The winners for the 2017 West Virginia Writers Writing Contests were revealed at the 2017 WV Writers Summer Conference, during the June 10 awards banquet.

You can read the preliminary list of 2017 CONTEST WINNERS.  A fully updated list, including the winners of the Writer's Wall and People's Choice conference-contests will be posted here this week as those entries are added. 

Those winners who were not present at the banquet will have their certificates and prize checks mailed to them later this week.


2017 Contest Judge Bios


  • 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 $116, 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,



  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.

    1. admin Post author


      I’m afraid if the poem has been previously published it would not qualify for the contest, even with an added quote.

  3. admin 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. admin 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. admin 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.

    1. admin Post author


      Great question. Bout time we started revealing those.

      I think what I’ll do is start posting one judge per day on our blog site, with links to the contest page as well. You can read them at the following address, updated each week day.

      Just for you, let’s start with Long Poetry.

  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. admin 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. admin 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. admin 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

    1. admin Post author


      You can absolutely enter the adult contest as well. And we’ve had writers your age win in the past.



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