Wyoming County Literature Fund

Founded by Lonnie Bailey

This contest is sponsored by award-winning poet and Wyoming County resident, Lonnie Bailey, who created Wyoming County’s Literature Fund at the Beckley Area Foundation.  Lonnie Dale Bailey started this fund hoping “to help keep alive and inspire new cultural and historical endeavors through the craft of writing.” Grants will be awarded to new or established writers in Wyoming County, WV, based upon evaluation of a finished book or manuscript submitted to a selection committee. 

As a reminder: Applicants must be Wyoming County residents and be in grades 1-12 or 18+ years of age to qualify, and each submitted work must be centered around Wyoming County’s history and culture. Prizes will be distributed to winners of each category. 

Winners will be announced in Spring 2022, and there is no entry fee, it is encouraged for each applicant to submit 1-3 entries. Entries must be submitted to the Planning Commission between January 1, 2022 — March 31, 2022.

Entries must be sent to the Planning Commission at 506A River Road, P.O. Box 1828, Pineville, WV, 24874 OR emailed to christylaxton@wyomingcounty.com. If emailing, please include “Wyoming County Writing Contest” in the subject line.

2021 Winners

Writers from Wyoming County of all ages were encouraged to enter and submit works.

We had 4 entry categories: Elementary school (1st-5th grade), Middle school (6th-8th grade), High school (9th-12th grade), and Adults (18+).

The theme for all entry categories was Wyoming County History & Culture.

Read the winning works below!

Adult Winner:

1st - $200

Kathy Brewster

I felt it in the raindrops touching my face on a hot summerday, on a Wyoming County day.

I can see it in my yard, in the beauty of a bluejay...

"I Found Proof"

High School Winners:

1st - $100

Chloe Cook

Wyoming East High School Senior

The history of Wyoming County provides a precedent to achieve greatness in the present and the future...

"Wyoming County"

2nd - $75

Deztiny Quesenberry

Wyoming East High School Senior

The most delightful attributes Wyoming County has to offer is the natural beauty of the land, the outdoor activities, and the genuine people that call the County home...

"Wild and Wonderful"

Middle School Winners:

1st - $100

Austin Criss

Herndon Consolidated
8th Grade

On the porch, sun glaring down,

Steak on the grill, people having a thrill...

"Great, Sunny Wyoming County Days"

Elementary School Winners:

1st - $75

Aiden Craigo

Mullens Elementary
4th Grade

Wyoming County was first formed on January, 26, 1850. It was formed from a part of Logan County. Wyoming County was named after the Wyoming Indian Tribe, who were some of the first people to set foot in present day Wyoming County...

"Settling Wyoming County"

2nd - $50

Hunter Hill

Mullens Elementary
4th Grade

This year I killed a 5 point buck with a bow. Here is Wyoming County you can only bow hunt for deer. My dad killed a small 8 point, and my mom killed a big 8 point. Hunting is a family activity that we enjoy every year...

"Things I love about Wyoming County"

3rd - $25

McCrae Massie

Mullens Elementary
4th Grade

Wyoming County is a small town place filled with small communities where most everybody knows each other. I live on a mountain in Wyoming County called Barker's Ridge. I think Wyoming County is a very special place...

"Characteristics of Wyoming County"