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Award-winning Appalachian author Homer Hickam to judge 2014 West Virginia Fiction Competition

ISSUED: 27 January 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Submissions to the West Virginia Fiction Competition, sponsored by the West Virginia Center for the Book and the Shepherd University Foundation, are due May 1, 2014. The competition is open to any state resident or student going to a school in West Virginia. The competition is open to all ages, and any original, unpublished work of fiction between 500 and 2,500 words can be submitted.

A panel of writers, editors, and creative writing instructors will choose finalists, and the Shepherd University 2014 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence (AHWIR), Homer Hickam, will select first, second, and third place prizewinners from these finalists. The first place winner will receive the West Virginia Fiction Award and $500 prize on the night of Thursday, September 25, at the Appalachian Heritage Awards presentation at Shepherd. The winning story will be read at the Appalachian Heritage Festival concert the following night. Both events are part of the 2014 AHWIR residency “The Prodigious Tales of Homer Hickam: West Virginia’s Master Storyteller.” Hickam will present the awards and offer story critiques to the competition finalists. Second and third place prizes will receive awards and $100 each. First, second, and third place prizewinners will dine with Homer Hickam and the contest committee members on the evening of the awards.

For information about the West Virginia Fiction Competition and submission guidelines, see Also contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, Appalachian Heritage Writers project director, at, Susan Hayden, West Virginia Center for the Book, at and 304-558-3978, or Brenda Feltner, AHWIR administrator, at and 304-876-5207 and 304-876-5220.

The fiction competition is supported by the West Virginia Center for the Book and the Shepherd University Foundation. All winners and finalists will have the opportunity for submitting to the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Homer Hickam Volume VII, to be published in April 2015.

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