The Wyoming County Economic Development Authority is hosting a writing competition to encourage and recognize, through grant awards, new or established writers of Wyoming County, WV. The purpose is to help keep alive and inspire new historical and cultural endeavors through the craft of writing. Applicants must submit an entry to the Planning Commission comprised of writers and Wyoming County residents approved by the Beckley Area Foundation (BAF).
Awards will be made based upon the merit of submitted work. There will be three prizes available for elementary students and two prizes available for each of the remaining categories. Winners will be announced in the Spring of 2023. There is no entry fee, although we encourage each applicant to only submit 1-3 entries. These awards are made possible by the generous gift of a Wyoming County donor, Lonnie Bailey, who created the Literature Fund for Wyoming County at BAF. This is the second year for the Literature Fund awards. Each entry will receive a certificate of participation.
Lonnie Bailey is the author of 22 books, 21 of them being composed of poetry. His poetry has been published in 133 anthologies and his songs have been included on sixteen CDs; he had a play performed by the Mullens Community Theater. On more than 300 occasions he has had material published in various newspapers and magazines. Lonnie Bailey’s work, both prose and poetry, has received dozens of national and international honors.
BAF was established in 1985 and began with a gift of $1.1 million from the Dr. Thomas Walker Memorial Health Foundation as “seed” money for the Raleigh County project. BAF assets have grown to nearly $60 million in over 500 different funds managed by three trustee banks. Today, the BAF is one of West Virginia’s largest community foundations. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $20 million to charities and other worthy projects in the fields of education, public recreation, health and human services, the arts and beautification.