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Wanted: Winning Women Writers

by Whitney Hale

The Kentucky Women Writers Conference (KWWC) will offer cash prizes and other benefits in writing contests and scholarships again this year, each with a postmark deadline of June 2. The deadline is one month earlier than prior years in order to allow winners more time to make appropriate travel plans. 

Now in its 36th year, the KWWC  is an annual event known for bringing notable women writers to Lexington for readings, writing workshops KWWC Logoand discussions. A program housed in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, the conference is made possible in part by continued community partnerships, including its primary venue, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. Online registration for the conference opens May 1, but is not a requirement for entering its contests.

The KWWC staff is accepting entries for their annual Betty Gabehart Prize, to be judged by its Board of Advisors. Three prizes will be awarded as part of the contest in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Individuals making submissions for these contests should include a $10 entry fee. Each winner will receive $200, free admission to a conference workshop, and the opportunity to read her winning manuscript at the conference on Friday or Saturday, Sept. 12-13.

WritingTo apply for the Gabehart Prize, complete the entry form online or contact staff at to request an entry form. Manuscripts must also be postmarked by June 2. Winners will be notified and announced on the KWWC website by July 15, 2014.

Five merit scholarships will be offered to women in graduate school, any age, residing in any state, attending any school, in any degree program, though typically a Master of Fine Arts program. To apply, please submit a five-page writing sample postmarked by June 2, along with a cover letter that describes your interest in the conference and mentions the writing workshop in which you would like to enroll.

Applications for the merit scholarships will be reviewed by a committee of the director plus one advisor, and awards will be announced by July 15. Mail scholarship submissions to: Postgraduate Scholarships, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, 232 East Maxwell Street, Lexington, KY 40506-0344.