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Ligonier Valley Writers

News Update, April 2024



Student Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony April 27

Ligonier Valley Writers’ 33rd annual Student Poetry Contest has found some very talented poets among students in grades 4-12 from schools throughout western Pennsylvania. They will be honored at an awards ceremony on Saturday, April 27, at the Greensburg Barnes & Noble (5155 Route 30) at 4:00 p.m.

    Thirty cash awards will be handed out (first, second, and third prizes in each of nine categories, plus Naccarato Awards for the best of the best in each age group). Many students will read their winning poems aloud. Last year there were more than 50 people in the audience cheering on LVW's student poets.

Winners will also have their poems published in a booklet and on the LVW website and get invited to be interviewed on SLB Radio in Pittsburgh.

Join us at Barnes & Noble to celebrate the next generation of creativity in our region by supporting these talented young people. You can read previous years’ winning poems at the LVW website now.


Loyalhanna Review Call for Submissions 

LVW’s literary journal is seeking poetry, essays, short stories, and photos and other art. We invite all authors and artists to check the submission guidelines at Click on Publications, then LR Submission Guidelines. The deadline is May 1. Share your work with a very appreciative audience.

This year the Loyalhanna Review was added to This list is for writers of short prose, a quick reference to publications that prefer shorter pieces. 


LVW Invites Entries to Flash Fiction Contest

Submissions are now open for LVW’s 18th annual Flash Fiction Contest, which awards cash prizes and does not charge an entry fee. This year's topic: thunderbirds, phoenixes, and other mythological birds. Check for the latest info and submission guidelines. The deadline is August 15.

The first prize winner will receive $50, second prize $25, and third prize $15. Three honorable mentions will not receive cash prizes but will be published with the other winners at LVW’s website. All six winning stories will be edited by a professional editor (me). Their authors will also receive a one-year complimentary membership to Ligonier Valley Writers. We’ll hold a Flash Fiction reading event shortly before Halloween.


LVW Member News

Linda Ciletti has published Faerie Treasures, Book 4 in her Hearts of Faerie series of adventurous romantic fantasy novels. This story features Gareth and Chrysalis on a journey into the Amethyst Sea in search of a mythical tree whose fruit brings back what is lost. You can buy it at


Michael Comiskey has published a full-length volume of poetry titled South of Pittsburgh: Poems from Northern Appalachia. Its 53 poems feature many different poetic forms, from sonnet to free verse. They all concern the natural and human environments of the area south of Pittsburgh: nature, the socioeconomic realities of the region, humor, some working-class poetry, and regional folklore. You can purchase the book at any major online retailer or directly from the publisher at


Beyond LVW

SLB Radio’s Open Studio at the Youth Media Center is a free drop-in afterschool program for teens in grades 6-12. Afterschool and Saturday programs for April 2024 include themed open mics (Thursdays, 4 pm) and workshops focused on mixed media (4/9, 4:30 pm) and storytelling (4/30, 4:30 pm).

If you’re a teen interested in podcasting, writing, music, journalism, or other forms of self-expression, check out the complete April 2024 calendar at SLB’s Youth Media Center is in the Children's Museum on Pittsburgh's Northside.


If you’re a teacher, The Community Builder’s Challenge, created by Red Nose Day in School and the LEGO Group's Build The Change team, was designed to help your students imagine solutions for everyday problems they see around them: Are there ways to make it easier for everyone to play together? What if you could change how to share food? How about a new green space for a neighborhood with no grass or trees? Help them see the world they want to live in and then bring their vision to life. The winning classroom will receive LEGO bricks worth at least $599 USD. Submit your project by May 15. For details and instructional video:


Immerse yourself in the magic of literature at the 2024 Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books. The third annual event will take place on Saturday, May 11, at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (616 North Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA). The Festival is FREE for all ages and will feature author talks, poetry readings, workshops, book signings, children’s and young adult activities, performances and much more.

Visit to learn more. You’ll see several writers who have taught at past LVW conferences or workshops, among them Richard Gazarik, Lori Jakiela, Julia Kasdorf, and Nancy Krygowski.


Ligonier Valley Writers Calendar 2024

April 15. Call for Flash Fiction Contest entries. No entry fee. Three cash prizes plus three Honorable Mentions. Deadline is August 15. This year’s topic is thunderbirds, phoenixes, and other mythological birds.


April 27, 4:00-5:00 pm. Student Poetry Awards Ceremony at B&N. The winning poets in grades 4-12 will read their work to the audience.


May 1. Loyalhanna Review submission deadline. (Reading period is February 1-May 1.) Check for guidelines.


July (Date TBA), 7:00-9:00 p.m. Loyalhanna Review publication party. Enjoy readings, hors d’oeuvres, and camaraderie.


August 11, afternoon. Annual LVW picnic. John and Sukey Jamison have generously invited LVW to hold our annual potluck picnic and readings at their farm near Crabtree.  


August 15. Deadline for Flash Fiction Contest entries. This year’s topic is thunderbirds, phoenixes, and other mythological birds. No entry fee. Three cash prizes plus three Honorable Mentions, editing by a professional editor, readings of the six winning stories during the Halloween season, and publication at LVW's website.


September (date TBA). Writing workshop. St. Michael’s of the Valley Church, Rector.


October (dates TBA). Readings of the winning Flash Fiction stories at local venues.


December 8, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Annual LVW Christmas Party. St. Michael’s of the Valley Church, Rector.


Please check or Ligonier Valley Writers’ Facebook page for the latest info and date confirmations.


We invite all LVW members and friends to drop us a line to let us know what you’re writing or reading or thinking. And as we plan events for this year, we’d love to hear your ideas for topics and speakers. Please email me if you have any requests.


Judith Gallagher

Publicity Director

Ligonier Valley Writers

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