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The Tournament of Writers, originally started by Deb Christiansen of Schoolcraft in 2015, is an annual writing competition for authors in Kalamazoo county. The Tournament encourages and promotes our local writers with a competition that is open to both new and seasoned writers of all ages. In addition to celebrating writers with cash prizes, the competition also provides constructive and encouraging feedback from judges to help participants gain insights from thoughtful readers.

This competition accepts submissions in the genres of Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction.

A panel of judges scores the submissions using a rubric that evaluates the effective use of language, correct grammar and usage, powerful deployment of literary techniques, and creativity. Based on these scores, judges award prizes within each genre, separated out by the following age divisions: Youth (through 8th grade), Young Adult: (9th grade – age 25), Adult: (26-50), and Senior (51+).

From the top winners of all of the divisions and genres, the judges choose a Grand Prize Winner to win the entire Tournament.

Every entry received for the Tournament of Writers is published in our annual Small Town Anthology, which is available for purchase through our website. We conclude the Tournament with a book signing party to celebrate the courage and creativity of our local writers.

TOW  Program Details

The Tournament 2022 winners were announced on April 21, 2022.

Small Town Anthology Volume VIII: Entries from the Eighth Annual Tournament of Writers $10

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Jake Munson (right) presents the

2022 Judges' Choice Winner to Rick Chamber (left)

Read "Tuesday's Tie" by Rick Chamber >>

TOW Winners

The 2023 Tournament of Writers was made possible by