Submission Guidelines

New River Valley Voices Competition

The next Valley Voices Writing Celebration will take place on Sunday, April 5th, 2020 at 3 p.m. the Blacksburg Public Library.

Submissions are open!

Submission Details

DEADLINE: Tuesday, February 11, 2020


  1. Writers are invited to submit up to three poems, with a maximum of 65 lines per poem, and/or up to two prose entries (short stories, creative non-fiction, flash fiction, or standalone excerpts from a longer work) with a maximum cumulative total of 2,200 words.
  2. Submissions must be unpublished at the time of entry and must not have been presented in a public venue in the New River Valley.
  3. Winners must prepare to present their works before a live audience by attending a one-on-one session, at no cost, with a Valley Voices coach. The purpose of this coaching session is to polish the readings, increase writers’ comfort level in presenting before an audience, and enhance the overall quality of the program.
  4. Winners must attend an informal group rehearsal on Friday, April 3rd 2020 at 5 p.m. at the Blacksburg Library.
  5. All winners are expected to be present on the day of the performance to read their winning entries.


  • 12-point Times New Roman (or similar) font
  • One-inch margins
  • Double-spaced type for prose
  • All documents should be formatted using only normal text formatting with no layout and design features (e.g., no tables, columns, graphics, paragraph outlining, or drawing features such as text boxes or text following a curve, etc.).
  • The top of each page should include title, category (prose or poetry), and page number.
  • In 2020, for the first time we will include a Youth category for students in middle or high school. If you are a student writer, please indicate “Youth” at the top of each page.
  • Author’s name should not appear anywhere on the document. Submissions are judged anonymously.
  • Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will not be considered.

Electronic Submissions:

  • All entries must be submitted online through our submissions manager. You will need to create a username and password to log in. The link to submit can be found below. No email submissions will be read.
  • When submitting, please include a brief third person bio in the designated space.
  • Submission instructions can be found at the submissions manager, but if you have any difficulty making your submission, feel free to email us with your questions at Please, however, do not e-mail us your entry.


To receive updates and announcements about our competitions and readings, please “LIKE” us on Facebook, or subscribe to our email list by emailing

4 thoughts on “Submission Guidelines

  1. I am wondering if you would allow a submission from Roanoke to be included in the New River Valley Voices Competition. Also, please tell me about the “overall presented program” mentioned in the Facebook post announcing the contest. Thank you.

    • We would allow a submission from Roanoke (or another area outside the NRV) as long as the writer can commit to being present for both the rehearsal and the performance. This policy is subject to change, but that’s the current policy.

      The “overall presented program” just refers to the selections chosen by the judges for the live performance. For example, if four similar poems about, say, the beauty of autumn trees are submitted by different writers, our judges probably wouldn’t select all four, even if they happen to be the four best poems. The judges also might try to balance lighter and darker themes, or shorter and longer pieces. It depends on the range of work submitted. This is to ensure that the audience is presented with an enjoyable, varied program.

      We left the question and reply here because others might have the same questions!
      Feel free to send specific queries to:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s