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West Virginia Writers, Inc., accepting submissions for annual contests

January 17, 2019

West Virginia Writers, Inc., is accepting submissions for its annual writing contests. There are contests for both adults and students, offering $5,850 in total cash prizes, according to a news release.

Since 1982, WV Writers has hosted an annual writing contest for adults, accepting original, unpublished entries in a variety of themed writing categories.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, book length prose/young adult, and the Emerging Writers categories for prose and poetry that are designed for writers who have not previously won a cash prize in the WV Writers contest.

Other categories include Social Change (the Pearl S. Buck Award), which seeks prose and poetry submissions on the theme of encouraging positive change in culture and society. This category, now in its sixth year, 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.

This year’s Joe McCabe Memorial Script Award will feature the stage plays category, accepting stage play scripts.

A new category this year is romance, accepting poetry, prose or nonfiction in the romance genre.

Finally, a poetry chapbook category has been introduced, with any form of collected poetry accepted of up to 30 pages in length.

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 first-, second- and third-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 through March 15 (with a late deadline of March 31). West Virginia Writers accepts submissions through the online service Submittable (https://westvirginiawriters.submittable.com/submit). The contest may also be entered by mail, with entry forms found at wvwriters.org/contest.html.

Winners will be announced on June 8 at an awards ceremony during the annual West Virginia Writers Summer Conference held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, West Virginia. All winners, including honorable mentions, will receive certificates suitable for framing, with cash prizes for first-, second- and third-place winners in each category.

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

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