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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WVW 2011 Annual Writing Contest Judges List

UPDATED 3/10/11

Please note: We're still awaiting the final list of judges, so there are some missing categories here. They will be posted post haste.

Please see our Contest Page for entry forms and rules and regulations.


Long Poetry — Irene McKinney, Ph.D.
Dr. Irene McKinney has been our state’s poet laureate since 1993. She is the Director of the Low Residency MFA Program at WV Wesleyan College. She has served as poet-in residence for the WV Commission on the Arts and is the cofounder of Trellisi, a WV poetry journal.
Her first book of poems, The Girl with the Stone in Her Lap, was published in 1976, followed by The Wasps at the Blue Hexagon in 1984, Quick Fire and Slow Fire in 1988, Six O’Clock Mine Report in 1989, Vivid Companion in 2004, and Unthinkable: Selected Powems 1976-2004 in 2009. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1985, the Utah Arts Counsel Prize Award in Fiction, the Breadloaf Scholarship, the Cincinnati Review Annual Poetry Prize, the Kentucky Foundation for Women Award, and the Appalachian Mellon Fellowship.

Short Poetry — Barbara Smith, Litt.D.
Free-lance writer/editor, and medical ethicist, Emerita Professor of Literature and Writing and former Chair of the Division of the Humanities, Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, West Virginia. Most recent books: Demonstrative Pronouns (poetry), Judge Ira Robinson: West Virginia Statesman and Man of Letters (biography), Chick Flicks (short stories), On Golf and Other Sports and Non-sports (poetry), and most recently, Through the Glass (novel). Community and church activist and sports nut.

Short Story — Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area with her husband and three children. Her debut novel, Hate List, was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA Perfect Ten, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and is on the Texas Library Association's 2011 TAYSHAS reading list, is a 2011 Gateway Award Nominee, and won the Michigan Library Association's Thumbs Up! award. Her second YA novel, Bitter End, is scheduled to be released in May 2011 (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). Her website is

Non-fiction — Judith Tabler
Judith Tabler is a Professor of English at Marymount University in Arlington, VA and the workshop leader at the Writers Center in Bethesda, MD. She has been an editor for Columbia Books and has worked as a free lance writer for national Geographic in the Educational Department. Her publications include three non-fiction books on dog breeds, two young adult biographies - Levi Strauss and Evita Peron – and many magazine articles.

TOPIC: Animals — Janice Gary
Janice Gary is the recipient of the Christine White Award for Nonfiction/Memoir and the Ames Award for essay. Her work has appeared in Literal Latte, Kaleidoscope, the Baltimore Review, the Cincinnati Enquirer and Women Speak Out, an anthology of women's writing published by the Crossing Press. She was a featured writer at the 2006 Emerging Voices series presented at the New York City Public Library and is a fellow of The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Ms. Gary is a columnist for the Capital-Gazette (Annapolis) and teaches Creative Writing and Memoir at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband Curt and West Virginia-born rescue pup, Winston Wild and Wonderful.

TOPIC: Appalachian — Meredith Sue Willis
Meredith Sue Willis was raised in Shinnston, West Virginia, where here father’s family came following storekeeper jobs with Consolidation Coal. Her mother’s father was working on the tipple in Monongah at the time of the mine disaster of 1907. Meredith Sue now lives in New Jersey near New York City where she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Her novels and short fiction have been published by Scribners’, HarperCollins, West Virginia University Press, Mercury House, and others. Her latest books are Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel from Montemayor Press and a book of literary Appalachian stories from Ohio University Press called Out of the Mountains, praised in Booklist as a “finely crafted collection...worth reading twice to discover all its intricacies and connections.”

TOPIC: War — James Mathews
James Mathews grew up in El Paso, Texas and now lives in Maryland. He is a member of the DC Air National Guard and has been deployed overseas numerous times, including two tours in Iraq (2003 and 2006). His fiction has appeared in many literary journals, including the Northwest Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Wisconsin Review and The Florida Review. In 2008, the University of North Texas Press published his first collection of military-themed short stories called Last Known Position, which won the 2008 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. His website is

Emerging Poetry — Jeff Mann
Jeff Mann grew up in Covington, Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia, receiving degrees in English and forestry from West Virginia University. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in many publications, including Arts and Letters, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Willow Springs, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Crab Orchard Review, Bloom, and Appalachian Heritage. He has published three award-winning poetry chapbooks, Bliss, Mountain Fireflies, and Flint Shards from Sussex; three full-length books of poetry, Bones Washed with Wine, On the Tongue, and Ash: Poems from Norse Mythology; two collections of personal essays, Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear and Binding the God: Ursine Essays from the Mountain South; a novella, Devoured, included in Masters of Midnight: Erotic Tales of the Vampire; a book of poetry and memoir, Loving Mountains, Loving Men; and a volume of short fiction, A History of Barbed Wire, which won a Lambda Literary Award. He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Book Length Prose — Pam Hanson
Pam Andrews Hanson along with her writing partner (and mother) is the author of 30+ novels, including romances for Harlequin and women’s inspirational fiction for Guideposts Publishing. A former reporter, Pam previously taught journalism at West Virginia University. She now resides with her family in Nebraska, where she writes fulltime (often in her jammies).

Children's Book — Laura Bowers
Laura Bowers is a young adult novelist, wife, mother, Orioles fan—no matter what their record is, and compulsive list keeper. Her first novel, BEAUTY SHOP FOR RENT, a “Steel Magnolias for Teens,” was nominated for the 2009 Kentucky Book Award, 2009/2010 Volunteer State Book Award, and the 2010 New York State Reading Association’s Charlotte Award. Her second novel, JUST FLIRT, will be coming out in spring 2012 by Farrar Straus Giroux.

Emerging Writers Prose — Jeanette Luise Eberhardy, Ph.D.
Jeanette Luise Eberhardy, PhD, MFA, teaches writing at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and her work appears in Brevity magazine. As a creativity & writing consultant, she works internationally with the YES team to promote youth employment, most recently in Egypt. Eberhardy is working on a book, Creating Meaningful Work: What People Do and How It Impacts the World, a collection of interviews with entrepreneurs, artists, and activists who are creating new work for the next generation around the globe. She earned an MFA at Goucher College in Creative Nonfiction Writing.

Screenplays — Joe C. Evans
Born and raised (for the most part) in Mississippi, Joe Evans fell in love with movies when his older brother first showed him Frankenstein. Joe is a Past director of the Magnolia Film Festival and still sits on its board. After working a summer with Theatre West Virginia right out of college, Joe went on to work in the fields of music and technical theatre before settling into teaching music, drama and history in the Starkville, Mississippi. He is also heavily involved in the Summer Scholars On Stage program at Mississippi State University. This summer program lets young people write and produce their own stage musical in three weeks from scratch. Joe is starting a project at his school designed to foster young filmmakers get their projects out of their heads and on camera. He shares his house with his wife Leigh Ann, his sons Jonah and Rhys, and three cats.


Elementary — Michelle Bowers
Michelle Bowers is a professional puppeteer and theatre teacher who has taught students from the elementary level to the college level. She relocated to Charleston five years ago from South Carolina where she earned her Master’s in Theatre from the University of South Carolina. She has worked as an Adjunct professor for West Virginia State University teaching classes in Puppetry, Acting and Speech. Her written works include two original puppet plays, stage adaptations, articles and press pieces in The Beaufort Magazine, Southern Sensations, The Beaufort Gazette, and for the Beaufort County Public Schools. Michelle has taught classes in Playwriting and Writing for the Puppet Stage at Dreher High School in Columbia, South Carolina. Michelle serves on the Charleston Stage Company Board where she is the chair of the Marketing Committee. She belongs to a local writer’s group called Sunday’s at Two, and is currently working on her first novel which is set in the South Carolina low country.

Middle School — Belinda Anderson
Belinda Anderson is the parliamentarian for West Virginia Writers, Inc. She holds a bachelor's degree in news-editorial journalism and a master's of liberal arts studies. She's written for such publications as The West Virginia Encyclopedia, Goldenseal, Wonderful West Virginia, Book Page and Writers' Journal, among others. Belinda often presents readings and fiction and nonfiction workshops. In 2004, Belinda was inducted into the ranks of those authors and literary figures who appear on the first official Literary Map of West Virginia. Her first collection of award-winning short stories, The Well Ain't Dry Yet, was published in 2001. Publisher Mountain State Press brought out her second collection, The Bingo Cheaters, in 2006, and her most recent collection, Buckle Up, Buttercup, was published in the Summer of 2008. She's at work now on a novel for middle-grade readers, and a nonfiction book about the history of Wolf Creek Mountain.
"When I speak in elementary school classrooms, I like to involve the children in writing their own stories. I'm always delighted with the directions their creative minds take. I'm looking forward to seeing what the contestants' imaginations produce."

High School Category — Jessica Murphy
Jessica Murphy received her Bachelor's degree in English from West Virginia University, where she is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Professional Writing and Editing and teaching Composition and Rhetoric. Jessica has completed several editing internships, and her writing won first place in the Jon Scott Nelson Professional and Technical Writing 2010 Contest, first place in the Prose category of the West Virginia Writers 2010 Writer’s Wall Contest, and second and third place in the James Paul Brawner Expository Writing 2009 and 2010 Contest respectively.