Adult Literary Arts

The Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival is proud to sponsor our annual Poetry & Short Story Contest, open to anyone writing in English. We encourage all national and international writers to practice their craft by submitting previously unpublished poems and short stories to be juried. Since 1975, our non-profit organization has striven to bring the arts and humanities to the community of Westmoreland County. Our Poetry & Short Story Contest allows us to do so while providing an exceptional forum for writers and poets to present their original work.

Two jurors are selected each year. One juror is chosen to evaluate poetry submissions and a second juror is responsible for reviewing short stories. Winners are notified by the end of March and their works are then displayed at our annual Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival for visitors to read. All cash prize winners and honorable mention recipients are also invited to read their works live onstage at the Festival.

2021 Poetry & Short Story Entry Form

If you are typing directly onto the entry form, you must save the application to your computer before adding the requested information. Close the application and reopen the application from your computer. Once you add the information re-save the document before printing or attaching to an email.

Postmark Deadline: APRIL 16, 2021

Meet Our 2020 Jurors

Andrea Walls (Poetry Juror)

Andrea “Philly” Walls is a poet multi-disciplinary artist. She is a Pushcart poetry nominee and the author of the limited edition chapbook, “Ultraviolet Catastrophe,” and the multi-media web-collection, “The Black Body Curve.”  Her work has been supported by The Leeway Foundation, Women’s Mobile Museum, VONA/Voices and The Hedgebrook Community for Women Authoring Change. She is pleased that her poetry and visual art have found homes in publications she admires, including Callaloo, Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters; Solstice Literary Magazine; Tidal Basin Review; Kweli; The Fourth River; bozalta: Arts, Activism & Scholarship and heart (human equity through art) online journal. She is a community based teaching artist in Philadelphia and works across mediums in a socially engaged art practice. Find her on Instagram @urbanarchivist or at

Laurel Black (Short Story Juror)

Dr. Laurel Johnson Black is an Associate Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She teaches courses in composition, creative writing, law and literature, and language.  She has published She has read her work in numerous locations and has published a book, articles, poems, and memoirs.  She has conducted workshops on creative writing in the public schools and judged many speech and writing contests.





Congratulations to Our 2020 Poetry & Short Story Contest Winners!

Poetry Awards:

  • Westmoreland Award: “Origin of the Fire” by Carol Clark Williams – York, PA
  • First Place: “Where Pelicans Gather” by Katharyn Howd Machan – Ithaca, NY
  • Second Place: “Skyros” by Katharyn Howd Machan – Ithaca, NY
  • Third Place: “In Antikythera” by Earl Keener – Bethany, WV
  • Honorable Mention: “Cosmos” by Sandra Ebbesen Milligan – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Honorable Mention: “Family Dynamics” by Louise Kantro – Modesto, CA
  • Honorable Mention:  “Morning Melodrama” by Candace Kubinec – Greensburg, PA

Short Story Awards:

  • Westmoreland Award: “The Summer I Was Dead” by Sharon Pruchnik – Windber, PA
  • First Place: “Endings” by Carol Clark Williams – York, PA
  • Second Place: “James Johnston” by Walt Peterson – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Third Place: “Frozen Out” by Laura Ruth Loomis – Pittsburgh, CA
  • Honorable Mention: “The House” by Mary Ellen Raneri – Latrobe, PA