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Deadline for West Virginia Fiction Competition submissions is May 1

ISSUED: 13 March 2023

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities is accepting submissions from writers for this year’s West Virginia Fiction Competition. Any writer living in West Virginia or student attending school in the state may enter the competition. The submission deadline is May 1.

Award-winning writer Ann Pancake will select the competition winners after a panel of editors and creative writing teachers select ten finalists. Pancake, who is Shepherd’s 2023 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence and One Book One West Virginia author, will write reviews of all finalist stories.

There is no cost for entering the competition and prizes will include $500 for first place and $100 for second, third, and the judges’ choice awards. The judges’ choice prize goes to a West Virginia middle or high school student. Winners’ and finalists’ submissions could be published in the “Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume XVI, Ann Pancake.”

The theme of Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence this year is “Appalachia and the Natural World, the Natural World and Appalachia: The Fiction of Ann Pancake.” This year’s One Book One West Virginia selection is Pancake’s “Strange as the Weather Has Been.”

The Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program is supported by the West Virginia Humanities Council in partnership with the Shepherd University Foundation and the West Virginia Center for the Book. The fiction-writing competition is supported by the West Virginia Library Commission and Center for the Book, working in partnership with Shepherd’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities.

For more information, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities director. For story submission guidelines, visit the Fiction Competition webpage.

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