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2022 WV Fiction Competition


​WV Fiction Competition  

Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence (AHWIR) Project announces the 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 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 Any original, unpublished work of fiction, 5,000 word maximum, double spaced, one submission only.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, 2022 

Where should submissions be mailed?
West Virginia Fiction Competition
c/o Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt
Shepherd University
P.O. Box 5000
Shepherdstown, WV 25443-5000

Electronic submissions should be sent to sshurbut@shepherd.edu.

What should accompany submissions? The application form below.

What prize will be awarded? $500.00 First Prize Award and possible publication, $100 each for Second Place, Third Place, and Judges’ Choice Awards for high school and middle school students.

Who will select the fiction contest winner? A panel of writers, editors, and creative writing instructors will choose finalists, and the 2022 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence (AHWIR) Barbara Kingsolver will select winners from these finalists. The Fiction Prizes are funded by the West Virginia Center for the Book and will be presented by Barbara Kingsolver on the night of Thursday, September 29, 2022, at Shepherd University. Kingsolver will also provide reviews for each finalist’s story.  The WV Fiction Competition is part of the 2022 AHWIR Project and Barbara Kingsolver residency supported by the WV Humanities Council: “Challenges of the Global Village: Appalachia and the Ties that Bind, with Barbara Kingsolver.” Kingsolver’s award-winning novel Flight Behavior will be the 2022 One Book One West Virginia Common Read. Fiction Competition winners will dine with Kingsolver on the evening of the awards. All finalist and judges’ choice stories will be considered for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Barbara Kingsolver Volume XV.

When will the winners be notified? August 1, 2022

West Virginia Fiction Competition Submission


Title of Submission:

Grade Level, Teacher, and School:




Brief Bio. (100 word limit—include school affiliation/teacher if appropriate)

Contact Information