MUST register for conference to participate in contests

Want to honor or memorialize someone special? For a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE contribution of $500 or more, you can endow HRW's 2013 Nonfiction Prize in that person's name.

Registrants may submit one contest entry in each of the categories -- Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry.

First Place Winners receive -- $250

Second Place Winners receive -- $150

Third Place Winners receive -- $100

Honorable Mention Winners receive -- $75 tuition break at HRW's 2014 Writers’ Conference


Fiction -- picture of Karen McElmurrayKaren Salyer McElmurray's Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, was an AWP Award Winner for Creative Nonfiction. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Editor’s Pick by Oxford American, and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. Other stories and essays have appeared in Iron Horse, Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Riverteeth, and in the anthologies An Angle of Vision, Listen Here, Dirt, and To Tell the Truth. Her writing has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She currently teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Programs at West Virginia Wesleyan University and Murray State University.  

Nonfiction -- picture of Shelby Smoak Shelby Smoak's poetry, fiction, and nonfiction essays have appeared in journals and magazines such as Northern Virginia Review, Cucalorus, Juice, The Crutch, New Thought Journal, Cities and Roads, and Coastal Plains Poetry. He was awarded a Pen/American grant for writers living with HIV. His book Bleeder: A Memoir (published by Michigan State University Press) narrates his college struggles as a severe hemophiliac who contracted HIV via a blood transfusion. He lives with his wife and teaches writing in Northern Virginia.

Poetry -- picture of Charlotte MatthewsCharlotte Matthews is the author of two full length collections of poetry, Still Enough to Be Dreaming and Green Stars. She is also the author of two chapbooks, A Kind of Devotion (Palanquin Press, 2004) and Biding Time (Half Moon Bay Press, 2005). Her work has recently appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Borderlands, Ecotone, Tar River Poetry, and storySouth. Most recently she received the 2007 New Writers Award from the Fellowship for Southern Writers. She is a graduate of The University of Virginia and The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She teaches in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia.

  • In an effort to encourage new writers, the contest is open to amateur writers only.  Authors who have earned more than $300 in the last 12 months from sales of their work or from prize earnings of their work are considered professional and are ineligible to enter any of the contests.

  • All entries must be unpublished in print, in e-zines, on blogs, and on personal websites and must NOT have placed (1st, 2nd or 3rd) in ANY previous writing contest.

  • Authors may submit ONLY 1 work in each category.

  • Entries must be typed on 8x11-inch white paper, 12-point Times New Roman font, black ink, double spaced with 1-inch margins.

  • Entries must include a removable title page (e.g. paper clipped) that contains author’s name, address, category, and title of the work.

  • The title and page number must appear on each page in a header to the right. Do NOT include your name in the header.

  • Faxed and/or emailed entries will NOT be accepted.

  • Mailed entries must include the registration fee (if entrant hasn't previously registered for the conference) and must be in our office by Friday, July 26.

  • Entries, registration, and payment, should be mailed to:
    P.O. Box 56228
    Virginia Beach, VA 23456

  • Failure to follow ANY of the rules will result in disqualification of entry.

  • All decisions by the judges are final, and all winners will be announced sometime between 3:45 – 4:15 PM on Saturday, September 21.

    Contestants MUST retrieve their contest entries immediately after the contest or entries will be discarded; we regret that we cannot mail them.

    The word count for each category is:
    o Fiction: One complete story, not to exceed 2500 words (NO CHAPTERS)

    o Nonfiction: One complete article, essay, or creative nonfiction submission, not to exceed 2500 words (NO CHAPTERS)

    o Poetry: One complete poem, not to exceed 100 lines

    Judges have been requested to offer confidential written comments on each entry; the length and type of comments are at the discretion of the judge.

    HRW is not responsible for lost or damaged submissions.

    Since January 24, 2013

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    P.O. Box 56228
    Virginia Beach, VA 23456

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