West Virginia Writers honors historic flood with writing contest category

West Virginia Writers Inc. continues to accept submissions for its writing contests for 2017, offering $5,850 in total cash prizes.

Among the 13 writing categories in the adult contest, this year West Virginia Writers is offering a specialty category called The Flood, inspired by the historic flooding last summer in Greenbrier, Fayette and Nicholas counties. The flood in June, which resulted in 23 deaths and devastated over 1,200 homes in the state, has forever altered the lives of those who survived.

Since 1982, WV Writers has held an annual writing contest for adults, accepting original, unpublished entries in a variety of themed writing categories. Categories for the contest this year include: children’s books, short story, short nonfiction, short poetry, long poetry, Appalachian writing, book length prose/young adult, short plays (under 15 minutes), the Pearl S. Buck Award for Writing for Social Change, Inspirational Writing and the Emerging Writers categories for prose and poetry (for writers who are unpublished and who have not previously won a cash prize in the WV Writers contest).

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. There is a $10 fee for each adult contest entry, and a $12 fee for the book-length category.

For students in grade 1-12, WV Writers offers The New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest. Students may choose from six suggested writing topics or they may make up their own story or poem. There are three age group categories in this contest (for grade 1-5, 6-8 and 9-12), each of which will have first, second and 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 from Jan. 2 through Mar. 15 (with a late deadline of Mar. 31). Winners will be announced June 10 at an awards ceremony during the annual West Virginia Writers Conference held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley. The conference this year will celebrate the 40th anniversary of West Virginia Writers Inc., which was founded in February 1977. 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 official contest entry forms, contest rules, our list of contest judges,a handy contest submission checklist and a frequently asked questions list, visit the contest webpage at wvwriters.org/contest.html or email contest coordinator Eric Fritzius at wvwcontest@gmail.com.