West Virginia Writers, Inc., will soon be accepting submissions for its two annual writing contests, offering a total of $5,850 in cash prizes.
The organization's main writing contest for adults and college students will celebrate its 31st year with 13 writing categories to choose from. Among the traditional contest categories are 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 Screenplay, Inspirational Writing, Young Adult/Middle Grade, and Children's Picture books (which will optionally accept artwork in addition to manuscripts). 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. Submissions are accepted through March 15 (with a late deadline of March 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.
For the second 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.
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; grades 1 5, grades 6 8, and grades 9 12. Students in any age group may choose from six suggested contest topics. The topics this year include: "The Day Aliens Stole the ------"; "Diary of a Pirate"; "Scared of the Goofa Man!"; "High School Survival Guide"; "President for a Day"; and "Stories from the Great Storm" which seeks true stories from the June derecho, or from the snow storm caused by Hurricane Sandy. 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.
Winners of both annual contests will be announced June 8 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 available for download on their website podcast.wvwriters.org, or through iTunes. For all other information and an official contest entry form and contest rules, visit the contest page at WV Writers website at wvwriters.org/contest.html. Or email contest coordinator, Eric Fritzius, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Virginia Writers, the largest writers' organization in the state, will celebrate its 36th anniversary this year.