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Appalachian Studies program accepting fiction competition submissions by May 1

ISSUED: 21 February 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, — Shepherd University’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities is accepting submissions by May 1 for the 2020 West Virginia Fiction Competition. The competition was created to encourage writers and storytellers whose talent and creative writing ability is distinctive and promising, and to foster an appreciation of Appalachian culture and values represented in the diverse writing of the region. Submissions are encouraged from any resident of West Virginia or student going to school in the state.

Winners of the 2020 West Virginia Fiction Competition will be selected by West Virginia Common Read author Dorothy Allison, who will select finalists from a pool chosen by writers, editors, and teachers of creative writing in the state.

The West Virginia Fiction Competition is supported by the West Virginia Humanities Council, and Shepherd partners with the West Virginia Center for the Book and the West Virginia Library Commission to run the competition. Fiction awards range from the $500 first prize to the $100 judge’s choice awarded to middle or high school students showing promise in fiction writing and spinning a tale.

For submission details and for a look at past winners across the state, visit the fiction competition website at, or contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, director of the Shepherd University Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities, at

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