Category Archives: 2017 WVW Writing Contest

WRITING COMPETITIONS FOR WEST VIRGINIA WRITERS, INC. ENTERING HOME STRETCH

March 2, 2017 – West Virginia Writers, Inc., is entering into the home stretch for the annual writing competitions it sponsors, offering over $6000 in cash prizes.  Submissions are accepted from January 2 through March 15 each year, which means there are only days left to get entries in without a late fee.

Since 1982, WV Writers has held an annual writing contest for adults, accepting original, unpublished entries in a variety of themed writing categories.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 other categories to be found.

For the first time, the contest is featuring a category called Short Plays, accepting stage play scripts of a length of 15 minutes or fewer.  The short play—particularly the ten minute play—has become a popular form across the world, due to the ability of theatres to showcase several in a single evening.  Their limitations can make them challenging to write, which was what inspired West Virginia Writers to feature the form as a category in this year’s contest.

A returning category not featured since 2013 is Inspirational Writing.  This category accepts poetry or prose or a spiritual nature.  Such writing could take the form of faith-based fiction, non-fiction essay, or poetry, provided the writing is designed to inspire.

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.  The writing can also be about floods in other states, or flood as a concept, but it was inspired by the tragedy so many experienced in our state.  There are thousands of stories that could be told that came from the flood and West Virginia Writers wants to encourage those stories to be recorded.

The adult writing contest is open to all residents of West Virginia as well as to any out-of-state member of WV Writers, Inc.  There is a $10 fee for each adult contest entry, and a $12 fee for the book-length category.  After the March 15 deadline, submissions can still be sent through March 31, but will require a $2 per entry late fee.  It’s best to get entries in by the March 15 deadline.  Prize amounts for the adult contest include $250 for 1st Place, $125 for 2nd Place and $75 for 3rd Place.

For students in grades 1-12, WV Writers offers a separate contest called The New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest.  There are six suggested writing topics for this contest, but students are welcome to make up their own story or poem.   The New Mountain Voices Student Contest is free to enter and is only open to student residents of West Virginia.  Prize amounts for the student contest are $100 for 1st Place, $50 for 2nd Place and $25 for 3rd Place.  Winners will be announced June 10, 2017 in an awards ceremony during West Virginia Writers Annual Writers Conference, held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, W.Va.  All winners, including honorable mentions, will receive certificates suitable for framing.  Entries submitted after March 15 will require a $1 per entry late fee.

For official contest entry forms, contest rules, the Frequently Asked Questions List concerning the contest, bios for the 2017 contest judges, and a contest checklist for entering, please visit the contest webpage at wvwriters.org/contest.html.  Or email contest coordinator, Eric Fritzius, at wvwcontest@gmail.com.

West Virginia Writers, the largest writers’ organization in the state celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year.

 

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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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