WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #28

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.

A contest entrant from Maine writes:

QUESTION:  For membership, should I send my membership application form (which provides a different address) with the membership fee and contest submission, or should I send the membership application separately to its own address with a note that the fee was sent with the contest submission?

ANSWER:  If you were in-state it wouldn't really matter which address you sent your membership to (the one on the membership application for our website or the one on the contest entry form).  However, because we require organizational membership for people entering our contest who live out-of-state it's important that the contest coordinator (me) know that you're a member when processing your entry.  Rather than me needing to contact the secretary to confirm it with her, it's easier if you include your membership application and fee as part of your contest entry fees.  This way I will immediately know you're paid up and eligible.  I'll then forward the membership information on to the secretary and your check to our treasurer.

(WV Writers is an a volunteer organization with officers spread across the state, so it gets tricky sometimes.)

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #27

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:  What should go on the title page?

ANSWER:  The title page is kind of optional.  Some people choose to do a separate title page with just the title centered and the category and word count in the upper right corner.  Others choose to let the first page serve as the title page, with the category and word count in the upper right corner, the title centered below that and then the story or poem beginning immediately after.  Either way is acceptable provided the authors name does not appear on it anywhere.

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #26

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:  I know the excerpt has to be double-spaced, but does the synopsis have to be as well? I'm having trouble fitting the synopsis onto a single-spaced page as it is, but I have managed to pull it off, thankfully.

ANSWER:  The synopsis page may be single-spaced, but must fit on one side of its single printed page.

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #25

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: Hello is there a way to read the winners stories for the past years?

Answer:  Technically, yes, but probably not in the way most folks expect. Some of the winning entries from 1977-2008 have been published in five separate collections. These were done on a piece by piece basis, since WVW retains no rights to publication of the winning pieces, so even the collections do not contain ALL contest winners, but only a majority of them. The last such volume, Seeking the Swan, was published in 2008. (You can find these listed on Amazon. If you attend a WVW Summer Conference, I feel certain we can find a copy of it for you, and possibly most of the others.)

We have not published such a volume in the last 10 years, but have talked about possibly doing an online publication.

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #24

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 #1:  I recognize the fact that there are two contests--one specifically for students, and the other just a 'writing contest'. I am interested in entering the regular writing contest, because the young writers one does not include book-length prose. There didn't appear to be any guidelines against me entering the regular contest, but I wanted to be sure before I submitted anything, just in case.

ANSWER #1:  You are right: there are no rules against student-aged humans entering the regular "adult" contest.  Students are welcome to do so, but should remember that they'll be competing with adult writers some of whom have quite a bit of experience.  Unlike the New Mountain Voices Student Contest, which is free, the adult contest does come with fees.  And whereas we notify the student winners in advance of the awards banquet at our Summer Conference so they can attend if the wish, the earliest that winners of the adult contest will learn of their win is at the awards banquet itself (June 8, 2019).  Which brings me to...

QUESTION #2:  In order to enter, must you be positive that you will be at the awards banquet?

ANSWER #2:   You do not have to attend the awards banquet to win.  Due to Covid-19 for 2021, there may or may not be an awards banquet.  There was not one for 2020.  Even in non-Covid times, attendance is certainly not required.  We mail out certificates and prize money to the winners early in the week following the awards banquet.  And we try to have the winners listed on our website and via email to entrants by Sunday night of that weekend.  Last year we had them listed immediately following the awards banquet.

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #23

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:  For the Social Change (Pearl S. Buck Award) category, the entry form says "nonfiction or poetry...on a topic related to social change," and what I'm wondering is whether nonfiction submissions need to be creative (like poetry) or whether academic, journalistic, and/or otherwise persuasive nonfiction would be acceptable?  Would you address this question for me? Perhaps you could answer by referring to the previous winning pieces.

ANSWER:  The category itself has a lot of range when it comes to subject matter.  Basically anything that isn't outright fiction is fair game.  Academic/journalistic and persuasive nonfiction essays are completely acceptable.  These don't have to be creative, but that approach would be fine as well.

It is difficult to address this in terms of what has won in the past, because any approach could be accomplished to a winning level.  From a sheer statistical point of view, many of the winning entries in previous years were poetry, but again I don't believe this to be a determiner.  First and foremost the entries had to be about Social Change, not simply espousing a viewpoint; secondly, they had to be well-written to be considered for placement.

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #22

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:  I read that the entrant's name should be nowhere except the entry form. How do judges and contest officials know which entry belongs to each person?

ANSWER:  The judges will not know, by design.  Part of the duties of the contest coordinator is to maintain a database for the contest which includes cataloging each entry as it arrives, using the information supplied on the contest entry form.  The coordinator assigns each contest entry its own individual code which is written on the first page of that entry before being filed with the other entries in that contest category.  So only the contest coordinator knows which entries are by which authors.  The judges never know who the author is until after the awards banquet is concluded, so they can remain completely impartial in their evaluation of the entries for their category.  At the end of their evaluation, they send only the codes for the winning and honorable mention stories, indicating the ranking order.

 

 

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q.#21

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

QUESTION:  As some sort of reference for me, I was wondering if you could possibly forward the winning entry of the Social Change (Pearl S. Buck Award) category to me so I can get an idea what to shoot for?

ANSWER:  I'm afraid the winning entries from previous years are no longer in our organizational possession.  The judges destroy them at the end of the judging period.  However, perhaps coincidentally, we have the 1st place and honorable mention award-winner from 2014, Dawn A. Baldwin, reading her winning pieces as part of a January 2015 episode of the WV Writers Podcast.  She was kind enough to come to Lewisburg and read as part of the Literary Tea series at Greenbrier Valley Theatre back in September of 2014.  Hear her story HERE.

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q.#20

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

QUESTION:  When submitting an excerpt, should the word count on the cover page indicate the number of words in the excerpt or the total number of words in the entire work?

ANSWER:  The word count should indicate the number of words in the excerpt.  

WV Writers Contest F.A.Q.#19

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: I have a piece that I would like to submit for the contest but I have also submitted it for publication. If it is accepted, it won't be published until late spring. Who/how does one make the call on that as to the guidelines for the contest?

ANSWER:  As long as the piece was not published before January 4, 2021, you're good to go.  Even if it's accepted for publication, it won't be published until later in the year at the earliest, so you're still within the guidelines of the contest.