West Virginia Writers accepting contest entries

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Writers Inc. is accepting submissions for its annual writing contests, offering $5,075 in total cash prizes.

For the first time, the organization will be accepting online submissions.

Since 1982, WV Writers has held an annual writing contest for adults, accepting original, unpublished entries in a variety of themed writing categories. Traditional categories returning for the 2018 contest include: Children’s Books, Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Short Story, Short Nonfiction, Short Poetry, Long Poetry, Book Length Prose, as well as the Emerging Writers categories (one each for prose and poetry) for writers who have not previously won a cash prize in the WV Writers contest, in addition to several other options.

For the past several years, the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation in Hillsboro has sponsored The Pearl S. Buck Award for prose and poetry entries related to Social Change, inspired by Buck’s tradition of writing with the intent to encourage positive change in culture and society.

This year’s Joe McCabe Memorial Script Award will be awarded in the Screenplay Category, for unproduced scripts for film or television.

A returning category not featured for several years is the Mystery category, seeking unpublished mystery stories and manuscripts of up to 5,000 words. The Humor category is also making a return appearance.

The adult contest is open to all residents of West Virginia as well as to any member of WV Writers Inc. residing outside of the state. The adult contest has a $10 fee for each entry, except for the book length and screenplay categories, which are $12 for each entry.

The WV Writers adult contest does not have an age limitation, but younger West Virginians may want to submit instead to the New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest, which is designed specifically for those who are under age 18. Students may choose from six suggested writing topics or follow their own prompt for an original story or poem. The student contest has three age group categories — for grades 1-5, 6-8, and 9-12 — each of which will have first through third place prizes awarded. The New Mountain Voices contest is free to enter and is open only to student residents of West Virginia.

Submissions for both contests are accepted either online through the submission service Submittable.com or by U.S. Mail using printable submission forms found online at wvwriters.org.

Submissions for both contests are accepted from Jan. 2 through March 15 (with a late deadline of March 31). Winners will be announced June 9 at an awards ceremony during the 40th annual West Virginia Writers Conference, to be held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley. All winners, including honorable mentions, will receive certificates suitable for framing, with cash prizes for first, second and third place winners in each category.

For information, visit the contest webpage at wvwriters.org/contest.html, or email contest coordinator Dreama Pritt at wvwcontest@gmail.com.

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