WV Writers Inc. Announces Contests


In a press release dated December 29th, 2016 –the West Virginia Writers, Inc. announced it will begin accepting submissions for its annual writing contests on January 2nd, 2017.  There are contests for both adults and students, offering $5850 in total cash prizes.
Since 1982, WV Writers has held an annual writing contest for adults, accepting original, unpublished entries in a variety of themed writing categories.  Traditional categories for the contest include: Children’s Books, Short Story, Short Nonfiction, Short Poetry, Long Poetry, Appalachian Writing, Book Length Prose/Young Adult, and the Emerging Writers categories for prose and poetry, for writers who have not previously won a cash prize in the WV Writers contest.  But there are others.

For the past six years, WV Writers has featured a special category called the Pearl S. Buck Award for Writing for Social Change.  This category seeks prose and poetry submissions on the theme of encouraging positive change in culture and society.  The category is sponsored by the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation in Hillsboro, and is inspired by Buck’s tradition of writing with the intent of bringing about social change.

And this year West Virginia Writers is offering a specialty topic category called The Flood, which is intended for prose or poetry inspired by the historic flooding that devastated over 1200 homes in West Virginia this past summer.

Contest coordinator Eric Fritzius said “You can’t go through that kind of tragedy and not have a story to tell. We wanted to help inspire people to tell those stories, and capture those emotions on the page.  But the category is not limited to writing about the flooding in our state.  It could be about similar disasters in other states.”

The adult contest is open to all residents of West Virginia as well as to any member of WV Writers, Inc. residing outside of the state. There is a $10 fee for each adult contest entry, and a $12 fee for the book-length category.

For students in grades 1-12, WV Writers offers The New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest.  Students may choose from six suggested writing topics or they may make up their own story or poem.   There are three age group categories in this contest (for grades 1-5, 6-8, and 9-12), each of which will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes awarded.  The New Mountain Voices contest is free to enter and is open only to student residents of West Virginia.

Submissions for both contests are accepted from January 2 through March 15 (with a late deadline of March 31).  Winners will be announced June 10, 2017 at an awards ceremony during the annual West Virginia Writers Conference held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, W.Va.  The conference this year will celebrate the 40th anniversary of West Virginia Writers, Inc., which was founded in February 1977.   All winners, including honorable mentions, will receive certificates suitable for framing, with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category.

For official contest entry forms, contest rules, a  list of contest judges, and the contest frequently asked questions list, visit the contest webpage at wvwriters.org/contest.html or email coordinator, Eric Fritzius, at wvwcontest@gmail.com.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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