The 2018 West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests are now open for submissions.

The entry forms including new and returning categories are here for your perusal.

The 2018 West Virginia Writers Writing Contests will not begin accepting entries until  January 2, 2018.  The big news is that we will be accepting entries via both the traditional paper method as well as online through  It's quicker and easier and cheaper than mailing paper entries through the U.S. Mail.  


However, if you would like to submit via paper and U.S. mail, feel free to do so using the following forms.




  • Established in 1982

  • The state's largest writing competition.

  • Adult contest open to West Virginia residents and members of WV Writers, Inc., adult or college-level.

  • New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest (with different writing categories for grades 1-5, 6-8 and 9-12)

  • Over $122,000.00 in prize money awarded since 1982.

Competition Winners from Years Past.
2001, 2002, 2003,
, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009
2010, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015,

2016, 2017


  1. Lora Wickline


    Is there a separate entry form available for the New Mountain Voices Contest? Any information would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Barbary Chaapel

    I hope to send a poem for the contest previously published, but now I have added
    a new, substantial quote below the title, before the poem starts. Is this permissible?

    Thank you in advance for your answer.

  3. AdminAdmin Post author


    Entries may be submitted to multiple categories provided they comply with the requirements of those categories. So if someone submitted 7500 word excerpt to Book Length Prose, they could not then trim 2500 words and call it a Short Story. But if it’s the case of an existing short story that could qualify for Short Story as well as, say, Appalachian Writing, or Survival, or Fantasy, then by all means it may be submitted. According to the rules, it does also need to retain the same title from category to category.

    As for photography, it would be considered artwork and would qualify if included.

    1. AdminAdmin Post author


      If the stories are indeed presented as one long story and fit in under the 5,000 word limit of the Emerging Writers Prose category then there is not a problem with submitting it as a single entry story. However, we do not have a category for collections and we do have a one story or poem per entry rule. So if this assembled work does not function as a single story then I would ask you to consider sending something else, or what you consider the best of the three stories.

      1. AdminAdmin Post author

        Please consult the form again. The only category that has a word limit of 7500 is Book Length Prose. This category can, however, be for fiction, nonfiction or Young Adult, but it must be an excerpt from a single book-length work. This does not include short story collections, as those are a collection of individual stories. Book Length Prose is the only category that novelists or book-length nonfiction writers can enter their work so it must be reserved for book-length stories or non-fiction books. The 7500 word limit is for an excerpt from the overall longer work.

        Emerging Writers Prose may also be fiction or nonfiction, but it has a 5000 word limit. All other prose categories have a 5000 word limit.

  4. Pingback: In the Beginning . . . The Emerging Writer Contest | Read. Write. Live!

  5. Savannah Reese

    I am in 10th grade. Would I be able to enter a short story into the New Mountain Voices competition and a different work into the adult competition?


    1. AdminAdmin Post author


      Absolutely. You can enter both competitions. Just know that in the adult competition you’ll be competing with adult writers. But we had a 9th grader place second in Book Length Prose last year, so it does happen. Best of luck to you.

  6. Wendy Miller

    I am a writer wanting to enter the next writing contest. I thought maybe I could look over past contestants writing to get an idea before I type my story. If there is anyway I can access past stories and/or something that could give me an idea of the different things I am aloud to write; it would be great to know! Please and thank you.

    1. AdminAdmin Post author


      We have offered anthology collections of contest winners in the past, which is probably the best way to read a lot of winning entries at once. However, they’re not currently available at our website and the prices for them on Amazon are pretty steep. We’re working to get our own copies for sale online but it probably won’t happen before the contest deadline.

      If you want to hear examples of winning entries, as read by their authors, we’re featuring five of last year’s contest winners on the West Virginia Writers Podcast. ( Two of them are available now and one will be posted by Monday.

      However, truth be told, it’s not as important as you would think to read the work of previous winners. Our judges change from year to year, as do many of our categories. What one judge liked last year, a new judge might not like this year. Many of the winners of our contest have said that they submitted the same piece, unchanged, for years sometimes before it finally found a judge who placed it in the top three. And it doesn’t mean previous judges didn’t like it, just that they felt other pieces ranked higher.

      The main advice we can give is to write to the best of your ability. Have trusted friends who know good writing, and who will give you honest feedback, read your work and critique it. (Writing groups are great for this sort of thing.) Listen to them, make revisions, and submit. (Being certain to read all of the contest guidelines before doing so.)

      Best of luck to you. Hope to see your entries.

  7. Rachel Reese

    THANK YOU for all the work you did to organize the contest entries. What a job.

    Two things:

    First, can you change the name of my town from “Okaloosa” to “Niceville” for Second Place Winnter in the Short Poem Competition.

    Second, someone asked me how many people competed in Short Poems. I said I would try to find out. Do you have that info?

    Thanks again.

    1. AdminAdmin Post author


      I’ve changed the Okaloosa to Niceville. The answer to how many entries we received for Short Poetry may have to wait a few days. I’m out of state and our contest coordinator for 2016 will be away from the computer she has it stored in for the next few days. She’ll be in contact and we’ll eventually get those numbers posted on the winners list, too.

  8. Jamie

    My daughter recently did a young writers story at the county level can she also summit it in this contest too .Thanks for your help

  9. Creed Kidney

    i know that I can apply for the New Mountain Voices, as I am in 9th grade, but would I be able to enter a piece into the West Virginia Writer’s adult contest as well? I am 15 and live in Wheeling, so I thought it might be open to me but was confused if it was only open to adults (18+ or those in college). Just a bit of confusion that I thought someone could help me clear up.
    Thanks in advance,
    Creed T. Kidney

  10. Jennifer Wiseman

    In a previous query posted here, your response indicated that writing groups can be helpful in providing constructive critiques. Are there any writing groups that you would recommend? I would prefer an online based course or group, and would be more interested to read material from other West Virginia residents. If you are aware of any such gatherings – I live in Huntington, but would be willing to travel as far as Charleston (about an hour away) to participate and prepare for this competition.

    Thank you for any information you can share!

  11. Emma Holley


    I am a student interested in entering the New Mountain Voices contest. I did not find a word count for entries anywhere on the form. Do entries for New Mountain Voices have a set word count?

    Thanks in advance!


  12. Tim H.

    Submittable awesome! Woohoo about time! Thanks so much for doing this, I know it’s not free (at least as I understand it, but it never been on the other end of submittable so I may be mistaken)

    Got a brand new story I’ll be sending when it opens 🙂

  13. Angie Hott

    Noticing the announcement in our local paper, The Morgan Messenger, I am considering submitting in the category “Book Length Prose” and have a question. Are entries that are part of a larger work allowed? The reason I ask is because I have begun to write a book that is well over 10,000 words. Would I be allowed to submit “part” of the story for the competition. If so, would I then be allowed to submit more of the book to other contests?
    This is my first venture out writing a novel and submitting it for consideration in anything. Thank you for your help!

    1. AdminAdmin Post author

      Angie, thanks for the question.

      You would be able to submit a sample of up to 7500 words for our contest. The contest is intended for works that are book-length but we only require a 7500 word sample of said work. (Ideally the manuscript should be finished before you submit even the sample.) But the other major requirement is that you provide a synopsis of the entire story along with your sample so that our judge will be able to see what the whole story is and can better tell how the sample fits into that.

      We have no rules keeping you from submitting your book to other contests.

  14. H. Emerson

    Under the Pearl Buck Social change category for 2018, it states “poetry or prose.” Last year the category was limited to nonfiction and poetry. Has that changed? Fiction is certainly prose. Thanks.

  15. Don Becher

    I intend to submit an excerpt from a novel length composition. I know that I am limited to submitting a 7,500 word excerpt. Should the excerpt be one contiguous section of the book, or can it be multiple sections totaling 7,500 words?

    Thanks for any input

  16. Melissa W.

    I found the date when people can first send in their submissions, but I couldn’t find a date for the last day submissions can be turned in. Could you let me know that date & also make sure both dates are easy to find on future forms? Thank you.

    1. AdminAdmin Post author

      That info is found on the entry form, but it’s a two part answer: March 15 is the official deadline. However, we still take entries between March 16 and March 31 provided that they’re accompanied by a $2 per entry late fee for the adult contest or a $1 per entry late fee for New Mountain Voices. (Submittable won’t allow us to charge anything less than $2, so we aren’t charging a late fee on New Mountain Voices entries through Submittable.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *