LVW Conference 2014
2014 Poetry Contest
Newsletters 2014
Loyalhanna Review 2013
Flash Fiction 2014
Poetry Tutorials
Loyalhanna Review Guidelines
Loyalhanna Review Archives
Poetry Awards 2012
Calendar & Membership
Loyalhanna Review 2010 Party
LVW 2010 Con Slideshow
Conference Scholarship Info
Local Writing Groups
e-mail me



Flash Fiction

Student Poetry Contest

Loyalhanna Review 2013

The 2013 Loyalhanna Review is online, but the index is not functional yet.


Student Petry Winners 2013

Jump to the Award Winning Poems

All of us at Ligonier Valley Writers congratulate all of the talented young writers who won prizes in our annual Student Poetry Contest. Keep up the good work! For advice on how to write poetry, as well as information on workshops and contests, and more about any LVW events and publications, look around our website, here at


Flash Fiction Contest 2013

Winners of LVW Flash Fiction Contest

Now that autumn's here, can Halloween be far behind?  To hasten the big day, Ligonier Valley Writers announces the winning stories in our ninth annual Flash Fiction Contest.  Each year the topic is Halloween themed: the first year ghost stories, then vampires, zombies, dragons, and so on.  This year the topic was cats, rats, and bats, in any combo, and our ever-innovative entrants found some creative ways indeed to combine them.  If you're in the mood to feel shivers up your spine, watch this space.  We'll be posting the winning stories soon.  Boo!

Once again, the contest was infused with international flavor.  We received entries from as far away as France — not to mention from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from coast to coast of the United States.  An overwhelming majority of the entries were from writers who have participated in our previous Flash Fiction Contests, including half of the winning entries.  In fact, for the first time we have a repeat first-prize winner.  The judges have judged, the points have been totaled, and now we are pleased to announce the winners.

FIRST PLACE: " 'Ratical' Image Makeover" by Jim Busch of White Oak, PA

SECOND PLACE: "The Bat" by Ron Murphy of Indiana, PA

THIRD PLACE: "Mrs. Welford's Candy" by Ceil Kessler of Greensburg, PA

HONORABLE MENTIONS: "Lizzie's Blue Ribbon Borscht" by Georgia A. Hubley of Henderson, NV

"Something Old, Something New" by Jan Kinney of Altoona, PA

"Pink Revenge" by Candace Kubinec of Greensburg, PA


Poetry Tutorials

Click on the button on the left to access the four poetry tutorials by Barbara J. Miller, internationally published author and faculty in Seton Hill University's Masters in Fine Arts Creative Writing Program.

2012 Flash Fiction Winners

2012 Flash Fiction Contest Results

This year brought another international group of contestants to Ligonier Valley Writers’ annual Flash Fiction Contest.  Entries came from all over the United States, including California, Alaska, New York, Florida, New York, and of course Pennsylvania.  Entries also arrived from Canada, Indonesia, France, and Romania.

The entrants ranged in age from eight-year-olds to a great-grandmother in her eighties.  Entries started arriving the day after the contest was announced.  The last entry was received at 11:50 p.m. on August 14, with a full ten minutes to spare before the midnight deadline.

The judging was difficult because we received so many well-written entries with such diverse takes on the subject of dragons.

One-third of the entrants were repeaters.  That is, they were writers who have partaken in LVW's prior Flash Fiction Contests.  Of the winning writers, two-thirds were repeaters.  Some had entered four or five previous LVW Flash Fiction Contests, proving that old but not worn-out cliché: Winners never quit.

Here are the winners of Ligonier Valley Writers’ 2012 Flash Fiction Contest :

First Place: "Best Wings in the Burgh" by Jim Busch

Second Place: "Home Alert Dragons" by John A. Frochio

Third Place: "Gift of the Magi(cian)" by Kirk Baker

Honorable Mentions:

"Connor's Dragon" by R. F. Marazas

"The Dragon Coin" by Barbara Purbaugh

"Feeding Time" by Chris Sandusky

The winning stories will be read at Red Barn Books starting at 1:00 on Saturday, October 13, 2012.  The bookstore is at 203 Old Route 30 in Greensburg, PA 15601.  Complete directions to the store are at www.redbarnbooks.com.  Authors who can attend are invited to read their stories to the audience.

After the readings, two free mini-workshops will be held: "How to Lose a Writing Contest" (taught by Ed Kelemen, organizer of the Flash Fiction Contest), and "How Not to Get Published" (taught by Mary Ann Mogus).  Both authors will also be signing their books: The Haunted Foothills; Shadow Hands; and The Lethe Gene.

The event is free and open to the public.  Food and prizes will be provided.

Ligonier Valley Writers

Ligonier Valley Writers is celebrating 26 years of serving writers and readers throughout western Pennsylvania.  For more about LVW events, publications, and writing contests, visit this website often.  The next major event will be the Student Poetry Contest, which offers cash prizes to poets in grades 4-12.

Ligonier Valley Writers is a non-profit writers group in Southwestern Pennsylvania which encourages interest in the written word and the continued perfecting of the art and craft of writing.

Ligonier Valley Writers sponsors workshops, programs, and the Loyalhanna Review is the literary journal published each year by the Ligonier Valley Writers.  Check for submission guidelines on the Loyalhanna Review section.  The 2012 edition is now available online.

For LVW services and activities, click one of the menu buttons to the left.

Questions about writing or getting published?  Ligonier Valley Writers has resources of experienced published writers in most genres who would be glad to respond to your questions.  If one of us can't come up with some good advice, we can probably point you in a good direction.  Try us out.  Just click Email on the menu and follow the links.

New members are always welcome!  Join now for full benefits in 2013.

We depend on the much appreciated financial support of members and donors.  Without it, our many programs could not have been developed.  Contact us with the email link on the rightside of this page.

You may know of the many member benefits LVW dues help fund, but you may not know how valuable your financial support is in promoting a literary presence in our region that encourages all aspects of the written word, both for writers and readers.

1. The Loyalhanna Review is the literary journal published by the Ligonier Valley Writers.  It is an ongoing expense but one that is a valuable advocate for regional writers and readers.

2. As this new website continues to develop, it will provide online services for the general public and special features exclusively for members.

3. Ligonier Valley Writers depends on volunteers to maintain the organization, serve on committees, and do other work necessary to keep the organization functioning.  If you would like to volunteer, please email a message to the Secretary.

As you can see, yearly dues are critically important to the success of Ligonier Valley Writers.  Many thanks for your past and continuing support.

Because we get many messages, if you request an email response please make certain that your email service will accept the reply.  This organization is run by volunteers and it is time-consuming for those answering your questions to register at different sites just to get a message to you.

LR 2012 Poetry

Ligonier Valley Writers is registered to receive tax-free donations and
share in the Westmoreland Community Foundation portion from
PittsburghGives.org on the
Day of Giving, May 6, 2014
from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. (midnight) ET.

All donations during that 18-hour period will receive a pro-rated portion of the match pool.

For example, if the match pool is $750,000 and the total amount raised that day is $8,000,000, then the match may be 9 cents on the dollar.


1. Visit www.westmorelandgives.org on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

2. Click "Donate Now."

3. Enter your name and contact information.

4. Choose "Ligonier Valley Writers" on the list of local nonprofits.

5. Enter the amount you wish to give. Gifts of $25 up to $1,000 are matched by the Westmoreland Community Foundation.

6. Click "Go to Checkout" and enter your information.

Only MasterCard or Visacredit card donations will be matched for this event.

Each gift is 100% tax deductible.

The minimum gift per organization is $25.
An individual may give any greater amount,
but only the first $1,000 will be matched.

LVW is a 501c3 public nonprofit organization.

See our published portrait and details about donating on


Student Poetry Contest

Twenty-five students from schools throughout western Pennsylvania were honored at Ligonier Valley Writers’ twenty-third annual Student Poetry Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 26, at the Barnes & Noble store in Greensburg.  The judges received several hundred entries from school students and homeschoolers throughout western Pennsylvania.