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.
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.