steele. “The Key.” Norman North (Brent Taylor)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2019: Schedule of Readings

14th AnnualScissortail Creative Writing Festival
April 4-6, 2019
East Central University
Ada, Oklahoma

Thursday, April 4

I. 9:30 – 10: 45 Estep Auditorium 

Ben Myers – Oklahoma Baptist University
Black Sunday: The Dust Bowl Sonnets
Joey Brown – Missouri Southern State Univ.
Content Subject to Change: Take 2
Gary Worth Moody – Santa Fe, New Mexico
See That My Grave is Kept: NorteƱo Desert, Rio Grande Blues

II. 11:00 – 12: 15 Estep Auditorium

Larry D. Thomas – Las Cruces, New Mexico
Julie Chappell, on Lake Keystone (Oklahoma)
Scorpion dreams among us
Chris Ellery – Angelo State University
Elegy for Father Frans
Walter Bargen – Ashland, Missouri
My Other Mother’s Red Mercedes

*** Lunch ***

III. 2:00 – 3: 15 North Lounge

Dan Wilcox -Albany, New York
Baseball Poems
Sarah Webb – Burnet, Texas
Following the Thread
Bill Endres – University of Oklahoma
In a Fit of Self-Loathing & Other Poems
Lyman Grant – Harrisonburg, Virginia

IV. 2:00 – 3:15 Estep Auditorium

Paul Juhasz – Allentown, Pennsylvania
If Two Crazy People Can Dance, Who Eats the Dog?
Sally Rhoades – Albany, New York
Yellow Roses and Green Pears
Mark Johnson – Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Muse Leaves Oklahoma Behind
Colin Pope – Stillwater, Oklahoma
Why I Didn’t Go To Your Funeral

V. 3:30 – 4:45 Estep Auditorium

Paul Austin – Norman, Oklahoma
Notes on Hard Times
Michelle Hartman – Ft. Worth, Texas
Wanton Disarray
Cullen Whisenhunt & Randy Prus –Murray State College & SEOSU
Poem Tag
Chris Soden – Dallas, Texas

VI. 3:30 – 4:45 North Lounge

John Yozzo – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Poems My Father Taught Me: Lyrics from the Guthrie Readings
Sharon Edge Martin – Oilton, Oklahoma
Art and Politics
Bill McCloud – Rogers State University
Poetry on Deadline
John Andrews – Stillwater, Oklahoma
Colin is Changing His Name: Growing Up and Coming Out in the Rural South in Poems

VII. 7:00 – 8:30 Ataloa Theatre
Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center
featuring: Tracy K. Smith

(Authors’ Reception – Vintage 22)
 (800 E. Main St.)

2019 Scissortail Biographies

C. D. Albin was born and reared in West Plains, Missouri. He earned a Doctor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and has taught for many years at Missouri State University – West Plains. He is the author of the story collection Hard Toward Home (Press 53, 2016), for which he received the 2017 Missouri Author Award in Fiction from the Missouri Library Association. He is also the author of the poetry collection Axe, Fire, Mule (Golden Antelope Press, 2018), and his stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in many periodicals, including Arkansas Review, Cape Rock, Georgia Review, Harvard Review, Natural Bridge, and Slant. His author website is

Dorothy Alexander is a poet, memoirist, storyteller and retired lawyer/judge. She began writing poetry and other creative genres after the loss of her son, Kim Alexander, to HIV/AIDS in 1989. She is the co-founder, along with her life partner, Devey Napier, of a small independent poetry press promoting the work of southwest regional poets. The Oklahoma Center for the Book presented Dorothy with the 2013 Carlile Distinguished Service Award for her services to the Oklahoma literary community.