Monday, October 24, 2022

18th Annual Scissortail: The Poster


Scissortail Submission Guidelines 2022-2023

18th Annual Scissortail Festival, April 6 - 8, 2023

We invite submissions to be considered for an in-person program. Please send your best work, while considering the following guidelines. Please follow exactly.

COVID DISCLAIMER:  By submitting your work to be included as a participant and/or audience member of the 2023 Scissortail Festival, you voluntarily acknowledge that you have been vaccinated for COVID and/or you fully accept all responsibility for any potential health risk when gathering in these public events. By submitting work to be included on the festival program, applicants further agree to hold harmless the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival and East Central University. You also recognize that plans to hold an in-person festival, could be changed at the last minute, as necessary, due to unforeseen circumstances associated with Covid, and/or the festival could be canceled at the discretion of East Central University.

* We anticipate that authors will have up to 20 minutes to present their material – this is the total time at the mic, including any comments you make in addition to the presented material.

* Scissortail is a reading festival. No workshops, how-to, propaganda or pre-arranged panels are acceptable. Reading sessions feature a mixture of authors and genre.

* Fiction and creative nonfiction writers are encouraged to Excerpt their submission to fit into the time restraints (The appeal of a narrative may, in fact, be heightened by presenting a carefully selected excerpt, rather than speed-reading).

* Due to the number of participants, it is not possible to accommodate scheduling requests.

* Please understand that Ada, Oklahoma is a small town with very limited public transportation and has a limited number of hotel rooms. Ada is a two-hour drive from the Oklahoma City airport, three hours from DFW (in good traffic) and two and half hours from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Scissortail Festival is unable to provide shuttle service to and from these airports, so please consider these factors before submitting.

* Sessions usually consist of 3 or 4 readers per session. Authors may NOT exceed 20 minutes total time at the mic – including prose, including commentary. Please respect your audience and fellow readers by diligently adhering to time restraints.

Submit by email: 1) complete contact information 2) the title of your program and the work to be considered – please consider the time restraints per reader. 3) a paragraph-length biographical narrative summarizing publications and significant accomplishments (please write bios in 3rd person).

Deadline for submission is December 18, 2022. The schedule will be announced as early as possible, in January, and certainly by early February at the latest.

Send email submissions to: Identify “Scissortail Submission” in the subject line.

Please check your calendar before submitting. Participants are not charged registration fees, nor are authors compensated. Please subscribe by providing your email at in order to receive notice of information regarding the festival and related events. Updates are posted on this site.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

19th Annual R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma presents 

Oklahoma’s Most Prestigious High School Writing Competition 

Prizes to be awarded at ECU, Scissortail Festival, April 8, 2023

Fiction: 1st Place $250; 2nd place: $150; 3rd Place $100
Poetry: 1st Place $250; 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) High School and Teacher’s name 3) Classification (senior, junior, etc.) 4) Phone number, Email and student’s mailing address. (Work submitted without a mailing address for each student will not be judged)

* Work may be submitted through conventional mail or email.

DEADLINE: Conventional mail must be postmarked on or before Friday, February 10, 2023. Email entries must be sent via email by 11:59 p.m. on February 10, 2023. There will be no exceptions. Winners will be notified and awards will be presented to students during the annual Scissortail Festival at ECU, April 8, 2023. The names of winning writers will be posted online at:

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, May 26, 2022

18th Annual Scissortail: Featured Authors

ALLISON AMEND was born in Chicago, Illinois, on a day when the Cubs beat the Mets 2-0. In high school, Allison lived for a year with a Spanish family in Barcelona. She attended Stanford University, graduating with honors in Comparative Literature. After college, she lived in Lyon, France on a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship. Allison then attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, receiving a Maytag and a Teaching/Writing Fellowship.

Allison’s debut short story collection, Things That Pass for Love (OV/Dzanc Books, 2008) won a bronze Independent Publisher’s award. Stations West, a historical novel, was published by Louisiana State University Press as part of its Yellow Shoe Fiction series in March 2010 and was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Oklahoma Book Award.

Nan A. Talese/Doubleday published her most recent novels A Nearly Perfect Copy and Enchanted Islands.

Allison lives in New York City, where she teaches creative writing at Lehman College in the Bronx and at the Red Earth MFA.

Photo copyright by Erin Patrice O'Brien
MAJOR JACKSON is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems.

A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress.

He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Orion Magazine, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry London, and Zyzzva.

Major Jackson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.

is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014) and served as the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of San Antonio, TX. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as The Southampton Review, Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Texas Observer, and Existere: A Journal of Art & Literature. His Frontextos (visual poems) have been published in Poetry Northwest, Texas Review Press, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Midway Journal, The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, and elsewhere.

Octavio’s visual work has been exhibited in numerous art spaces, including, Southwest School of Art, Presa House Gallery, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, and Equinox Gallery. He is the recipient of the Nebrija Creadores Scholarship, consisting of a month-long residency at the Instituto Franklin at Alcalá University in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review. Octavio teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.


IG: @writeroctavioquintanilla

Monday, March 21, 2022

From the Director – Welcome 2022

It is with great anticipation that I welcome you back to a live, in-person festival! We need to gather together to inspire and to be inspired. This year, we welcome 74 authors to the program, the most ever. Of that number, 15 are new to the festival.

Scissortail Festival has been described in various ways over the years. One of my favorite descriptions is that Scissortail is a “listening” festival. That is, we come together and listen to each other. As you are all-too aware, we are under siege all day long, every day of the week, by a barrage of distractions and interruptions, all designed to reduce us to thoughtless automatons. This festival offers a chance to free our mind and souls from that onslaught, and to hear one another. I know I look forward to hearing as many of you as possible; and more, I look forward to hearing about how each of you hear each other.

On behalf of so many gracious volunteers, outside of ECU, and of many members of the Department of English & Languages, and volunteers from the Department of Art, Media and Communication, student volunteers, and the administration of East Central University – Welcome!

Ken Hada

Sunday, March 20, 2022

2022: Schedule of Readings

17th Annual: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival
March 31 - April 2, 2022

East Central University
Ada, Oklahoma

Thursday, March 31

I. 9:30 – 10: 45 Estep Auditorium

Joey Brown: Missouri Southern State University
Feral Love in Skateland
Rilla Askew: University of Oklahoma
Dave Malone: West Plains, Missouri
Tornado Drills and Hitchhiking Skills

II. 11:00 – 12: 15 Estep Auditorium

Robin Carstensen: Texas A&M – Corpus Christi
Selected New Poems
Chris Murphy: Northeastern State University
from Burning All the Time
Molly Sizer: Lawton, Oklahoma
The World and the Refuge

III. 11:00 - 12:15 Regents Room

Jeffrey Alfier: Torrance, California
The Shadow Field, and other poems
Denise Tolan: San Antonio, Texas
Because You Are Dead, and other flash fiction
Gary Reddin: Duncan, Oklahoma
An Abridged History of American Violence

IV. 11:00 – 12:15 North Lounge

Ron Wallace: Southeastern Oklahoma State U.
from Sanctuary
Leah Chaffins: Cameron University
Mountain Kings & other poems
Clarence Wolfshohl: Toledo, Missouri
Family Resemblance

*** Lunch ***

Saturday, March 12, 2022