Category Archives: 2021 WVW Writing Contest

WV Writers Contest Checklist

West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contests are in the home stretch for the March 31 FINAL deadline.

To help things run smoothly for both entrants and our contest coordinator (me) 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 is NOT printed on your actual story or poem? 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) have you included it?

6) Have you double-checked to make sure you included all of your entries in your envelope or attached to your email to wvwcontest@gmail.com? In the past, we’ve received a few envelopes that are a story or poem shy of the intended amount.

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. (And, sometimes, handwriting interpretation on my part may be at fault.) Please legibly print your contact info, especially your email address, and make sure it’s all correct.

8) Have you addressed your envelope with the correct address of our contest coordinator?  We have occasionally received entries forwarded from previous coordinators. Please use the correct entry form with the correct address for 2021, which is available at our website and in our newsletter.

9) If submitting by email, have you paid for your entries via Pay Pal (making payments directly to westvirginawriters@gmail.com)?  Be sure to include your Pay Pal receipt of payment with your emailed entries.  

10) If emailing entries, have you made certain that they are in .doc format and not .pdf or another format?  We're only accepting .doc format this year.

Dos and Don'ts.

  • DO staple your individual entries if they have multiple pages.  (You can also paperclip them, but we just remove the paperclip and staple them again for added stability in transit to the judges.)
  • 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 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 I have received about the contest are found at our Frequently Asked Questions list.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #48

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:  Would I qualify for the Emerging Writers category since my news articles have been published?

ANSWER:  It kind of depends on how large the paper's circulation is. The rule is that you can't have won a cash prize in our contest before and you can't have been published in a publication with a circulation greater than 5000.  Most city newspapers will have a print run of over 5000, but perhaps a small town paper would not.  Check with the paper in question to find out.   The other major factor in this is that even if the print run is below 5000, the piece being submitted must never have been published at all.

 

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #47

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 it permissible to re-enter a work that was rejected last year?

ANSWER:  "Rejected" is such an ugly word.  We prefer, "not selected."  But still.  You may certainly resubmit something from a previous year, provided it has never won a cash prize. There are different judges from year to year, so it can be a matter of a piece finding a receptive judicial home.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #46

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.   Find them at... http://wvwriters.org/home/annual-writing-contest/

 

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #45

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 about a dozen poems in a group, written over the past 40 years. Must I send $10 for each or will the $10 fee cover them all?

ANSWER:  While we have offered a chapbook or collection category for poetry in the past, we are not in 2021.  For this year, we have a poetry category which covers short poetry and long poetry, which we have previously separated.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q.#44

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:  My fellow writers in my writers group suggested I submit my screenplay. Do you have a category for the 2021 contest?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, not for 2021.  We usually do screenplays every other year in a round robin fashion and 2021 is the year for the stageplay category, named in memory of Joe McCabe, a beloved playwright from Martinsburg.

 

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #43

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:  For the poetry entries, does one poem equal one entry? In other words, if I enter five poems, I would send in $50.00?

ANSWER:  For our Poetry and Emerging Writers Poetry categories, this is correct.  One poem per entry fee.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q.#42

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

QUESTION:  I would like to submit to the contest, but I have taken an online class from the judge of the category I want to submit to.  I've made lots of changes to the manuscript, but I'm afraid they still might recognize my work.  Should I still submit?

ANSWER: This is a tough one, but in this case we would recommend you do not submit if there is any possible chance a judge might be familiar with your work already.  The WV Writers contest is judged blindly, so that the judges are never provided the names of the authors whose work has been submitted to them.  The only possible way for them to know who has written a piece is if they recognize it as something they have read before.  We pick judges from out of state to help minimize the chances of this happening, but with prevalence of online writing workshops, the chances can increase.  For this reason, we give our judges strict instructions that if they recognize a piece of writing and realize the identity of its author, they are to disqualify that work from consideration.

If you think there is even a possibility that one of our judges might recognize your work, we ask that you save that work for submission next year when a different judge will be assigned to that category.

This has happened in the past and it created one of the rare situations in which we had to disqualify the entry.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #41

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: Will the judges pick a subset of the best Book-Length entries and then request the full manuscripts to complete the judging or do they make their decision solely on the submitted excerpts?

ANSWER:  No, the judge will base decisions solely on the excerpts and synopses.

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WV Writers Contest F.A.Q. #40

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: For the New Mountain Voices contest, would it be okay if the entry was a little over the 2,000 word limit?  Like, say about 300 words or so over the limit? Or is it a strict limit?

ANSWER:  No, the contest has a strict word limit.  We don't count the title, the contest category and word count in the corner of the front page, nor the "the end," but everything in between is strict to the number.

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