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Friday, June 26, 2009

Anthology of Appalachian Writers seeks submissions
Anthology of Appalachian Writers
The Anthology of Appalachian Writers is a publication that encourages a long-established tradition of storytelling, love of language, and creative expression associated broadly with the area of the country known as Appalachia. Though the principal mission of the anthology is to provide a venue for publication of new writers, it also provides a collection of literature and scholarship that contributes to an understanding and appreciation for the region. Poetry, fiction, memoir, heritage writers, as well as new voices appear in each annual volume of the anthology. The anthology is supported by The Shepherd University Foundation and The West Virginia Center for the Book. The Anthology of Appalachian Writers is part of the Appalachian Heritage WIR and Writers Project.

Submissions: To submit any original, unpublished work of fiction or poetry for consideration by the editors, send an electronic copy, along with the information below, to Dr. S. Bailey Shurbutt, . All submissions must be in the submission format below.
Title of Submission:___________________________________________________________
E-mail:____________________ Phone:_____________________
Brief Biography (limit 100 words):________________________________________________
Format for Submissions: Click here for submission format.
Deadline for Submissions: October 15, 2009.

Click on the image below to order a copy of 2009 Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Adriana Trigiani Volume I from the Shepherd University Bookstore.

Editorial Board of Anthology of Appalachian Writers:

Managing Editor, S. Bailey Shurbutt, Appalachian Heritage Writers Project Director; Senior Editors, Ethan Fischer and Charlotte Henning; Senior Editorial Advisors: L. G. Wise and 2009 Appalachian Heritage WIR Silas House

WV Writers Podcast: Episode 11 Now Available

Episode 11 of the WV Writers Podcast is now available. In it we speak once again to Episode 3's guest, writer/editor Rhonda Browning White. Instead of speaking about memories of conferences of years past, we speak of memories of conferences of two weeks past.

If you were unable to attend, this will give you some highlights.

Episode 11: Memories of Conferences More Recent

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shenandoah Valley Acoustic Roots Festival and Songwriting Contest

(The following news courtesy of WVW Podcast music creator, Pops Walker)

Performing Arts of Luray is hosting the first - Shenandoah Valley Acoustic Roots Festival and Songwriting Contest.

They’re looking for great acoustic roots songs. Think blues, think country, think folk, or think bluegrass. BUT, think ACOUSTIC ROOTS.

Entrants will submit CD recordings of their original songs via the US Postal Service.

Preliminary judging will occur January – August 2009.

The top ten finalists will perform “live” on October 3, 2009 at the BB&T Performing Arts Center in Luray, Virginia.

1st prize is $500, a guaranteed future booking and six hours of studio time.

2d prize is $300, and a guaranteed future booking.

3d prize is $200.

Complete details can be found at: -- or at

Patchwork Writers Workshop

Patchwork Writers Group of Huntington will offer a day of workshops on August 15, 2009 at the Huntington Museum of Art. Picturebook author Sarah Sullivan and writer and editor Geoffrey Cameron Fuller will be leading the workshops. There are a limited number of slots available for these workshops, so pre-registration is suggested.

Sarah Sullivan is the author of four picture books. Her second book, Dear Baby: Letters from Your Big Brother, (Candlewick 2005), was an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award winner. Her third book, Passing the Music Down is forthcoming from Candlewick and her fourth book, Once Upon A Baby Brother, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her poetry has appeared in Cricket magazine and she holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College where she was the recipient of the Harcourt Post-Graduate scholarship. She also received an Individual Artist Fellowship/Grant from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Prior to writing for children, Sarah practiced law for fourteen years. Currently, she writes full-time and conducts writing workshops and visiting author programs in schools throughout the country.

Geoffrey Cameron Fuller’s fiction and nonfiction has been published in newspapers and newsmagazines, literary and genre periodicals, fiction collections and classroom textbooks. As a book evaluator and editor, Fuller’s work has also helped clients win awards and Fellowships, most recently winning a national award—a bronze IPPY, the Independent Publisher Book Award—for the history, Monongah (Davitt McAteer, West Virginia University Press). Fuller was on the editorial board of Writer’s Digest for a number of years and currently writes, edits, and teaches in Charleston, West Virginia.

2033 McCoy Road,
Huntington, WV

10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

COST $20.00

Deadline for Registration:
August 8, 2009

Limited to 40 people

Download official registration form HERE.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


MWG Writers Workshops and Literary Arts Day June 20, 2009 at Monongalia Arts Center

Morgantown Writers Group hosts its 2nd Literary Arts Day Saturday June 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We've invited four more exciting writers this year:

Laura Bentley (Poetry) --
Laura is a poet and novelist. Lake Effect, her first book of poetry, was published in 2006. Bentley's poems have appeared in the New York Quarterly, Art Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Antietam Review, Rosebud, Wind, The Stinging Fly, Kestrel, ABZ, Crannog, Now & Then, 10x3 plus. Her poetry has been featured in 15 anthologies and on the websites of A Prairie Home Companion and Poetry Daily.

Sean O'Leary (Playwriting)-- Sean has written five plays, four of them professionally produced. Valu-Mart won several prestigious awards. Beneath Shelton Laurel won a National Endowment for the Arts "Access to Artistic Excellence" grant. Pound premiered at the Washington Stage Guild in DC and won the Ostrander Award as Best New Play of 2006. Rain in the Hollows premiered at Tri-State Actors Theatre in New Jersey.

Carter Seaton (Cr. NonFic)-- Carter is a freelance writer whose novel Father's Troubles was named for the prestigious Fore Word Magazine 2003 Book of the Year award in Historical Fiction. She has received other awards and her work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, West Virginia Encyclopedia, MetroValley Magazine, Marshall Magazine, St. Mary's Today and the Huntington Quarterly.

Geoff Fuller (Fiction)--
author, teacher, editor, and managing partner of the Evergreen Syndicate LLC , Geoff is an award-winning author and the only person to win the coveted WV Commission on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships in all three prose categories - (fiction, nonfiction, and memoir), Geoff Fuller teaches and mentors an ever-increasing group of successful writers in the Charleston, WV area. He is married to lifestyle columnist, Karin Fuller.

Registration Rates:
Full day: $25
WVW Member Discount: $20
High School Student: $10

Sign up in advance to reserve a seat. If you wish to register or need info, write to Registrar:

We've kept the registration cost as low as possible as an incentive in this tough economic times. We're limited on space too, but we anticipate about 48 writers and our veteran staff of volunteers. Four workshops in morning, four workshops in the afternoon. Refreshments will be served.

We invite a few writers to submit manuscripts for critique in fiction and non-fiction (nominal extra charge) at workshops. If interested in submitting, send email to There is a $10 fee for both fiction and nonfiction critiques.

Pearl S. Buck International Writers Workshop June 25 - 27, 2009

Second Annual Pearl S. Buck International Writers' Workshop
"Pearl S. Buck ~ The Patchwork of Her Life"
Sponsored by Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation
and Little Levels Heritage Fair
Hillsboro, West Virginia
June 25-27, 2009

Join West Virginia writers Edwina Pendarvis, Christina St. Clair, Belinda Anderson, Cat Pleska and Pam Pritt as well as West Virginia's most famous "Liar", Bill Lepp, for the Second Annual Pearl S. Buck International Writers' Workshop on the grounds of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace and "Cliffside," the restored home of Dr. Wallace who delivered Pearl. Events will begin with Registration and Meet and Greet Session on Thursday at noon. Participants will tour Pearl S. Buck's Birthplace before beginning the workshop.

Pam Pritt, Editor of the weekly Pocahontas Times will conduct the first session on "Writing your story, how to get published, legal issues, editing, etc." Dinner will be served by the ladies who support Pearl S. Buck Birthplace. The evening speaker is Cat Pleska, essayist for WV Public Radio and a freelance writer, editor and teacher.

Friday morning brings Belinda Anderson, author of three short story collections. Belinda's session will connect the "stitches" in the patchwork of Pearl's writing that relate to her roots in West Virginia. Keynote speaker, Dr. Edwina "Eddy" Pendarvis and co-author Christina St. Clair will connect the Patchwork of Pearl's Life and Works on the International/China level. The final presentation will be open to the public. Bill Lepp will teach us how to spin a yarn, tell a lie and entertain.

Participants will attend an old fashioned barbeque with music in the evening and have free time to attend the final concert of Allegheny Echoes at the Pocahontas County Opera House.

Saturday is open to enjoy the Little Levels Heritage Fair. The Pearl S. Buck Birthday Celebration and Writers' Fair will kick off at 4 pm Saturday afternoon. Pocahontas Music students will present "Links In The Chain - Our Appalachian Musical Heritage,' Eddy Pendarvis and Christina St. Clair will assist in presenting student writer awards and summary of the Writer's Workshop. Bill Lepp will spin a great big yarn (lie) about life in the Little Levels. Birthday cake and punch for all will conclude the program. The final dinner is a Chicken Barbeque sponsored by Marvin Chapel United Methodist Church.

One scholarship to the Writers' Workshop will be awarded to a WV High School or College Student who submits the best original story (500 words or less) about the influence of Pearl S. Buck, The Patchwork of Her Life and Works. Entries must be submitted no later than May 1, 2009.

Participant cost for the workshop is $75.00 and covers all meals, entertainment and tours. The workshop is designed for approximately 20 participants, so register early. Contact Ruth Taylor, Director at or call 304-653-8563 for additional information and to register for the workshop. Make checks payable to Little Levels Heritage Fair and mail to HC 64 Box 423, Hillsboro, WV 24946.

Lodging will be on your own this year. Contact Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau at or call 800-336-7009 or 304-799-INF0 for lodging information.

Monday, June 15, 2009

WV Writers Conference 2009 Just Uncommonly Good Award and Historical JUG Winners List

At the 2009 Conference Awards Banquet, the board of directors of WV Writers, Inc. awarded it's Just Uncommonly Good Award (JUG). According to existing records, the JUG Award was the brainchild of John “Jack” Zierold. It was established to honor exceptional writing, or the body of work, and also to mentors of writers. Over the years it has grown to include service to writers of the state and service to WV Writers, Inc. The award itself includes a certificate and a clay jug.

The 2009 JUG Awards were granted to Geoff Fuller, for his service to writing in West Virginia, and Eric Fritzius, for his service to WV Writers.

1983 - 2009

2009 Geoff Fuller for writing and mentoring. Eric Fritzius for service to WV Writers.

2008 Joe McCabe for writing and mentoring. Sandy Tritt for service to WV Writers and for mentoring.

2007 Patsy Pittman for her years of service to WV Writers and Kate Long for her service to writers from WV.

2006 Irene McKinney and Pam Hanson for writing, Cathy Pleska for mentoring, Jerry and Rae Anne Blair for corporate support.

2005 Mary Furbee for writing, Fay Thompson for mentoring.

2004 Mark Defoe for his poetry and service to WV Writers, Belinda Anderson for mentoring.

2003 Fran Simone, George Lies; Wilma Acree

2002 Boyd Carr for writing; Cheryl Ware for mentoring; Elizabeth Chilton (corporate support from Charleston Gazette)

2001 no nomination

2000 Cleta Long (for both writing and mentoring) awarded posthumously

1999 Sherrell Wigal and Carolyn Sue Ferguson, both for mentoring

1998 Irene Brand and Billy Edd Wheeler

1997 Dennis Deitz and Jim Andrews

1996 Meredith Sue Willis and Kirk Judd

1995 No nominations

1994 Mary Lee Settle and Barbara Smith

1993 Jean Batllo and John “Jack” Zierold

1992 John Suter and Betty Mac Queen

1991 Denise Giardina and Helen Carper

1990 none

1989 none

1988 none

1987 Shirley Young Campbell

1986 none

1985 Louise McNeill (aka Louise McNeill Pease)

1984 Emil Pauley for her long term efforts as organizer of the conferences; James B. Andrews for helping establish WV Writers; Jim Comstock for writing

1983 Alberta Pierson Hannum, the first recipient, received the award for the body of her work which includes nonfiction, fiction, essays, and the motion picture screen writing for one of her novels Rosanna McCoy (which, by the way, starred Farley Granger). She was in a nursing home at the time and died soon after. The effort to honor her was spearheaded by Jim Comstock.

WV Writers Conference 2009 People's Choice and Writers Wall

Each year at the Summer Conference, WV Writers offers the attendees of the conference a chance to vote upon the winners of some conference-based writing contests. The People's Choice contests take place on Friday and Saturday of the conference and are split into poetry and prose categories on Friday and poetry, prose and youth categories on Saturday. Competitors recite their pieces with a four minute time limit and the top three are voted upon by the audience in secret ballot. In the Writers Wall contest, three free-standing bulletin boards in the assembly hall represent poetry, prose and youth categories. Entries are usually only one page and are read and voted upon by conference attendees, also in secret ballot.

1st Place-- Philip Cotter
2nd Place-- Philip Cotter
3rd Place-- Alicia Wright

1st Place-- Susanna Holstein
2nd Place-- Janet Smart
3rd Place-- Claire Stuart

1st Place-- Miranda Gable
2nd Place-- Theresa Buczel
3rd Place-- Theresa Buczel

1st Place-- Nicole Lawrence
2nd Place-- Cheryl Denise
3rd Place Tie-- Amanda Stephens
3rd Place Tie-- Susanna Holstein

1st Place-- Judy Southard
2nd Place-- Rhonda White
3rd Place-- Susanna Holstein

1st Place-- Kathy Kish
2nd Place-- Eric Fritzius
3rd Place-- Janet Smart

1st Place-- Dawn Baldwin
2nd Place-- Mary Shortridge
3rd Place-- Claire Stuart

1st Place-- Theresa Buczek
2nd Place-- Miranda Gable
3rd Place-- Sam Harding

Sunday, June 14, 2009

WV Writers 2009 Writing Contest Winners List


Elementary School winners:

Kadian Harding / Jefferson County
First Place Elementary School
"The Inauguration in Photos"

Jessi Hersom / Berkeley County
Second Place Elementary School
"One Fine Clear Day"

Haley Lambert / Kanawha County
Third Place Elementary School
"The Adventures of Loud Mouth Sally"

Andi Hersom / Berkeley County
1st Honorable Mention Elementary School
"Seneca Rocks"

Matteo LaMonaca / Jefferson County
2nd Honorable Mention Elementary School

Roula Hammer / Jefferson County
3rd Honorable Mention Elementary School
"Magenta and the Secret Garden"

Middle School Winners:

Miranda Gable / Monongalia County
First Place Middle School
"To Remember"

Abby Buckley / MD.
Second Place Middle School
"Chauncey Goes to the Beach"

Elizabeth Buscher / Jefferson County
Third Place Middle School
"The World Through My Eyes"

Samuel Tillman / Harrison County
1st Honorable Mention Middle School
"The Wolves"

Kyra Dawe / Jefferson County
2nd Honorable Mention Middle School
"Soldier Boys"

Alex Hersom / Berkeley County
3rd Honorable Mention Middle School
"Home in West Virginia"

Theresa Buczek/ Monongalia County
4th Honorable Mention Middle School
"My Knight in Shining Armor"

High School Poetry Winners:

Joesph Foster / County Putnam
First Place High School Poetry
"Mistral's Child"

Lindsey Maxon /Texas
Second Place High School Poetry

Rachel McKinney / Jefferson County
Third Place High School Poetry

Chase Smith / Kanawha (Kan.)
1st Honorable Mention High School Poetry

Lindsey Maxon / TX.
2nd Honorable Mention High School Poetry
"Song of Silk"

Clare Tillman / Harrison County
3rd Honorable Mention High School Poetry
"Seven Themes on West Virginia"

High School Prose Winners:

Alora Ray / Jefferson County
First Place High School Prose
"Harbor Theory"

Caitlin Gentry /Virginia
Second Place High School Prose

Caitlin Gentry / VA.
Third Place High School Prose

Nicole Marton / Harrison
1st Honorable Mention High School Prose
"That's My Girl"

Rebecca Liu / Michagan
2nd Honorable Mention High School Prose
"The Nature of Road Trips"

Lindsey Maxon / TX.
3rd Honorable Mention High School Prose

Caitlin Gentry / VA.
4th Honorable Mention High School Prose


Emerging Writers: Prose -Winners:

Patricia McKnew / Hampshire County
First Place Emerging Writers: Prose
"The Other Side of the Mountain"

Ethel Morgan Smith / Monongalia County
Second Place Emerging Writers: Prose
"The House of Flowers"

Patrick Joyce / Harrison County
Third Place Emerging Writers: Prose
"Nocturnal Missions"

Jessica Murphy / Monongalia
1st Honorable Mention Emerging Writers: Prose
"Hijacking Nature"

Shawn May / Monongalia County
2nd Honorable Mention Emerging Writers: Prose
"Appalachian Uprising"

Nadine McKinney / Boone County
3rd Honorable Mention Emerging Writers: Prose
"Coping in Blackbird Hollow"

Ceason Ranson / Jackson County
4th Honorable Mention Emerging Writers: Prose
"The Product of Red and Blue"

Emerging Writers: Poetry-Winners:

Kevin Colistra / Monongalia County
First Place Emerging Writers: Poetry
"Fighting Cougars"

Jim Davis / Marion County
Second Place Emerging Writers: Poetry

Christy Gingerich / Monongalia County
Third Place Emerging Writers: Poetry
"The River My Witness"

Jim Davis / Marion County
1st Honorable Mention Emerging Writers: Poetry
"Plane Geometry"

James Garrett / VA.
2nd Honorable Mention Emerging Writers: Poetry
"Fievre du Printemps"

Richard DeVan / Hampshire County
3rd Honorable Mention Emerging Writers: Poetry

Short Poetry Winners:

Anna Smucker / Harrison County
First Place Short Poetry

Sara Crickenberger / Greenbrier
Second Place Short Poetry
"Living Proof"

Earl Keener / Brooke
Third Place Short Poetry
"Grand Mal Seizure"

Charity Gingerich / Mon.
1st Honorable Mention Short Poetry
"Visting Lennon in a Square in Izmail"

Kimberly Honaker / Mon.
2nd Honorable Mention Short Poetry
"The Lights On The River"

Marion Kee / Washington (state...not that there's a WA County in WV
3rd Honorable Mention Short Poetry
"Florida Citrus"

Sandra Vrana / Upshur
4th Honorable Mention Short Poetry

Long Poetry Winners:

Cheryl Denise / Barbour
First Place Long Poetry
"Mother From Paradise"

Charity Gingerich / Monongalia County
Second Place Long Poetry
"St. Vladimir's Kiev"

Tom Donlon / Jefferson County
Third Place Long Poetry
"Strip Club"

Sandra Vrana / Upshur County
1st Honorable Mention Long Poetry
"The Student, The Teacher"

Ed Zahniser / Jefferson County
2nd Honorable Mention Long Poetry
"Urinalysis 101"

Mary Lucille DeBerry / Monongalia
3rd Honorable Mention Long Poetry
"No Sounds While Bulbs Growing"

Children's Books Winners:

Pam Miller / Jefferson County
First Place Children's Book
Chestnut Street

Belinda Anderson / Greenbrier County
Second Place Children's Book
Fly Away Street

Belinda Anderson / Greenbrier
Third Place Children's Book
Jackson vs. Double W Making Kid Soup

Craig Etchison / Mineral County
1st Honorable Mention Children's Book
Sam's Song

Julia Sadd / Kanawha County
2nd Honorable Mention Children's Book
Beatrice, the Cow Who Danced On Ice

Nadine McKinney / Boone
3rd Honorable Mention Children's Book
Bad Case of Crickets

Humor Winners:

John Bagladi / Jefferson County
First Place Humor
“Bradley's Delivery"

Susan DeVan /Hampshire County
Second Place Humor
"Granny Takes a Job"

Susan DeVan / Hampshire County
Third Place Humor
"The Do-Gooders' Day From Hell"

Deborah Filanowski / PA.
1st Honorable Mention Humor
"Nature's Lesson"

Jeanne Wilson / Calhoun County
2nd Honorable Mention Humor
"The Week I Was Famous"

Willa Izzo / Greenbrier County
3rd Honorable Mention Humor
"Volunteer Coach"

Susan DeVan / Hampshire County.
4th Honorable Mention Humor
"Granny and the Gremlins"

Nonfiction Winners:

Dawn Baldwin / Greenbrier County
First Place Nonfiction

Elizabeth Dawn Lippman / Brooke County
Second Place Nonfiction

Nadine McKinney / Boone County
Third Place Nonfiction
“Coping in Blackstrap Hollow"

Dianna Simms / Pendleton County
1st Honorable Mention Nonfiction
"My Sister"

Sarah Beth Childers / Monongalia County
2nd Honorable Mention Nonfiction
"The Preacher"

Shawn May / Monongalia County
3rd Honorable Mention Nonfiction
"Appalachian Uprising: Prologue"

Donna Evans / CA.
4th Honorable Mention Nonfiction
“The Uncle Ed Experience"

Dianna Simms / Pendleton County.
5th Honorable Mention Nonfiction
"In Defense of the Rooster"

Joe McCabe Memorial Playwriting Contest Winners:

Kenley Smith / VA.
First Place Stage Play
Devil Sedan

Susan DeVan / Hampshire County.
Second Place Stage Play
My House/My Home

Ethel Morgan Smith / Monongalia County
Third Place Stage Play
African Violets

Susan DeVan / Hampshire County.
1st Honorable Mention Stage Play
Christmas Gift

Ingrid Briles / Kanawha County
2nd Honorable Mention Stage Play
Welcome Home

Sarah Beth Childers / Monongalia County
3rd Honorable Mention Stage Play
Baking Biscuits

Short Story Winners:

Dawn Baldwin / Greenbrier County.
First Place Short Story

Sara Crickenberger / Greenbrier County
Second Place Short Story
"Fixing Fried Turtle"

Dreama Frisk / VA.
Third Place Short Story
"A Hunter's Moon"

Rhonda White / FL.
1st Honorable Mention Short Story
"Just Rita"

Jay Tabor / Berkshire 2nd Honorable Mention
Short Story
"Journey to Fate"

Lori D'Angelo / Mon.
3rd Honorable Mention Short Story

Chris Kuell / CT.
4th Honorable Mention Short Story

Wilma Acree / Wood
5th Honorable Mention
Short Story
"Cave Chief"

Appalachian Writing Winners:

Elizabeth Dawn Lippman / Brooke
First Place Appalachian Writing

Wilma Acree / Wood
Second Place Appalachian Writing
"House on Parchment Creek"

Susanna Holstein / Jackson
Third Place Appalachian Writing
"King Coal"

Wilma Acree / Wood
1st Honorable Mention Appalachian Writing
"Emily Catherine Messenger Speaks to Her Grandfather"

Cat Pleska / Putnam
2nd Honorable Mention Appalachian Writing
"Night On Cheat Mountain"

Racheal Rose / Nicholas
3rd Honorable Mention Appalachian Writing

Sara Crickenberger / Greenbrier County.
4th Honorable Mention Appalachian Writing
"Fixing Fried Turtle"

Susan DeVan / Hampshire
5th Honorable Mention Appalachian Writing
"Granny at the Landfill"

Book Length Prose:

Dawn Baldwin / Greenbrier County
First Place
Book Length Prose
The Corner Cupboard

Dawn Baldwin / Greenbrier County
Second Place Book Length Prose

Katherine Cobb / Jefferson County
Third Place Book Length Prose
Skyline Higher

Holly Becker / Kanawha County
1st Honorable Mention Book Length Prose
The Year Kate's Brain Got A New Battery

Terry Lively / Kanawha County
2nd Honorable Mention Book Length Prose

Shirley Nordeck Short / Preston County
3rd Honorable Mention Book Length Prose
The Coffeesoup Collection

***Special Mention:
Randi Ward / The Faroe Islands
Special Mention Book Length Prose
Labor Pains: A Portrait of Olevina Joensen

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Conference Entertainment Update

We've had something of a change in our conference entertainment for Saturday evening. Keith and Joan Pitzer were scheduled to perform in concert following the awards banquet, but an emergent situation has come up in their lives that has forced them to bow out for this year.

Fear not, for the Pitzers have lent us a hand at securing a replacement and we will now be honored to have Ron Sowell as the musical entertainment for Saturday night. Ron is the musical director of the internationally acclaimed public radio show, Mountain Stage, and is also a singer-songwriter, guitarist, performer and producer.

Ron originally joined the Mountain Stage as its guitar player when it was only a fledgling local radio show. Since then, the show has grown to be heard each week on 120 public radio stations nationwide and worldwide via the Voice of America and Ron has been promoted to its musical director. On the show he has played with hundreds of performers, such as Sarah McLachian, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Kathy Mattea and the legends Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Rambling Jack Elliott and Odetta.

According to his website: "In 1992 he released his first solo CD, Oil and Water, featuring ten original compositions. The songs range from the absurdly humorous to the socially conscious.

"As a performer he has the gift to make a thousand people in a concert hall feel like they are sitting in his living room. He's engaging and funny and plays great guitar and harmonica. Whether making you laugh or cry, sing or dance, Ron Sowell exudes sincerity and grace rarely found in such an accomplished entertainer."

We look forward to welcoming Ron Sowell to the WV Writers family of entertainers and know that he will continue our trend of outstanding performances at the conference.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

WV State Folk Festival in Glenville

(This news courtesy of WVWriters' own Granny Sue Holstein)

The Oral Traditions tent at the WV State Folk Festival in Glenville features some names that should be familiar to WV Writers members and possibly to Roundtable members too. The Festival is scheduled for June 18-21; the Oral Traditions tent is scheduled on Friday (19th) and Saturday (June 20th).

Most festival events are free and include lots of old-time music with our state's best musicians, The WV Belles, and lots more. It's a fun, laid-back time in a small town that keeps the heart of the mountains alive.

Here is the Oral Traditions tent schedule:

Friday, June 19th:
11am:Kirk Judd (poet)
12:00 Laura Treacy Bentley (poet)
2:00 pm Marc Harshman (poet, storyteller, writer)
3:00 pm Mountain Echoes (storytellers)

Saturday, June 20th:
10 am Fran Schmetzer (local Gilmer County author)
12:00 Susanna Holstein (storyteller, poet, writer)
3:00 pm Cat Pleska (storyteller and writer)
4:00 pm Suzi "Mama" Whaples (storyteller)

I hope to see you there! Email me if you need more information about this festival, which is the oldest folk festival in WV.

Monday, June 08, 2009

WV Writers BONUS Podcast: Episode 9 Now Available

Episode 9, the first of our two, count `em, TWO work-week bookending podcasts we're releasing this week, is now online.

In this episode we talk to Keith Pitzer of the singing duo Keith & Joan Pitzer.

Keith is not only leading a workshop on songwriting at the conference this year, he and Joan are returning to the Saturday night entertainment stage. Attendees last year remember them for their concert with our podcast's music provider, Pops Walker.

We talk to Keith about the craft of songwriting and hear some of the Pitzers music as well.

Friday, June 05, 2009

WV Writers Podcast Episode 8: William Bitner & Daniel Boyd: Tag Team Interview

Episode 8 of the WVW Podcast is now online, in which we speak with William Bitner and Daniel Boyd, authors, film-makers, educators, professional wrestlers, and creators of the WV-set pulp-style illustrated novel Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Slug Lords.

We talk to them about how they became the wrestlers Death Falcon Zero and Professor Danger and how that ultimately led to their book starring their in-ring alter-egos.

Both William Bitner and Daniel Boyd will be leading workshops at next week's WV Writers Summer Conference, June 12-14, 2009, Cedar Lakes Conference Center, Ripley, WV.

Check it out at our Podcast Page.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Leisure Books, the company “leading the way in publishing paperback horror,”* is partnering with Rue Morgue magazine in association with horror fiction web site ChiZine, to present “Fresh Blood,” a new writing contest specifically for unpublished horror authors. The winner will receive a contract for publication in Leisure’s 2011 lineup, as well as a contract from ChiZine Publications for a limited-edition hardcover release, also in 2011.

Leisure is looking for finished horror novel manuscripts, either supernatural or non-supernatural, of 80,000 – 90,000 words. A panel of experts, including Leisure Executive Editor Don D’Auria and editors at ChiZine, will judge entries. The finalists will be announced in November 2009.

From December 2009 through July 2010, monthly competitions in categories such as “Best Summary,” “Best First Line,” “Best Title,” and “Most Frightening Scene” will run on Readers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites, and after each deadline, entries with the fewest votes will be eliminated.

The winner will be announced in August 2010 at Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear in Toronto, Canada, as well as on the Leisure and ChiZine web sites.

Entries should be sent to by September 30, 2009. “Fresh Blood” must appear in the subject line of the email.

For full entry details, visit or Leisure Books is an imprint of Dorchester Publishing and publishes two horror titles every month by authors such as Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, and Sarah Pinborough.

Contest Rules
Submission materials should include:
A synopsis that tells the story from beginning to end.
The complete manuscript
The chosen finalists will later be asked to supply:
A dramatic, brief summary of the novel, similar to what would go on the back cover of the book. This should be no more than 200 words.
A description of your novel’s frightening element (the killer, the monster, ghost, vampire, evil presence, etc.). No more than 250 words.
A description of your novel’s protagonist. No more than 250 words.
The best dialogue scene in your manuscript. No more than 1500 words.
The most atmospheric scene in your manuscript. No more than 1500 words.
The most frightening scene in your manuscript. No more than 1750 words.
A brief bio and author photo

What does “unpublished” mean?
“Unpublished” refers to any author who has never had a novel published in book form. For example: If you have been e-pubbed, you are eligible.
If you have had short stories or anything under 40,000 words published in a magazine or anthology, you would still be eligible.

What formatting should I use?
Entries should be double-spaced and sent as a Word email attachment. The complete manuscript and the synopsis should be in two separate files attached to one email.

How long should the synopsis be?

There is no required length for the synopsis, though we find 3-7 pages is generally sufficient.
How do you calculate your word count?

If the manuscript is written in a standard font, our word count requirement generally means it will run about 340-400 pages. Your computer can help give you a rough estimate of what constitutes 80,000-90,000 words.

May I enter more than one title?

No. We request that you send only one submission.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Marc Harshman 1st Place in Newport Review Flash Fiction Contest

Congrats go out to WV Writers member and previous conference presenter Marc Harshman for his 1st Place win in the Newport Review's Flash Fiction contest.

You can read his entry, entitled "The Company of Heaven" at the Newport Review site.

Their 2009 Flash Fiction Contest will open for entries from June 1 through September 1, 2009. This year's guest judge will be fiction writer Hester Kaplan, author of The Edge of Marriage and Kinship Theory.

They are looking for works that are short in length but linger long in memory: small stories that pack a big emotional punch and make creative use of language.

Please note that this year, we are accepting slightly longer stories, up to a maximum of 1,000 words.

Complete Contest Guidelines:

Deadline: Postmarked by September 1, 2009

Word Count: Short-short stories up to 1,000 words

Entry fee: $7 per story, 3 for $20

Mail manuscripts w/check or money order (made out to Newport Review) to: Newport Review Flash Fiction Contest, P.O. Box 65, Warren, RI 02885

Manuscripts should include writer's name and complete contact information, including email and phone. Winners will be notified and posted on our blog and web site. Include a business-size SASE if you wish individual notification of contest results. Manuscripts will not be recycled unless return is requested; include SASE with sufficient return postage.

Writers may submit a total of six entries. The contest is open to all writers, published and unpublished, except writers personally affiliated with Newport Review, its editorial staff or board of directors. Past contest winners and those who have been published in the print edition of Newport Review are eligible to enter.

New prizes will be awarded:

First Prize: $150 and publication

Second Prize: $100 and publication

Third Prize: $50 and publication

Honorable Mention: Publication

Prize-winning stories and stories receiving honorable mention will be published in a future issue of Newport Review. Other stories may also be considered for publication.