The Inklings Creative Writing Workshop

Invention Creative Writing Workshop

Friday, March 22, 2024
(Register by March 15, 2024)

 With special guests
Award-winning folk musician David Wilcox
Award-winning novelist Sarah Loudin Thomas

About Montreat’s Creative Writing Festival

Montreat’s Annual Creative Writing Festival offers a one-day experience with creative writing and is welcome to people of all ages, locations, and interests. Songwriting workshops, story-writing strategies, character workshops, publishing advice, and sessions with expert writers are only a few of the previous Montreat Creative Writing Festival offerings. Our past and present guests represent a variety of creative writing interests, including children’s literature author Kimberly Angle, historical fiction and Appalachian fiction author Sarah Loudin Thomas, poet Andy Coe, NY Times bestselling novelist William R. Forstchen, and award-winning folk musician David Wilcox.

2024 Creative Writing Festival Theme: Invention

Invention is the first step in the creative process where writers invent or discover ideas to fuel their writing. We will explore invention: not only how it begins the creative process but also how it is carried throughout planning and organization, writing and revising, as well as editing and publishing.


Attendees must register for Montreat College’s Annual Creative Writing Festival by March 15, 2023. Registration includes lunch at the college’s Howerton Dining Hall.

General Admission: $15
High School Students and Caregivers: $5

Single Registration

Register using the Single Registration Form if you are a student, parent/caretaker, or a member of the community. If you are registering multiple people within your party, you may do so using this form by clicking “Add Another Attendee.”

Group Registration

Register using the Group Registration Form if you are a school group leader registering yourself and your group of high school students.

Special Guests

David Wilcox

David Wilcox has been connecting with his audiences since his debut album in 1987, The Nightshift Watchman, led him to win the prestigious Kerrville folk festival and a four-album deal with A&M Records. Nearly three decades and over twenty albums later, his writing continues to impact listeners, even garnering top honors in the 23rd annual USA Songwriting Competition in 2018 for “We Make the Way by Walking.” David’s revered folk music is accompanied by heartfelt lyrics and thoughtful storytelling that will undoubtedly appear in his next studio album, due 2024. Find out more about David at .

Sarah Loudin Thomas

Sarah Loudin Thomas’ historical fiction celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Coastal Carolina University and is the author of the acclaimed novels The Right Kind of Fool–winner of the 2021 Selah Book of the Year–and Miracle in a Dry Season–winner of the 2015 Inspy Award. Sarah has also been a finalist for the Christy Award, ACFW Carol Award and the Christian Book of the Year Award. She and her husband live in western North Carolina where she is the director of Jan Karon’s Mitford Museum. Learn more by visiting


8:30-9:30 a.m. | Check-in | Gaither Fellowship Hall
9:30-10:20 a.m. | Opening remarks | Graham Chapel
Panel session with creative specialists
10:30-11:20 a.m. | Breakout sessions | Songwriting workshops featuring folk musician David Wilcox; Workshop with novelist Sarah Loudin Thomas
11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. | Lunch (provided) | Howerton Dining Hall
12:30-1:30 p.m. | Songwriting forum with David Wilcox
1:30-2:15 p.m. | Campus tours
2:15-2:30 p.m. | Closing session and Award Ceremony | Graham Chapel

Registration is live now!
Cost is $5 for high school students & parents/teachers. General admission is $15

The 2024 Creative Writing Competition

We invite current junior and senior high school students who are attending the Creative Writing Festival to submit one poetry piece and/or one prose piece. Winners in each category (11th grade poetry, 11th grade prose, 12th grade poetry, and 12th grade prose) will receive a $1,500 scholarship to Montreat College. All entries are due by March 15, 2024.


  • 11th grade or 12th grade high school student
  • Maximum of one poem and one prose piece per writer
  • Attendance at the 2024 Creative Writing Festival


  • Entries should be submitted in Microsoft Word or Google Document files and formatted in Times New Roman, 12 pt font with single-spaced text.
  • The Creative Writing Festival is offered by Montreat College with its Vision, Mission, Statement of Faith, and Community Life Covenant: We do not expect entries to address the College’s values, and we welcome submissions from writers who see the world from all vantage points; however, entries will be evaluated with consideration of the College’s values.
  • Submissions generated in whole or in part by artificial intelligence are forbidden: no exceptions!
  • No more than 5,000 words per submission
  • Prose pieces may stand alone, such as a short story, or may be a portion of a larger work.


Each submission must be in a separate document. That is, a student submitting a poem and a short story must submit two separate files—one with the poem and one with the short story, each submitted separately via the appropriate form below.

The file must be named with the writer’s last name followed by the initial of the writer’s first name, a hyphen, and the name of the writer’s text, such as the following poem by John Smith entitled “Fly Away”:

  • Smith J – Fly Away.docx

Poetry Competition

Prose Competition

Rights to Publication

By the act of submission, each contestant releases one-time rights for their work to Montreat College for editing and publishing in both print and online versions of the college’s arts magazine, The Lamp Post. Submission does not guarantee publication in The Lamp Post. Authors retain full ownership of their works, and this release does not prohibit authors from publishing their works elsewhere.

Please see past editions of The Lamp Post here: .

English Program at Montreat College

Check out the English program at Montreat with its literature, creative writing, and professional writing concentrations: .


Please direct any questions to the Director of the Writing Program, Dr. Zachary Rhone: