WV Writers spring writing contests set to accept entries soon

West Virginia Writers, Inc., will soon be accepting submissions for both of its 2014 annual writing contests, offering a total of $5,850 in cash prizes.

The organization’s main writing contest for adults and college students will soon celebrate its 32nd year with 13 writing categories to choose from. Among the traditional contest categories are Children’s Books, Short Story, Short Nonfiction, Short Poetry, Long Poetry, Appalachian Writing, and Book Length Prose (either fiction or nonfiction). Other new and returning contest categories include Stage Play (theatrical plays) and Humor (which can include poetry or prose). Writers who have not previously won a cash prize in the contest may also submit their work in the Emerging Writers Prose and Emerging Writers Poetry categories. And for the first time, WV Writers is including a new category for graphic narrative, which will cover scripts for comic books and graphic novels. Finished artwork for this category is optional, but primarily the judge will be looking for a script for a comic book, preferably featuring original characters and story.

For the third year, WV Writers is also offering an additional category, the Pearl S. Buck Writing for Social Change Award, which seeks prose and poetry submissions on the theme of encouraging societal improvement. This category is co-sponsored by the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation in Hillsboro, who wish to see Pearl S. Buck’s tradition of writing for the betterment of society continue.

Submissions are accepted from Jan. 2 through Mar. 15 (with a late deadline of Mar. 31). The 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.

In addition to the adult contest, WV Writers is also accepting entries for the 2013 New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest, open to young writers in three different age groups; grade 1-5, grade 6-8, and grade 9-12. Students in any age group may choose from six suggested contest topics. The topics this year include: “The Weekend I was a _____ Star”; “Words I’ll Never Forget”; “Wishes Gone Bad”; “The Mothman’s Brother”; “The Perfect Sibling” and “I’m Proud of ______ Because.” Alternately, students may create their own original story or poem to submit outside of the offered topics. There are no fees to enter the New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest, though only students who are residents of West Virginia are eligible to enter and there is a limit of three entries per student.

Winners of both annual contests will be announced June 14, 2014 in an awards ceremony during West Virginia Writers Annual Writers Conference, held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley. All winners, including honorable mentions, will receive certificates suitable for framing.

Starting Jan. 2, WV Writers is also offering a free Contest Podcast which can be downloaded from, or through iTunes. This will help explain the contest in more concrete terms.

For official contest entry forms, contest rules and the Frequently Asked Questions List concerning the contest, please visit the contest webpage at Or email contest coordinator, Eric Fritzius, at

West Virginia Writers, the largest writers’ organization in the state will celebrate its 37th anniversary this year.