This year’s Wytheville Chautauqua Festival’s Creative Writing Contest is taking submissions.

The contest is open to amateur writers, in these age groups: students in grades 6-9, students in grades 10-12, and adults (which includes college students).

The categories are: short story (under 5,000 words), essay (under 2,000 words), poetry (under 50 lines) and songwriting (under four minutes).

Prizes will be awarded in each category if the judges determine that the quality of the entries merits recognition. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded, ranging from $10 to $60.

Here are the contest rules:

• Open to only amateur writers and songwriters/musicians. You will be considered professional if you receive at least one third of your income from writing/songwriting or if you teach creative writing at the college level.

• Do not submit works that have been previously published.

• In the creative writing categories, submit only one manuscript per category (i.e., only one poem, one essay, one short story), but enter as many categories as you wish.

• Submit two typed originals or typed photocopies: one to be retained by committee, one to be sent to judges. Please retain a copy of your manuscript, as none will be returned. Include with each manuscript a removable title page containing your name, address, phone number, email address (if available), age group, and the literary category. Your name should not appear on any other page.

• For songwriting submissions: submit one copy of lyrics with a removable title page containing your name, address, phone number, email address, age group and musical genre. You may also email the lyrics as a Word doc, a pdf file, or rtf file. Include one copy of a CD recording of the song. The CD or lyrics will not be returned. You may also submit the song via email as mp3 file or other audio file.

• Enclose a check or money order for entry fee as follows: $15 for each adult category entry; free for each 6-12 grade student entry. Make checks payable to Wythe Arts Council. Teachers: ask your students to provide a bibliography for any research material they use in essays.

• Send entries to Deanna Bradberry, Chair, Chautauqua Creative Writing Contest, 670 North Third St., Wytheville, VA, 24382. Entries may also be emailed to Emailed entries must have a subject line with “Chautauqua Creative Writing,” the age group, and the category. The entry attachment must be formatted in a Word document or saved as a pdf or rft file. Include all information required on the entry form in separate document.

• Entries must be postmarked by May 15.

• Winners will be notified prior to June 15. Non-winners will not be notified.

• Awards will be presented on Friday, June 26, at the Wytheville Chautauqua Festival’s Creative Writing Day. The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. in Hatcher Hall of the Wytheville

Presbyterian Church. Winners will be asked to attend to receive their prizes.

This year’s Chautauqua Festival is June 20-27.

For more information about the creative writing contest, please contact Bradberry at

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