The Palouse Writers Guild launched their first writer’s contest amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Khaliela Wright, founder of the Palouse Writers Guild, had the goal of connecting different writers together who are from the Palouse.
There are two different categories for the contest, Wright said. The short story category is for unpublished writers and is open to a writer of any genre. Wright is responsible for first chapter submissions.
The first chapter category requires people to submit a single chapter of a story. Wright said this category is also open to any genre.
Mark Ready, president of the Idaho Writers League Palouse Chapter, is in charge of short story entries, he said. Ready will also provide feedback to novice writers. Originally, the Palouse Writers Guild wanted to work in conjunction with ArtFest, an interactive festival to celebrate the arts in Pullman.
“People didn’t really consider writing an art,” Wright said.
This prompted the team to put on a competition of their own to support local writers in the area, Wright said.
Ready said his primary goal is to create a nice safe place for writers to put themselves out there.
“The most important thing is to get words on the page, and that’s what I want to encourage,” Ready said.
They were surprised last year when the competition received six entries from youths, Wright said. One submission scored high and was top ten overall.
Wright said they decided this year young writers should be given the opportunity to receive an award in a category made for them.
The short story contest is open to anybody of any age, but they have to be a novice writer, she said. Contestants cannot be published in any type of issue.
“[The competition] is really to encourage novice writers and to give them feedback,” Wright said.
The competition is not big enough to exclude genres, she said. All writers on the Palouse are welcome to enter.
“We just want to support everybody,” Wright said.
There are first, second and third place prizes for each category listed on their website, she said.
When Wright founded the Palouse Writers Guild, she wanted to connect all the different areas of writing, she said.
“When you bring and connect all of those groups and you’ve got this bigger intricate web, then you can actually have a big group,” Wright said.
Stories must be postmarked by Feb. 15. An award ceremony will be held at the Palouse Writers Festival on June 26.