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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Bluestone Review Seeks Submissions

A Community Arts Collective called the Bluestone Review wants your submissions:

· Poetry- up to 5 poems
· Fiction- 1500 word limit
· Creative Non-Fiction- 1500 word limit
· Photography
· Artwork
· Song Lyrics

Along with submission, please include your name, address, contact information, and one biographical sentence.

All works must be submitted by March 13th

Please send submission to: OR Bluefield College, The Bluestone Review, 3000 College Drive, Box 14, Bluefield, VA 24605.
Note that emails are strongly encouraged.

For more information, please email us or contact
Dr. Rob Merritt at (276) 326-4270

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Old Opera House Theatre Company's New Voice Play Festival

The Old Opera House Theatre Company in Charles Town, WV, is now accepting submissions for the 9th Annual New Voice Play Festival to be held on June 26-28, 2009.

Each year this one-act play writing competition has attracted some of the country’s most gifted new playwrights.

Winners of this festival receive a cash award and the winning plays are performed during the festival. To enter this year’s festival, submissions must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2009.

See their site for all the submission details.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Judges for WV Writers Writing Contest

I always get just a little more excited about entering the West Virginia Writers, Inc. Writing Competition when I find out who will be reading “MY” work. When I read a judge’s work and hear their presentations, it simply isn’t as personal as to have them read my ‘stuff’. This is the kind of validation that will inspire us to write long and write well.

We’ve been working at gathering a group of judges this year who are at the top of their respective fields of writing and veritable champions of West Virginia and Appalachian lit. We are hoping that this will inspire you to stuff your envelope with several entries when entering the contest.

And remember, every third entry, per mailing….IS FREE.

The Joe McCabe Memorial Playwrighting Award will be judged by Scott Frank
Scott Frank is a playwright and storyteller. After living and working as a writer in New York, Scott returned to Western Pennsylvania, where he presently teaches in the Theatre and Communication Department at Washington & Jefferson College, in his hometown of Washington, PA. His play “Butter’s Goat” has been performed in New York, London, and Pittsburgh and he has also directed for the stage in those cities as well. He lives on the Northside of Pittsburgh with his wife Sarah Frank. He is currently reading for the American College Theatre Festival.

The Nonfiction Category will be judged by Valerie Nieman. Valerie is the author of Wake Wake Wake, a poetry collection published in 2006, a collection of short stories, Fidelities, from West Virginia University Press- 2004. Her first two novels were set in West Virginia: Neena Gathering, a science fiction novel, and Survivors - a story of family loss and recovery in the 1970s. Feral, a novel set in North Carolina, will appear in 2010. A longtime newspaper reporter and editor, she continues to free lance articles on travel and sailing. She has received an NEA creative writing fellowship, two Elizabeth Simpson Smith prizes in fiction, and the Greg Grummer Prize in poetry. A graduate of West Virginia University and the M.F.A. program at Queens University of Charlotte, she teaches writing at N.C. A&T State University.

Children’s Picture Books and Full-Length Books for youths to age 16 will be judged by none other than Brenda Seabrooke. Brenda is the award winning author of ‘Judy Scuppernong’, ‘The Bridges of Summer’, and of course ‘The Haunting of Swain’s Fancy’, and her latest book, CEMETERY STREET has been nominated in the Best Juvenile category for a 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award.

The Humor Category brings us one of the finest humor writers in the country as our judge - Susan Reinhardt. Susan is a humor columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times, a radio personality, and author of: Not Tonight Honey, Not Til I’m A Size Six; Dishing With the Kitchen Virgin; and Don’t Sleep With a Bubba Unless Your Eggs Are In Wheelchairs. She’s become a return guest at the Erma Bombeck Writers Conference and the Today Show.

Long Poetry will be judged by Rick Mulkey. Professor Rick Mulkey, Director of Creative Writing Programs of Converse College is the author of Before the Age of Reason, Bluefield Breakdown, Greatest Hits: 1994-2004, and Toward Any Darkness. His work appears in the anthologies American Poetry: the Next Generation, The Southern Poetry anthology, and A Millennial Sampler of South Carolina Poetry, among others.

Short poetry judging will be handled by Jeff Mann. Jeff is published everywhere, is a frequent visitor to the WVW Conference and the Appalachian Studies Association Conference at Marshall U. Jeff is Assistant Professor, Department of English, Virginia Tech and author of: Loving Mountains, Loving Men; Bones Washed with Wine; Edge; Flint Shards from Sussex. Arlington, Virginia: Gival Press. Winner of the 1999 Gival Press Poetry Prize, Mountain Fireflies. Yosemite, California: Poetic Matrix Press. Winner of the 1999 Poetic Matrix Chapbook Series, and Bliss. Baltimore, Maryland: BrickHouse Books. Winner of the 1997 Stonewall Chapbook Competition.

Emerging Writer: Prose will be judged by none other than June Berkley. June, a favorite of many WVW conferences and author of Shannaganey Blue has been described as a writer who imagines her family saga in storytelling performances and fiction. Her multi-faceted career in education includes public school and university teaching and nationwide consulting.

Emerging Writer: Poetry will be judged by Dana Wildsmith. Wildsmith’s first chapbook Alchemy, sold out its first printing within a matter of months—an almost unheard-of event in the world of small poetry presses. Her subsequent poetry collections, Annie , Our Bodies Remember, One Good Hand, and the audio collection, Choices, have also been well-received. The University Press of Kentucky included Wildsmith in its highly acclaimed anthology, Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, and her work appears in other anthologies. Her poems and essays have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Yankee, The Kentucky Poetry Review, The Asheville Poetry Review, Calliope, The Chattahoochee Review, and others.

The Book length - Fiction and Nonfiction category will be judged by Keith Maillard. Keith is originally from Wheeling WV and now resides in Canada and He is currently a full professor and co-chair of the English department of the University of British Columbia, and specializes in fiction and poetry. He is the award winning author of: Gloria, The Clarinet Polka, Running, Morgantown, Lyndon Johnson and the Majorettes, and Looking Good.

This leaves two adult categories and for the 2009 WV Writers Competition, the judges for these last two categories are WVW past conference presenters, noted novelists and heros of the Outlaw Writing tour. That’s right folks, the judges for Short Story and Appalachian Theme are none other than WVW favorites – Chuck Kinder and Lee Maynard.

The Short Story category will be judged by the real wonder boy, Chuck Kinder. Chuck directs the writing programs at the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of The Last Mountain Dancer, Snakehunter, and Honeymooners, a cautionary tale. Among his many awards are: the Edith Mirreelles Writing Fellowship at Stanford, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Fiction, A Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Award in Fiction, and an Appalachian Heritage Denny C. Plattner First Place Award for Nonfiction.

The Appalachian Theme category will be judged by Lee Maynard. Novelist Lee Maynard was born and raised in Wayne County, West Virginia, in the small mining town of Crum. He graduated from Ceredo-Kenova High School and then earned a BA from West Virginia University. He published his first novel, Crum, in 1988. Since then, he has been published many times in periodicals, including Reader's Digest, The Saturday Review, and the Columbia Review of Literature. He has also worked as an editor and screenwriter. In 1995, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship in Fiction for his novel Screaming with the Cannibals. Lee Maynard lives and writes in New Mexico.

The judges for our young writers categories are as equally distinguished and many are members of West Virginia Writers, Inc.:

Elementary School Prose -- Nadine McKinney, author of Eyes in the Attic

Elementary School Poetry -- Molly Feldman, University of Kentucky

Middle School Prose -- Patsy Pittman, author of Blood Kin and Other Strangers

Middle School Poetry -- Wilma Acree, author of Wilma Acree’s Greatist Hits!

High School Prose -- Karin Fuller, columnist, Charleston Gazzette

High School Poetry -- Cheryl Denise Miller, author of I Saw God Dancing

Monday, January 12, 2009

Inspiration for Writers Contest Deadline Looms

The deadline for the Inspiration for Writers Can't Lose Novel Contest is Thursday. Submission fee is $40, and EVERY entry receives a detailed critique of the submission package, a comprehensive edit of the first 500 words, and an electronic copy of the Inspiration for Writers Tips and Techniques Workbook. This is a great way to have a professional editor look over your submission package and prepare it for submission.

First prize is a gift package worth over $500, including a professional edit and critique of up to 15,000 words (value $450) of a single document; books on the craft of writing, including a bound copy of the Inspiration for Writers Tips and Techniques Workbook complete with reproducible worksheets ($25.00), The Little Brown Compact Handbook by Jane E. Aaron (fifth edition, $62.40), Marc McCutcheon's The Writer's Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters ($14.99), The Writer's Digest Writing Clinic ($21.99); a magnetic copy of The Writer's Prayer ($3.00); set of ten Writer's Prayer note cards ($15.00); and 2 Inspiration for Writers pens ($2.00).

Submit a one-page synopsis and the first three chapters of a completed, unpublished novel or book-length memoir. A manuscript will be considered published if 1000 or more copies have been printed.

For more information, see or just email me at

Also, if you missed our winter edition of the Inspiration for Writers Newsletter, download your copy at This issue includes an interview with publisher Cathy Teets, a book excerpt by author Patsy Pittman's National Best Book Awards Finalist Blood Kin and Other Strangers, a detailed discussion of the craft of Point of View, and Fiction First Aid.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kenyon Review soon to accept submissions

(This news courtesy of WVW's own Tammy Whisman)

The Kenyon Review will begin accepting submissions for the second annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Prize on February 1, 2009. The contest is open to all writers under 30 years of age. Submissions must be 1,200 words or less to qualify for the contest. Richard Ford will be the final judge.

The contest winner will be receive a full scholarship to attend the 2009 Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, June 20-27, in beautiful Gambier, Ohio. In addition, the winning story will be published in a special section in the Winter 2010 issue of The Kenyon Review.

Submissions will be accepted beginning February 1, 2009, and concluding February 28, 2009. Entries must be submitted through the Review's website, where an entry form will be available. Find the full contest guidelines here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

WV Writers Contest Grand Opening TODAY!

The 2009 West Virginia Writers, Inc. Annual Writing Competition is now officially accepting entries.

Please note, things have changed a little bit with the contest this year.

  • Entry fees for the contest are now set at $10 each (except for the book-length prose category, which is set at $12 each). However, a new feature in the rules of the contest is that every third entry is absolutely free. That's right, you can submit three entries for the price of two, or six entries for the price of four, etc. There's no limit. And if you do the math, under last year's $8 per entry fee, you'd pay $24 for three submissions; this year, you'll pay only $20. In other words, it pays to submit more than two entries.
  • Be sure to pay attention to the address you send your entries to. We have a new contest administrator this year, Mr. Stephen Goff of the Salem area. He'll be taking all your entries and sending them out to our judges.
  • And this year we have removed the $1 handling fee per mailing (saving you even more).
  • For the youth, we have now combined our annual high school competition as part of our student form. This form now has three separate age categories, Grades 1-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12, with prizes of $100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd and $25 for 3rd place in each age group.
  • Please visit our contest page for all the details and for copies of our entry forms.