Category Archives: 2015 WVW Writing Contest

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Ed Davis (Short Fiction)

Continuing our series of bios for the judges of the 2015 West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests.  Return here each weekday for the revelation of a new judge.

ED DAVIS (Short Fiction)

A native West Virginian, Ed Davis taught writing, literature and humanities courses at Sinclair Community College from 1978 to 2011. In addition, he founded Sinclair’s literary magazine, Flights, was assistant director of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, conducted poetry and fiction workshops for a number of local organizations and institutions and has judged local writing contests. He’s participated in writing conferences such as Taos Writers’ Workshop, Cleveland State University’s Imagination Workshop, Antioch Writers’ Workshop and the Novel-In-Progress Workshop sponsored by Green River Writers of Kentucky.

Davis has published four poetry chapbooks since the mid-eighties: Appalachian Day (Samisdat Press, 1984), Haskell (Seven Buffaloes, 1987) and Whispering Leaves (Great Elm, 1989) and Healing Arts (Pudding House, 2005). His fiction has been accepted by many literary magazines, such as Footwork, Riverwind, The Vincent Brothers Review, Wind, Mudrock, Vignette and Evansville Review. His short story “The Last Beatlemaniac” appears in the anthology In My Life: Encounters With The Beatles. His story “Two Kings was the winner of the 2008 Dayton Daily News short story contest, and his short story “The Boys of Bradleytown” won first place in Ohio Writer’s Annual “Best of 2005″ Contest and was published in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Ohio Writer.

Davis’s novel I Was So Much Older Then was published in 2001 by Disc-Us Books. His second novel, The Measure of Everything, released in 2005 by Plain View Press, set in fictional Shawnee Springs, Ohio, focuses on a campaign to save a farm on the village’s border from the threat of urban sprawl. His latest novel, The Psalms of Israel Jones, was published in 2014 by WVU Press.

In his spare time, he takes long walks in the woods, meditates, weight-lifts, bikes, practices yoga and journals religiously. He’s currently an active member of Tecumseh Land Trust.

Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Soren Stockman (Short Poetry)


Soren Stockman’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, PEN Poetry Series, H.O.W. Journal, Bellevue Literary Review, The Paris-American, and Narrative Magazine, which awarded him First Place in the 2013 Narrative 30 Below Story and Poetry Contest.

He’s the recipient of fellowships from the Ucross Foundation, New York University, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute.

He works as the Administrative Aide for the NYU Creative Writing Program, as well as Program Coordinator for Summer Literary Seminars in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Curator for Spring House Journal.

Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Lee Maynard (Topic: Survival)

LEE MAYNARD (Topic: Survival)

Maynard’s novel, Crum, was the first original fiction published by Washington Square Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. In its first month of publication, the novel rose to No. 8 on the Doubleday Best Seller List. The novel has been taught in English literature classes in a score of prestigious universities. Sometimes called “the book that wouldn’t die”, Crum was republished by Vandalia Press (a commercial imprint of West Virginia University Press) in the summer of 2001. It was the first book published by Vandalia and within a year became the best-selling book in the history of the university.

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded a Literary Fellowship in Fiction to Maynard for Crum’s sequel, Screaming With The Cannibals (volume II of a trilogy), published by Vandalia Press in 2002. The third and last volume of the trilogy, The Scummers, was published by Vandalia in spring, 2012. The Pale Light of Sunset, a work of creative nonfiction, was published by Vandalia in October 2009.

Maynard’s short fiction has appeared in such publications such as Columbia Review of Literature, Appalachian Heritage and the literary magazine, Kestrel.

As a journalist, Maynard was an assignment writer for Reader’s Digest for more than two decades. His journalism and non-fiction work has appeared more than 100 times in publications as diverse as The Saturday Review, Rider Magazine, Washington Post, Country America, Dual Sport News and Christian Science Monitor.

Specializing in the novel, Maynard has taught at many national and regional workshops, including the Appalachian Writers Workshop, Southwest Writers Workshop, and West Virginia Writers Conference. He has served as Writing Master at Allegheny Echoes.

Maynard has been a management and editorial consultant to newspapers, magazines and small publishing companies, and was once a college president. An avid outdoorsman, he is a mountaineer, sea kayaker, skier and former professional river runner. He once rode a motorcycle from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Arctic Circle. He lives near Santa Fe.

Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – T.K. Lee (Emerging Writers Poetry – The F. Ethan Fischer Poetry Award)

Continuing our series of bios for the judges of the 2015 West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests.  Return here each weekday for the revelation of a new judge.

T.K. LEE (Emerging Writers Poetry)

T.K. Lee is an award-winning member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers. A published writer of fiction and poetry as well, he is also a Pushcart nominee.  He has previously judged the Humor category for WV Writers 2014 contest.  He lives in Starkville, Mississippi.

Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Rhonda Browning White (Emerging Writers Prose)

Continuing our series of bios for the judges of the 2015 West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests.  Return here each weekday for the revelation of a new judge.

RHONDA BROWNING WHITE (Emerging Writers Prose)

Rhonda Browning White resides near Daytona Beach, FL and works as a ghostwriter, editor, adjunct professor, and Realtor (she’ll do most anything to support her writing habit). Her work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, Ploughshares Writing Lessons, South85 Journal, WV Executive, Mountain Echoes, Gambit, Justus Roux, Bluestone Review, and in the anthologies Appalachia’s Last Stand and Mountain Voices. Rhonda blogs at Read. Write. Live! found at , and about the craft of fiction writing at She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC.


Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Brian Keene (Genre Fantasy)

Continuing our series of bios for the judges of the 2015 West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests.  Return here each weekday for the revelation of a new judge.

BRIAN KEENE (Genre: Fantasy) (

Brian Keene writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres.

His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies.

Keene’s novels have been translated into German, Spanish, Polish, Italian, French, Taiwanese, and many more.

In addition to his own original work, Keene has written for media properties such as Doctor Who, The X-Files, Hellboy, Masters of the Universe, and Superman.

Several of Keene’s novels have been developed for film, including Ghoul, The Ties That Bind, and Fast Zombies Suck. Several more are in-development or under option. Keene also serves as Executive Producer for the independent film studio Drunken Tentacle Productions.

Keene also oversees Maelstrom, his own small press publishing imprint specializing in collectible limited editions, via Thunderstorm Books.


Keene’s work has been praised in such diverse places as The New York Times, The History Channel, The Howard Stern Show,, Publisher’s Weekly, Media Bistro, Fangoria Magazine, and Rue Morgue Magazine.


He has won numerous awards and honors, including the World Horror Grand Master award, two Bram Stoker awards, and a recognition from Whiteman A.F.B. (home of the B-2 Stealth Bomber) for his outreach to U.S. troops serving both overseas and abroad.


A prolific public speaker, Keene has delivered talks at conventions, college campuses, theaters, and inside Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, VA.


The father of two sons, Keene lives in rural Pennsylvania.

Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Sarah Sullivan (Children’s Books)

Continuing our series of bios for the judges of the 2015 West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests.  Return here each weekday for the revelation of a new judge.

SARAH SULLIVAN (Children’s Books)

Sarah Sullivan is the author of 1 novel and 4 picture books. Her 2013 novel, All That’s Missing, received a starred review from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. VOYA called it “an outstanding debut novel.” Her 2011 picture book, Passing The Music Down, was an N.C.T.E. Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book and was chosen to represent the state of West Virginia at the National Book Festival. Once Upon a Baby Brother (FSG 2010) was a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book and Dear Baby: Letters from Your Big Brother (Candlewick 2005), was an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award winner. Sarah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College where she won the Harcourt Post-Graduate Scholarship. Her poetry has appeared in Cricket magazine.

Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Marjory Wentworth (Pearl S. Buck Award for Writing for Social Change)

MARJORY WENTWORTH (Pearl S. Buck Award for Writing for Social Change)

Marjory Wentworth’s poems have appeared in numerous books, magazines, and anthologies. She has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize five times. She is the Poet Laureate of South Carolina.

Her first collection of poems, Noticing Eden, was published by Hub City Writing Project in 2003. Her second volume, Despite Gravity, was published by Ninety-Six Press in 2007. Shackles, a children’s book, was published by Legacy Publications in February 2009. Her third collection of poems, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle, was released in the spring of 2010 from Press 53. She is the co-writer with Juan Mendez of Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights published by Palgrave Macmillan in the fall of 2011.

New and Selected Poems is just out with the University of South Carolina Press.

Ms. Wentworth serves on the Board of Directors and is the current President of the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (LILA); she is on the board of directors of the Poetry Society of SC. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University. She teaches poetry in The Charleston County Schools’ Engaging Creative Minds Program and she is on the faculty at The Art Institute of Charleston.

Educated at Mt. Holyoke College, Marjory Wentworth received her M.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from New York University.


Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Tom Douglass (Appalachian Writing)

TOM DOUGLASS (Appalachian Writing)

Tom Douglass teaches Contemporary Literature, British and American at East Carolina University.  He has taught courses on the American Renaissance, American Realism, Cormac McCarthy, American Humor and Satire, Literary Theory, and the Contemporary British fiction. He is the author of A Room Forever: the Life and Work of Breece D'J Pancake and has edited reprints Hubert Skidmore's Hawk's Nest and Davis Grubb's Fools' Parade. He has recently completed a biography of Davis Grubb. He organizes ECU's Contemporary Writers Series, which has featured campus visits from Colm Toibin, Colum McCann, Philip Levine, Beth Henley, Natasha Trethewey, Sherman Alexie, and Dave Smith. He also serves as the Appalachian Echoes series editor for the University of Tennessee Press.

He also co-organized the first ECU HumorFest, featuring Kinky Friedman, Andrei Codrescu, and Jill McCorkle, and co-organized "The Turning Night of Stars," featuring Coleman Barks, David Darling, Glen Velez, and Zuleikha, performing the poetry of Rumi. More recently, he has organized library exhibits of the Stuart Wright Collection in Joyner Library: Robert Penn Warren, Randall Jarrell, and Mid-Twentieth Century Children's Literature.

Please like & share:

WVW Contest Judge Bios 2015 – Valerie Nieman (Long Poetry)

Beginning our series of bios for the judges of the 2015 West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests.  Return here each weekday for the revelation of a new judge.


A longtime newspaper reporter and editor, Valerie Nieman now teaches creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University. She was a founding editor of Kestrel magazine at Fairmont State University, and currently the poetry editor of Prime Number magazine.  Nieman graduated from West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte.

Nieman was a 2013-2014 North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellow, and has received an NEA creative writing fellowship as well as major grants in West Virginia and Kentucky. Her awards include the Greg Grummer, Nazim Hikmet, and Byron Herbert Reece poetry prizes. She is the author of one other full-length poetry collection, Wake Wake Wake, in addition to two chapbooks.  Nieman is the author of three novels: Blood Clay, a novel of the New South, which was honored with the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction; Survivors, a novel about the Rust Belt of the 1970s; and a science fiction title, Neena Gathering, recently reissued as a classic in the post-apocalyptic genre. A fourth book, Backwater, is now in submission, and research for a new novel included a month hiking solo in Scotland. She also has published a collection of short stories, Fidelities.

Nieman’s second poetry collection, Hotel Worthy, is being published in March. Marc Harshman, poet laureate of West Virginia, commented: "From the moment I read the title poem’s breathless rush of poignant reflections, I knew I was in the presence of a poet keen to explore life with searing honesty. Many of the poems take a close look at the natural world and her changing place within it, poems that command attention by paying attention.  Especially impressive is the way she regularly dazzles with unexpected juxtapositions of experience.  Framing a middling spousal argument in one poem is a riveting vision of an eagle.  And although the narrator’s partner notices nothing, we notice, our hearts crushed by the thwarted longing for beauty and reconciliation.  Prepare your heart – these are poems that matter."

Please like & share: