Category Archives: 2018 WVW Writing Contest

Contest Judge Rollout: Tamara Woods (Mystery)

(WV Writers is rolling out the names and bios of our contest judges for 2018.  For the full collection of judge bios click THIS LINK or read the 2018 JUDGES LIST.)

Tamara grew up in the poorest state of the Union as a laid-off coal miner’s daughter. She learned from this that money isn’t the root of all happiness, but it sure makes it easier. One fateful summer at a youth workshop she learned both the art of stolen kisses and being open in her poetry: lessons she’s never forgotten.

All of these aspects of her life have culminated into her writing that’s accessible to people. Her poetry is spoken word with a heavy emphasis on things that we all know and do. Her fiction hits on darker, uncomfortable subjects, because she’s a firm believer that stories can be beautiful without being pretty.

She’s living on an island now, still a misfit, but now there’s palm trees. Life feels differently in a world filled with palm trees. She geeks out on books, Doctor Who, Star Trek TNG (aka the best generation), and social media. (Like https://tamarawoodsauthor.com/, YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCUt-YGmeMSHZfXQQe4XF0g, Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/TAWoods, Facebook http://facebook.com/TamaraWoodstheWriter, and Twitter @penpaperpad.

You can find her work on Amazon, including a book of poetry The Shaping of an "Angry" Black Woman. She also has co-edits a poetry journal: The Reverie Journal.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #53

Continuing the series of Frequently Asked Questions about the West Virginia Writers, Inc., Annual Writing Competitions.  To see all of the questions, please click HERE.

QUESTION:  A bit of concern here. I submitted three stories in Emerging Writers and Short Story categories. One of these I also submitted in the Mystery category and one in the Humor category. As you can probably guess, I am new to all this and when I read the guidelines for submissions, saw that, “All manuscripts must be titled, typewritten in standard 12-point font, and double-spaced.” I wondered what “standard” font was, but my Word program defaults to “Calibri (Body)” and since it looked like that was the font of the guidelines themselves, I did not worry about it. However, I have been looking at publications to submit short stories (you can certainly guess that I am very new at this), and it appears from a couple on-line sources that Courier font, with underlining rather than italicizing. is considered the basic format for literary submissions.  Am I okay with my submission in Calibri with italicizations? If not, might I substitute the same stories re-formatted?

ANSWER:   You're safe with Calibri.  What we intend by "standard 12-point font" is to prevent submissions using odd and stylized font choices that might be difficult to read.  For instance, if someone submitted an entire manuscript in Edwardian Script cursive or Blackadder ITC, those would not be standard.  But basic, clean, readable serif or even sans serif fonts are fine. Calibri is what my word processor defaults to as well, but I prefer Times New Roman.  Either would be fine.

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Contest Judge Rollout: Kelly Sundberg (Nonfiction)

(WV Writers is rolling out the names and bios of our contest judges for 2018.  For the full collection of judge bios click THIS LINK or read the 2018 JUDGES LIST.)

Kelly Sundberg's essays have appeared in Guernica, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Slice, The Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. Her essay "It Will Look Like a Sunset" was anthologized in Best American Essays 2015, and other essays were listed as notables in Best American Essays 2013 and 2016. Her debut memoir Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival is forthcoming from HarperCollins on June 5, 2018, and it will also be released by PiperVerlag in Germany. She has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from West Virginia University, and she is currently completing her PhD in Creative Nonfiction at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio where she lives with her twelve-year-old son.

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Contest Judge Rollout: Wendy Oleson (Emerging Writers Prose)

(WV Writers is rolling out the names and bios of our contest judges for 2018.  For the full collection of judge bios click THIS LINK or read the 2018 JUDGES LIST.)

Wendy Oleson is the author of Please Find Us (winner of the Gertrude Press 2017 Fiction Chapbook Contest) and Our Daughter and Other Stories (winner of the Map Literary 2016 Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Award). Her stories, poems, and hybrid work have appeared recently in Cimarron Review, Calyx, and Copper Nickel. Wendy teaches for the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension and Washington State at Tri-Cities and serves as an associate editor for Fairy Tale Review and Memorious Magazine. She lives in Walla Walla, Washington with her wife and a hiccup-prone dog named Winston.

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WV Writers Contest Reminder Checklist 2018

West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests are currently accepting submissions for 2018.

To help things run smoothly for both entrants and our contest coordinator,  here’s a handy checklist that you should go over before sending in your entries.

CHECKLIST:

1) Have you read the contest rules to make sure you’re complying with them? Even if you’ve entered a dozen times in the past, please don’t assume you know the rules by heart. Mistakes happen, so please read the rules again. The CONTEST GUIDELINES are guidelines, not merely suggestions. Follow them and you cannot go wrong.

2) Is your contest category and the word count for your entry printed in the top right corner of your entry? The word count means the actual number of words in your entry. (You don't need word count for poetry entries. You DO for all prose entries.) Your word processing program will be able to tell you this. Please do not estimate. For Book Length Prose, this means the word count of your submitted excerpt, not of the overall novel.

3) Have you filled out your entry form correctly and marked which categories you’re entering? Not filling out the category section would be okay if you’re sending only one entry and its category is noted on the entry itself, but in the case of multiple prose entries it can be important to have it in both places.

4) Have you double and triple checked that your name and/or address is NOT printed on your actual story or poem? This contest is blindly judged; meaning, the judges may not know the names or identities of the writers.  The ONLY place your name should appear is on your contest entry form.  (We assign each story a code corresponding with that author’s entry in our contest database, where the author’s name and their story are recorded. This way our judges have no idea who has written a given piece.)

5) If your entry requires a one-page synopsis (Book Length Prose, Middle Grade Children's Book) have you included it?  In order for the judges to be able to see the plan for your entire work, the synopsis must be included.

6) Have you double-checked to make sure you included all of your entries in your envelope? In the past, we’ve received a few envelopes that are a story or poem short of the intended amount. (In fact, we once received an envelope that only had an entry form and no submission at all.) We always contact entrants to make sure of their intentions. But the more careful you are in submitting the easier it is on me. Which brings us to…

7) Have you included accurate contact information for yourself? Every year people send entries in that require followup to correct an error or two, and every year many of those emails sent bounce back because they are incorrectly written on the form. (Sometimes, handwriting interpretation on our part may be at fault.) Please legibly print your contact info, especially your email address, and make sure it’s all correct.  Better yet, download and use the fill-in-the-blank contest entry forms we have available this year.

8) Have you addressed your envelope with the correct address of our contest coordinator?  The mailing address to send your entries to is different than in years past.  Be sure your form says 2018 and don't use a form from a previous year.

9) If you live in a state other than West Virginia, have you made certain your membership dues in WV Writers are paid in full?  Out-of-state members may absolutely enter the contest, but they do need to be current members.  You can check with WV Writers secretary at wvwriterssecretary@gmail.com.

Dos and Don'ts.

  • DO staple your individual entries if they have multiple pages. (You can also paperclip them, but I'm just going to remove the paperclip and staple them again for added stability in transit to the judges.)
  • DON'T staple all of your entries together in one big stapled document. You may use a paperclip to hold multiple entries together, but stapling them all together does not help and may actually hurt. (I've received several stabbings while trying to remove such staples.)
  • DO write legibly on your entry form.
  • DON'T forget to include your zip code on the contest entry form. We don't know the zip code for every town in the state and having to find your envelope to double check the return address, or look it up online, slows down the process.

If you have questions feel free to send them to us at wvwcontest@gmail.com. Do know, though, that many of the answers to questions we have received about the contest are found at our Frequently Asked Questions list.

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Contest Judge Rollout: Sarah Lowther Hensley (New Mountain Voices Middle School)

(WV Writers is rolling out the names and bios of our contest judges for 2018.  For the full collection of judge bios click THIS LINK or read the 2018 JUDGES LIST.)

Sarah Lowther Hensley is a writer living in Fairmont, WV. Ms. Hensley’s experience includes more than a decade as a public broadcasting journalist in the U.S. and Europe; a stint working in higher education administration--focusing on public relations, marketing, communications, and community relations; and working as a technical writer for a federal government contractor. As a volunteer, she has provided web and social media support to several non-profits. Ms. Hensley also writes a personal blog, is a voracious reader, and enjoys staying informed. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College, M.A. in German from Middlebury College, and is a 1998 graduate of Leadership West Virginia.

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Contest Judge Rollout: Donna Meredith (Book Length Prose)

(WV Writers is rolling out the names and bios of our contest judges for 2018.  For the full collection of judge bios click THIS LINK or read the 2018 JUDGES LIST.)

Donna Meredith’s award-winning books include The Glass Madonna, The Color of Lies, Wet Work, Fraccidental Death and Magic in the Mountains. A retired teacher and past president of the Tallahassee Writers Association, she holds degrees from Fairmont State, West Virginia University, and Nova Southeastern. She has presented numerous workshops on writing and literature for writers associations, libraries, and civic groups. She serves as associate editor of the Southern Literary Review.

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Contest Judge Rollout: Tim Minear (Screenplay)

(WV Writers is rolling out the names and bios of our contest judges for 2018.  For the full collection of judge bios click THIS LINK or read the 2018 JUDGES LIST.)

American Horror Story Season 4, Production Headshots, Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FX

Tim Minear is well known among genre television fans for his work on such shows as The X-Files, Angel, Dollhouse and Firefly. He has been with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story since its first installment, Murder House. Recently Tim served as co-showrunner on the first season of the critically acclaimed limited series Feud. Minear is currently working on Fox's 911 as both co-creator and showrunner.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #52

Continuing the series of Frequently Asked Questions about the West Virginia Writers, Inc., Annual Writing Competitions.  To see all of the questions, please click HERE.

QUESTION: Is there an address where one can send the submission fees? Don’t have a credit card or use of Pay-pal, but would like to enter several of the contests. How do I pay the fees?

ANSWER: If you enter the contest by mail, you can send a check for submission fees. Just download the contest entry form you need from our CONTEST PAGE (either the Adult Contest Form or New Mountain Voices Student Contest form) and follow the instructions.  The address to send submissions to is on each form. And the  forms are fillable, so you can type in all the info and print them out. Find them at... http://wvwriters.org/home/annual-writing-contest/

 

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Judges List for 2018

The following is the list of judges for the 2018 West Virginia Writers Writing Contests.  Click on each linked judge name for their bio.

Book Length Prose - Donna Meredith

Emerging Writers Prose - Wendy Oleson

Emerging Writers Poetry - Molly Fuller

Social Change (PSB) - Jerri Bell

Children's Books - Jerrie Howard

Middle Grade/YA - Julia Watts

Humor - Adam Booth

Nonfiction - Kelly Sundberg

Mystery - Tamara Woods

Screenplay - Tim Minear

Short Poetry - Ron Houchin

Long Poetry - Jeff Mann

Short Story - Yehudit Hannah Cohn

NMV Elementary - Michelle Lipscomb

NMV Middle School - Sarah Lowther Hensley

NMV High School - Andria Amodt Ho

 

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