QUESTION: I'm a high school student, and I'm wondering if I enter the contest and place, can I enter again when I'm older for the adult contest?
ANSWER: You can certainly enter the adult contest later, but it would need to be with a piece that is not the one you won with in the NMV contest. Once a piece has placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in either WVW contest, it is no longer eligible for future competition. Honorable mentions, however, can be resubmitted in the future. And any piece you submit that does not place in NMV can certainly be submitted to the adult contest down the line, provided there's a category it fits into.
QUESTION: I would like to submit writing to one or more of the following categories: Emerging Writers Prose, Book Length Prose, and Social Change (Pearl S. Buck Award). Can copies of one writing sample be submitted to multiple categories (with entry fee for each submission)?
ANSWER: You are correct. A single piece may be submitted to multiple categories, with entry fees for each. You do need to send a separate copy of the manuscript for each category it is being submitted to.
QUESTION: 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?
ANSWER: I'm afraid if the poem has been previously published it would not qualify for the contest, even with an added quote.
QUESTION: Is photography considered “artwork”. I want to make sure that if I submit photos within my stories, it won’t be disqualified.
ANSWER: Photography would be considered artwork but would not disqualify an entry if included.
QUESTION: I won 1st Place last year in Emerging Writer's Poetry. Can I submit to Emerging Writer's Prose this year?
ANSWER: I'm afraid not. Once you've won a cash prize in any WV Writers contest category, you have officially emerged and the Emerging Writers categories are forever off limits.
QUESTION: I would like to know if a teacher or parent is allowed to make edits and recommendations on a student's writings?
ANSWER: Having an outside proofreader is a longstanding tradition for writers of all stripes. Students may certainly let an adult read over their submission before sending it. We would suggest that the adult may then offer editing and revision suggestions, but should explain the reasons for those suggestions as a teaching opportunity. Then the student should be allowed to make those changes themselves. This way they pick up grammar tips for the future, in addition to having a cleaner story or poem.
It goes without saying, however, that in no way should a parent or teacher do any of the writing themselves.
QUESTION: Does the word count include the title, or just the body of the piece of writing?
ANSWER: Word count doesn't include the title. Or "The End" in case you've added that. It also doesn't include the category and word count number at the top right of the first page of your entry, so you can just count the bare bones of the story and write that number in for the word count.
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.)
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.