Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence (AHWIR) Project and the West Virginia Center for the Book announce the 2024 West Virginia Fiction Competition, a literary competition to encourage writers and storytellers whose talent and ability in creative writing is distinctive and promising, and to foster an appreciation of Appalachian people, culture, and values represented in the diverse writing of the region. Submissions are encouraged from any resident of West Virginia or student in West Virginia who meets the criteria below. Click here to view a list of past Fiction Competition winners.
Who can submit? Any resident of West Virginia or student attending school in West Virginia.
What are the limitations upon submissions? Any original, unpublished work of fiction, 5,000 word maximum, double spaced, one submission only. Submission may not have received any other award, recognition, or special honor.
What is the deadline for submissions? May 1, 2024
Where should submissions be mailed?
West Virginia Fiction Competition
c/o Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt
P.O. Box 5000
Shepherdstown, WV 25443-5000
Electronic submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
What should accompany submissions? The application form below or at this link.
What prize will be awarded? $500 First Prize Award and possible publication, $100 each for Second Place, Third Place, and Judges’ Choice Awards for high school and middle school students. Teachers are encouraged to submit student writing.
Who will select the fiction contest winner? A panel of writers, editors, and creative writing instructors will choose finalists, and the 2024 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence (AHWIR) Marc Harshman will select winners from these finalists. The Fiction Prizes are funded by the West Virginia Center for the Book and will be presented by Marc Harshman on the night of Thursday, September 26, 2024, at Shepherd University’s Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium. Harshman will also provide reviews for each finalist’s story. The West Virginia Fiction Competition is part of the 2024 AHWIR Project and Marc Harshman residency, supported by the West Virginia Humanities Council: “Poetry All Around Us: The Writing of West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman.” Harshman’s award-winning collection Believe What You Can (Vandalia Press 2016) has been selected as the One Book One West Virginia common reading. Fiction Competition winners will dine with Harshman on the evening of the awards. All finalists and judges’ choice stories will be considered for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Marc Harshman Volume XVII.
When will the winners be notified? August 1, 2024.
West Virginia Fiction Competition Submission
Title of Submission:
Brief Bio. (100-word limit)