The Wyoming County Economic Development Authority will be hosting a writing competition to encourage and recognize, through the award, of grants, new or established writers of Wyoming County.

The purpose of the competition is to inspire and help keep alive new historical and cultural endeavors through the craft of writing.

Applicants must submit an entry to the Planning Commission comprised of writers and Wyoming County residents.

There is no entry fee and entries are being accepted now through May 31.

There will be three prizes available for elementary students, in addition to two prizes available for middle school, high school and adults.

Winners will be announced in the Summer of 2021.

These awards are made possible by the Literature Fund for Wyoming County at BAF.

This fund was established by a generous gift from a Wyoming County donor, Lonnie Bailey.

Bailey is the author of 19 books, 18 of them being composed of poetry.

His poetry has been published in 93 anthologies and his songs have been included on five CDs; he has also had a play performed by the Mullens Community Theater.

On more than 170 occasions he has had material published in various newspapers and magazines.

Bailey’s work, both prose and poetry, has received dozens of national and international honors.

Beckley Area Foundation (BAF) was established in 1985, by 10 community-minded citizens.

It began with a gift of $1.1 million from the Dr. Thomas Walker Memorial Health Foundation as “seed” money.

BAF’s assets have grown to nearly $50 million in 500 different funds, making it one of West Virginia’s largest community foundations.

Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $16 million to charities and other worthy projects in the fields of animal services, education, public recreation, health and human services, the arts and civic beautification.

Anyone may make additional contributions to this fund.

Donations may be made online at the Foundation’s website,, or by check made payable to BAF with Literature Fund for Wyoming County in the memo.

Please mail your check to Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801.

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