Asheville, NC –  In anticipation of Thomas Wolfe’s 120th birthday in October, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial invites students and teachers to participate in the 2020 “Telling Our Tales” Student Writing Competition. In this competition, students will submit their own work of fiction inspired by reading part IV of “The Lost Boy.”

Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe, while best known for his novels, also wrote short stories and a novella titled “The Lost Boy.” Written in four parts, the novella is about Wolfe’s brother Grover and the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. In part IV, after 30 years had passed, Thomas Wolfe returns to St. Louis where his mother had operated a boardinghouse. He visits the old home to rediscover his surviving memories from age four.

Find the story, competition guidelines, submission form, lesson plan, and writing prompts at our website; First, second, and third place winners will be chosen from three age groups: Grades 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Submissions must be emailed or mailed (postmarked) by 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. Winners will be notified via phone on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Cash awards will be given to the winners in each age group.

For more information about the event at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, contact Kayla Pressley Seay by calling 828-253-8304 or emailing

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit