Continuing the series of Frequently Asked Questions about the West Virginia Writers, Inc., Annual Writing Competitions.
QUESTION: I'm writing to ask a quick question about the category of "Appalachian
Writing" in the annual writing contest. Other than length (up to 5,000
words), there's little to describe what qualifies for that category on
the contest entry form; can you tell me a little more about the
guidelines for "Appalachian Writing"? Thanks so much.
ANSWER: The description of Appalachian Writing is left vague because it can
cover such a wide range of writing. But, ideally, the story, essay or
poem submitted will comment on some aspect of Appalachia and/or the
lives of the people who reside there. There's an awful lot of room to
move within those guidelines. It can be as simple as telling a good
story that happens to be set in West Virginia, or starting out with the
intention of illuminating specific aspect of Appalachian culture through
the work. You need not be a native Appalachian to consider entering,
either. I'm from Mississippi and have placed in the category twice.