Contest Countdown: 5 to Go

Today is Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

For those of you following along with your calendar at home, that leaves only 5 days until the 2015 edition of the WV Writers Annual Writing contest reaches its first deadline on March 15.

What do I mean by first deadline?

Aren’t deadlines supposed to be set in stone?

Well, that’s often true. But we’re writers and deadlines mean nothing to us! We watch them sail right past and call our editors and beg for an extension.

However, with the extension often comes a penalty and WV Writers has one, too.

West Virginia Writers will continue to accept contest entries til March 31. However, the penalty is that any entry postmarked between March 16 and March 31 will require a $2 late fee per entry for the adult contest and a $1 late fee for the New Mountain Voices Contest.

If you’d like to avoid paying late fees, please have your entries in the mail to me postmarked by March 15.

"But Eric," those of you with a calendar in front of you are saying, "March 15 falls on a Sunday. How am I supposed to get my entries postmarked by March 15 if the post office is closed?"

Ahh, well, I have a solution to that problem too.  And you can hear all about it at the end of this week's episode of the West Virginia Writers Podcast.  (Don't worry, I'll post it here, too, toward the end of the week.  Just know that there is a way and it's not hard to do if you have an internet connection and an accurate kitchen scale.)

Now here’s the part where I’m going to give you a bit of insider information.

If you are still on the fence about submitting your writing to our contest, where it can potentially be in competition with work by dozens of other writers, and you have a mind to submit to a category where your odds of winning are better than average, I, the contest coordinator, have a few suggestions on ones you might have a second look at.

For instance, Appalachian Writing, Short Story, Short Poetry and Long Poetry are the categories that traditionally receive the most entries of the entire contest.  Whole buncha entries for each of those.

However, if you’re looking to enter a category where your odds are better, you might look at Nonfiction, Screenplay, Book Length Prose, and Children's Book, which are a bit more specialized and don’t get quite as many entries as the first four.

Or, if you’d like even better odds than those first eight, you should try one of the more niche categories we offer such as The Pearl S. Buck Award for Writing for Social Change, and our two topic categories,  Survival and Genre— Fantasy.  The niche categories, with a few exceptions, receive the fewest entries and therefore have the best odds.  Don't get me wrong; you're still going to be competing with good writers regardless, there will just be fewer of them in those niche categories.

Also please remember that if you’ve never won a cash prize in our contest and have never been published in a publication with a print run of 5000 copies or more, you qualify for the Emerging Writers categories, that are designed to give newer writers a leg up against more seasoned writers.  We’ve seen some amazing work come from these categories, which you can hear for yourself on a podcast featuring last year's 2nd place Emerging Writers Prose winner, Rachel Garringer, coming up later in the month.

Find all the contest info at this very website on our contest page.

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