Category Archives: 2017 contest judge spotlight

WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: New Mountain Voices – Middle School

NEW MOUNTAIN VOICES MIDDLE SCHOOL

Pam Hanson

, a former reporter and West Virginia University journalism instructor, is the co-author (with her mother/writing partner Barbara Andrews) of more than 50 novels including romance, inspirational women’s fiction, and mystery for Harlequin and Guideposts. In addition, she and her partner have several indie inspirational romances available for Kindle on Amazon. She has been a workshop presenter for Romance Writers of America, West Virginia Writers, and Appalachian Studies Association. Teaching freshmen composition at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is her new passion. Pam, a past recipient of the JUG Award, has lived in Nebraska since 2008 where she writes when she’s not procrastinating on Facebook: facebook.com/pamandrewshanson

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: New Mountain Voices – Elementary

NEW MOUNTAIN VOICES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Rene K. Nicholson

splits her artistic pursuits between writing and dance. She is Assistant Professor in the Multidisciplinary Studies Program at West Virginia University.
Renée studied English at Butler University, and holds a MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia University where she won the Rebecca Mason Perry Award for Outstanding First-Year MFA Student and the Russ MacDonald Prize for Graduate Writing, Fiction. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Chelsea, Mid-American Review, Perigee: A Journal of the Arts, Paste, Poets & Writers, Crosstimbers, Naugatuck River Review, Honey Land Review, Dossier, Stymie, ABZ, Prime Number, Blue Lyra Review, Switchback, Fiction Writers Review, Moon City Review, Redux, Cleaver Magazine, Barely South Review, Saw Palm, Bluestem, The Superstition Review, The Gettysburg Review and elsewhere. Her work has been included in the anthologies Not A Muse, A Generation Defining Itself, and in Keeping Track: Fiction of Lists from Main Street Rag. She has served as Assistant to the Director of the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop since 2007, serves on the book reviews staff at Los Angeles Review, and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She co-hosts the literary podcast, SummerBooks and co-founded the journal Souvenir. Her collection of poems, Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center, was published in 2014 in the Crossroads Poetry Series at Urban Farmhouse Press.

In 2011, Renée was the Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Penn State Altoona.

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Short Story

SHORT STORY

Sandra Vrana received her PhD in Literature and Cultural Criticism from Indiana University of PA in 1995. She taught classes at IUP while a graduate student there, and then she taught a variety of literature and composition classes, including creative writing, at Alderson Broaddus University from 1993 until her retirement in May of 2016.

She was a member of Barbour County Writers all of the years she lived in West Virginia, and she was honored to be a part of that very talented group.

She was a member of West Virginia Writers, and she participated both as a presenter and as a contestant at writing conferences there. She believes West Virginia Writers is an invaluable asset to writers in the state, providing important instruction and showcasing and acknowledging the wonderful work of contestants in its annual writing awards.

She now resides in Pennsylvania.

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Short Stageplays

Suehyla El Attar

SHORT STAGEPLAYS

Suehyla El-Attar is an actor/writer/director/dramaturge based in the Atlanta area. For just over 10 years, she’s worked on most of the stages in Atlanta, including but not limited to: The Alliance Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, 7 Stages, Dad’s Garage, Georgia Ensemble and Essential Theatre; receiving multiple Suzi Bass Award nominations and a win for her performances. Since 2009, she’s delved into film and television hoping to create a legacy as a one-line actor and eventually evolve into ’that actor, what’s her name? She’s always like in one scene with one line’. As a writer, her work has premiered at Horizon Theatre (The Perfect Prayer; Third Country) and 7 Stages (The Doctor, The Devil, & My Dad). Her TYA scripts (Fishbowl; Desperadoes; The Devil’s Blues) were commissioned and produced by local high schools. She is a recipient of the Mississippi Theatre Association Playwright award (2011) and Gene Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award (2014). In the very active and growing-like-kudzu literary scene in Atlanta, she’s dominated the Write Club stage with 5 hard-earned wins and 2 very-much deserved losses; you can hear all of them on the WriteClubAtl podcast. She’s a former Alliance Theatre Artistic Fellow (2014) of directing and has worked with The Process Theatre on her directorial debut: Die Mommie Die (2015), The Tribute Artist (2016). During the inaugural year of the Ethel Woolson Lab, she served as the resident dramaturge for Working Title Playwrights. This year, she continues to audition for film/tv, is the dramaturge on The Alliance Theatre’s TYA production of SLUR written by Greg Shagnon), will unveil her new stage play ( at 7 Stages Homebrew Series, continue to develop her nearly-one woman show (Nope. That’s Just My First Name), and indulge in Netflix, highpointing, and hiking with her guy and their two cats. (Except they won’t bring the cats on the highpoint and hiking trips. That seems like a really bad idea.)

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Short Poetry

SHORT POETRY

Joe Limer

Joe Limer is a West Virginia native from Clarksburg. He graduated Washington Irving H.S. then went to Fairmont State University and received a B.A. in both English and Political Science. He graduated WVU College of Law with a Juris Doctorate. He also wrote for the Fairmont Times newspaper as a regular sports reporter.

After law school he moved to San Diego, California where he is now a Professor at Palomar College in San Marcos, California teaching political science/legal studies, as well as poetry workshops at Palomar and Mira Costa College and several San Diego-area high schools.

Joe is an American Filipino finding identity in words. Beginning as a closet poet, he got his start on the poetry slam scene by winning his first slam in San Diego. From there, he’s won or placed in slams in Encinitas, Oceanside, Hawaii, Pittsburgh, Pa., Morgantown, WV, Charleston, WV, Richmond, Va, Hollywood, and Long Beach. He’s been on 3 San Diego slam teams that have placed in the top 10 nationally.

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Short Nonfiction

SHORT NONFICTION

Donna Meredith

Donna Meredith’s award-winning novels include The Glass Madonna, The Color of Lies, Wet Work, and Fraccidental Death. She also wrote Magic in the Mountains: Kelsey Murphy, Robert Bomkamp, and the West Virginia Cameo Glass Revolution. Her work has appeared in Tallahassee magazine, Goldenseal, the Seven Hills Review and various newspapers. The retired English and journalism teacher is regular contributor to Southern Literary Review. A graduate of Fairmont State College, West Virginia University, and Nova Southeastern University, she also studied creative writing at Florida State. For the past thirty years, the Clarksburg native has called Tallahassee, Florida, home. For more information, see www.donnameredith.com.

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: The Flood

TOPIC-THE FLOOD

Leaf Seligman

Leaf Seligman has been writing fervently since childhood. Stories, letters to the editor, journals, poems, plays, novels, essays, sabbath meditations. She studied fiction writing and poetry at the University of New Hampshire where she earned an MA in writing; she studied playwriting at Brandeis. She began teaching writing in 1985, as a graduate assistant at the University of New Hampshire, and a volunteer at the Rockingham County jail. She’s taught writing ever since at two universities, a college, two prisons, two jails, and a variety of community settings. Her writing has been published in Creative Nonfiction and The New Thought Journal. Bauhan Publishing brought out two books by her, Opening the Window: Sabbath Meditations (2011) and A Pocket Book of Prompts (2015). Leaf freelances as a writing guide and itinerant preacher in addition to teaching.

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Pearl S. Buck Award for Writing for Social Change

PEARL S. BUCK AWARD FOR WRITING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Barbara Evans Fleischauer

Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer was elected in 2014 to her 10th two year term representing Monongalia County in the West Virginia House of Delegates. She is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and the WVU College of Law. Barbara lives on the Evans family farm just outside of Morgantown with her husband, WVU Law Professor Bob Bastress.

She has passed important legislation affecting women, children, veterans and disabled West Virginians.

In 2014, Delegate Fleischauer sponsored nearly one-third of the House bills that became law. She is known as one of the hardest working Delegates, passing hundreds of bills to aid her community and state during her tenure in the W.Va. Legislature.

Barbara is a member of and has served as a leader in numerous local, state and national organizations.  She was raised in and is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church. Because of her legislative and community service, Delegate Fleischauer has been the recipient of local, state and national awards.

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Long Poetry

LONG POETRY

Dr. Brucella Jordan

Dr. Brucella Jordan is a historian and former professor who has been involved in a variety of historical projects. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Government from West Virginia Institute of Technology, a Master’s Degree in Public History and a Ph.D. in History from West Virginia University. She has taught classes primarily in African American history at West Virginia University, Marshall University Graduate College, West Virginia Institute of Technology, and Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. She is co-founder and curator of the African American Heritage Family Tree Museum in Ansted, West Virginia and she portrayed the historical characters Anne Spencer and Ida B. Wells for ten years under the sponsorship of the West Virginia Humanities Council. Dr. Jordan is the author of Flashback: Poetry and Commentary, Anne Spencer: Poet of the Harlem Renaissance, African American Migration to Ansted, West Virginia, and Aunt Artie’s House. She spends summers in West Virginia and winters in Georgia.

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WVW Contest Judge Spotlight: Inspirational Writing

INSPIRATIONAL WRITING

Sandi Rog

Sandi Rog is the founder and acquisitions editor of Tulpen Publishing (www.tulpenpublishing.com). She has been editing since 1999 and is also an international, multi-published, award-winning author.

Sandi lived in Holland for thirteen years and now lives in Colorado with her husband, her children, a cat, and too many spiders.  You can learn more about Sandi Rog at her personal website: www.sandirog.com.

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