2016 Judge: Diane Gilliam

Contest submission window: April 1 – June 1, 2016

A writing practice requires us to slow down, reflect, attend. HeartWood Literary Magazine & West Virginia Wesleyan’s MFA Program seek to honor this practice with the launch of an annual broadside series and contest. Partnering with West Virginia artist Diane Radford of Dog and Pony Press, we will print the winning entry (poetry or flash prose) on a limited-edition letterpress broadside featuring an original image inspired by the text. The annual broadside will be an artifact companion the fall issue of the digital magazine. Both the handmade and the electronic HeartWood venues aim to showcase work that gets to the heart of the matter.

Contest Judge: DIANE GILLIAM is the author of four collections of poetry: Everything Ever, Everything After (forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2016), Kettle BottomOne of Everything and Recipe for Blackberry Cake (chapbook). She has won a Pushcart Prize, the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, and is the most recent recipient of the Gift of Freedom from A Room of Her Own Foundation.


  • $15 entry fee (includes a mailed copy of the winning broadside)
  • Contest opens April 1, 2016. The submission deadline for the prize is midnight June 1, 2016.
  • Submit one poem (of any form) or flash prose piece (fiction or nonfiction) per entry; regardless of genre, the entry must be 250 words or less. There is no limit on the number of entries per person.
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in HeartWood.
  • $500 cash prize + 25 copies of limited-edition letterpress broadside will be awarded to the winner.
  • All submissions must be submitted via our online submission form manager, Submittable, at: http://www.heartwoodlitmag.com/submit/. We will not accept mail or email submissions, but please do include mailing address. We do not accept previously published entries. You may enter simultaneously submitted work as long as you notify us if the work is accepted elsewhere before our contest closes on June 1. Entries need not be anonymous.
  • 1st round of judging will be performed by HeartWood Editors. Finalists (approximately 20 poems and/or flash prose) will then be forwarded to the Contest Judge for the final round of judging.
  • Winner will be selected by July 1. Broadside will be printed/mailed October 1.
  • Winner will be publicly announced in the October 2016 issue of HeartWood; all entrants will be notified of submission status in July 2016.

Submit here!