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Virginia Outdoor Writers Association, Inc.



      The Virginia Outdoor Writers Association, Inc. (VOWA) is proud to once again sponsor a Collegiate Undergraduate Writing Contest. The objective is to encourage young adults to write about their outdoor experiences and interests in wildlife or natural history.

      The theme for the contest is to write about a memorable outdoor experience or special interest.

      The competition is open to any undergraduate student enrolled at a Virginia college or university, including two-year community colleges, public, and private post-secondary institutions, or to students who are Virginia residents attending similar out of state schools.  Each writer must title his/her entry and be careful not exceed the allotted word limit of 800 to 1,000 words.

            Prizes: Cash awards of $250 for first place and $150 for second place will be presented by VOWA.  In addition, this year a special new award for the best entry relating specifically to the Virginia outdoors (a story set in Virginia and written about a traditional Virginia outdoor activity such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping or similar pursuit) will be offered by Cooperative Living Magazine which is published by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).  The winner of this award will receive $100 and have their entry published in Cooperative Living Magazine.  A wonderful publishing credit opportunity for a young writer’s resume!  Copies of the magazine will be provided to the winner.   This award could be won by the first or second place entry or by another entry.  Judging will be done by a panel of three professional writers/editors.

      The winners will be introduced at our association's annual meeting, to be held in Staunton Virginia March 2013. This annual meeting will also be extra special – it will be held jointly with the Mason Dixon Writers Association and in attendance we expect to have the President of the national organization, the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Mark Taylor who hails from VA.  Winners and 2 guests each will be invited to the awards presentation at VOWA’s expense; additional guests will also be welcome. This is a very special opportunity for students to showcase their writing talents before many of the best outdoor writers from Virginia and surrounding states.

      In addition to the publication of the special award winning essay in Cooperative Living Magazine, winning entries will be placed on the VOWA website, and selected quality entries published in the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries e-newsletter The Outdoor Report.  Attempts will be made to get as many entries as possible published in a number of weekly and daily publications throughout Virginia.  Rewarding excellence is our goal.

      Contest Rules:

1.      Open to all full-time or part-time undergraduate-level college students enrolled in a Virginia college or university, including two-year community colleges, public, and private post-secondary institutions, or to students who are Virginia residents attending similar out of state schools.

2.      Non-fiction only under the directed theme of memorable outdoor experience or special interest.

3.      Length: 800 to 1,000 words maximum; the submission must be typed double-spaced.  

4.      Electronic submissions are required, preferably in a Word document.

5.      Supporting photos are not required, however they are welcomed. Photographs are preferred in digital JPEG or TIF format.  The intent is to publish the winning entry. When images are included, they will be considered as a story/photo package. Name and contact information must be included with each digital image in the “File Info” of the image.

6.      Submissions not following the above contest rules will be disqualified.

7.      Submission Deadline:  Electronically dated no later than February 7, 2013.

8.      If there are too few quality entries the judges have the right to declare a “no contest.”

9.      A biographical cover sheet must be included with the essay; this is a paragraph or two describing who you are, where you are from, your college, year (1st year, freshmen etc.), interests and goals.

10.  Writer’s name must be on each page of their work.  This establishes authorship and avoids any confusion with another person’s work.     

11. A completed SUBMISSION FORM (LINK) must also be included with each entry. Signature of parent or guardian is required for entrants who are younger than 18 years of age.

Send submissions to:

   Drs. Marie & Milan Majarov            

   Phone: (Cell) 540-336-8728      

   Email: marie.milan@majarov.com                    


Jan 10, 2013
Drs. Marie & Milan Majarov

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