WV selected for national writers award contest

January 2, 2019

PALM COAST, Florida — Poets & Writers, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers, are inviting writers from West Virginia to apply for the 2019 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

Each year, Poets & Writers welcomes poets and fiction writers from a selected state to apply for the award. This year, the state chosen is West Virginia.

The prestigious award, which aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement, has helped to launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (“The Invention of Wings,” “The Secret Life of Bees”), Lidia Yuknavitch (“The Book of Joan,” “The Chronology of Water”), Bryn Chancellor (“Sycamore: A Novel”), David Mura (“Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei”) and others. Since Poets & Writers launched the Writers Exchange in 1984,101 writers from 39 states and the District of Columbia have participated.

One winner in each category will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers, and prominent writers.

While in New York, winners will also give a reading hosted by Poets & Writers. In addition, each winner is invited to spend a month at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming. To be eligible, writers must be residents of West Virginia, currently and for at least the past two years. Applicants must have published no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying.

Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 7. Learn more at pw.org.

resort, probably next year, but I think well choose a time when the weather is a little warmer. Whether I risk the rapids again or simply fish and enjoy the water park while the others go rafting is something I think well discuss closer to the time.

My email correspondence with Australia came as a result of the article pointing out that the United States is practically the only country in the world that doesn’t use the metric system of measurement. As far as I know there are no plans for us to change our system any time soon but I have an idea that foreign trade will eventually drive us to do so, although my guess is that the change will be very gradual.

Of course, in November, we had the mid-term elections. I didn’t write about them at the time because I’m sure you are all wise enough to make up your own minds who to vote for and I wouldn’t want to try to influence you. I voted, in fact I voted early, although I confess I had difficulty choosing a candidate. Not being used to the American system of campaigning, I was surprised to find most of those standing for election were so busy telling me what the other guy had done wrong that they never did get around to telling me what they were going to do right.

From August through to October I got to visit many of the high schools in the county to report on soccer games. It’s my favorite sport and I really enjoyed watching the skill and enthusiasm of some of the young men and women who turned out in all weathers to play. These are the future leaders of our community and judging by their determination and team spirit, we are going to be in good hands.

I’m going to undergo surgery on an old knee injury in a few days and that’ll keep me immobile for January at least. Later in the year we’re contemplating a house move and several of my family from England are saying they’d like to come visit in the summer, so 2019 looks like it could be an interesting one with plenty for me to talk about.

Thank you for your support in the past. I look forward to talking to you again through 2019 — I hope you do, too — and Lori and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year.

Derek Coleman is a part-time writer who Is a native of England and who now lives In Hurricane, W.Va. He can be reached at tall-derek@hotmall.com.

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