The Ohio Valley Writers are pleased to announce our first writing contest. In fact, we’re announcing two contests: one for adults and one for elementary school children. We’re accepting submissions in fiction, nonfiction and poetry until April 5, 2018.
Don’t over think this. Just start writing.
The Ohio Valley Writers know all about you. We know you want to be a writer, but you’re not sure if you’re good enough. We know that you stay up late or get up early and craft your stories and poems. We know that you’ve always loved writing. Maybe you’ve never been published and want to be. Maybe you’re thinking about self-publishing.
We know these things because they’re true of the Ohio Valley Writers, too. And we know you’re out there because, one by one, you’ve started showing up at our monthly meetings. We couldn’t be more excited to see new faces at our meetings — at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Wheeling Artisan Center at. Guest speakers and authors visit us each month; members lead craft discussions. We offer constructive criticism and share success stories. Together, we attend conferences and keep each other going when the white page starts to wear us down.
Now, we want to hear from you. Send us your writing. Entries will be judged by members of the Ohio Valley Writers group. Winners will be invited to read their first-place pieces at the awards ceremony on April 26 at the Martins Ferry Public Library.
The OV Writers consider ourselves fortunate to live in a community that supports literature and writers. This is our first contest, and it’s been a learning experience for us as a group. Thankfully, we’ve had some help: Martins Ferry Public Library approached us with an offer to host the competition; they’re doing literary things, and we look forward to a spring season of writerly offerings. Additionally, Oglebay Institute offered to sponsor our contest with prizes for the winners. They believe in supporting the creative arts in the Ohio Valley, and their generous sponsorship allows us to reach out to you. It’s an exciting time to be a writer here, and we’re so glad to be working with two wonderful organizations.
So we want your stuff, Ohio and Belmont County. All the words, all the metaphors, all the sweat and toil and beauty that you’ve got inside. Send it in. Good writing is everywhere, and we can’t wait to read it.
OHIO VALLEY WRITERS – ADULT CONTEST
Open to all writers in Ohio County, W.Va., and Belmont County, Ohio.
Fiction (up to 2,500 words)
Nonfiction (up to 2,500 words)
Poetry (up to 3 poems)
PRIZES, sponsored by Oglebay Institute:
First – $100
Second – $65
Third – $35
Send original, unpublished work.
Indicate entry category and word count in the upper right-hand corner of the first page. All manuscripts must be titled, typewritten in standard 12-point font and double-spaced. (Poetry may be single-spaced.)
Submit a separate manuscript for each category you choose to enter.
Additional guidelines for entries: Please print on one side of 8.5-inch by 11-inch white paper. Please staple entries. Manuscripts will NOT be returned. All paper submissions will be recycled after the contest awards ceremony. Entries may be sent through regular mail only — NO signature-required mail will be accepted. Contest coordinators are not responsible for manuscripts that are delayed, lost in the mail, mailed to the incorrect address or damaged in delivery.
Members of Ohio Valley Writers and their families are not eligible.
JUDGING: Judges will not critique manuscripts. Entrants may not contact judges during or after the contest. Any attempt to do so by an entrant will result in automatic disqualification. Decisions of the judges are final.
WINNERS: Winners will be announced at OV Writers Awards Ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Martins Ferry Public Library. The list of winners will be posted online following the event.
DEADLINE: All entries must be received by April 5, 2018.
Click here for the Ohio Valley Writers Contest Adult Form.
OHIO VALLEY WRITERS – ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CONTEST
Open to all elementary school students grades 1-5 in Ohio County, W.Va., and Belmont County, Ohio.
Choose from one of the following prompts, or write your own story, essay or poem:
- If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would you be and why?
- What would happen if your favorite toy came to life?
- Write about a time when you were proud of yourself.
- 20 years from now, I will be….
- If I ever start a town…
- Write your own!
ELIGIBILITY: Entrant must be in grades 1–5 for the Elementary Competition, and must be a resident of Ohio County, W.Va., or Belmont County, Ohio. All entries must be original work of the entrant.
One entry per student, please. Though typed entries are preferred, hand-written entries will be accepted if they are legible.
WINNERS: There will be one set of first-, second- and third-place winners for each category. The winners will be chosen from the best of all categories in each age group, as determined by the contest judge(s). Winners will be announced at the Ohio Valley Writing Contest Awards Ceremony, at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Martins Ferry Public Library, and a full list of winners will be posted online following the event. Prizes for the kids’ contest will be donated by local businesses.
JUDGING: Judges will not critique manuscripts. Entrants, parents or teachers may not contact judges during or after the contest. Any attempt to do so will result in automatic disqualification. Decisions of the judges are final.
DEADLINE: All entries must be received by April 5, 2018.
Click here for the OV Writers Elementary School Form.
Questions? We thought you might have a few.
Why aren’t you accepting writing from middle-school and high-school writers?
We know we’ve left some of the population out, here. Alas, we are a group of 20 or so human beings with jobs and families and projects of our own. Most of us have a book draft that we’re pretending to work on (we’re really watching Netflix). We just don’t have enough time to do it all. This spring we’ve invited adults and elementary-school kids to submit; we’d like to offer a contest in the fall specifically for other age groups. That said, young writers can enter the adult contest. Feel free to take on the adults. There’s no age limit and we couldn’t be more excited by young writers.
Can I submit more than one entry?
Adults may submit more than one entry. We ask that children enter only one. As per the guidelines, adult entries should not exceed 2,500 words.
Do I get to read my winning entry?
First-place adult winners and all elementary winners will be invited (not forced) to read their entries at the awards ceremony on April 26 at the Martins Ferry Public Library. Additionally, all winning entries will be published on Weelunk.
Can I send something I’ve already published?
Who are the judges?
Visit www.ohiovalleywriters.com to see our member bios.
For more information, contact us via our Facebook page, email us at LJackson513@gmail.com, or contact the Martins Ferry Public Library at 740-633-0314. We look forward to reading your submissions!
(Elizabeth James, left, Laura Jackson Roberts and Fred Connors, pictured above.)