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Foreseeable Events:

Randy Ross

LVW Hosts Nationally Known Author for Ligonier Talk

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Publication:
An Evening with Novelist and Performer Randy Ross

Feeling discouraged about your writing prospects?  Don’t be.  Boston-based writer Randy Ross pitched his debut novel, God Bless Cambodia, to 110 agents and 15 small presses before receiving an offer from The Permanent Press, a Long Island publisher of literary fiction.  Reviewers have praised Randy’s book, a fictional travel memoir. Booklist Online compared it to Anne Tyler’s bestselling novel The Accidental Tourist

Randy will discuss lessons he learned the hard way about querying agents, negotiating a contract with a small press, and how much credence to give to advice from experts, well-meaning friends, and not-so-well-meaning reading partners.  He will also perform scenes from his one-man show, The Chronic Single’s Handbook, which was derived from the novel.

Randy Ross is a writer, performer, and Web consultant.  His fiction and humor have appeared in The Drum, Black Heart Magazine, Side B Magazine, and Calliope.  His comic novel is available in paperback; a hardcover will come out this month.  His one-man show has been featured at theater festivals in the United States, Canada, and Edinburgh, Scotland.  He writes a popular blog and lectures about self-promotion and marketing for writers.  Randy was the executive editor for an award-winning website (PCWorld.com) for seven years.  He holds a masters in journalism from Northwestern University.  For more information about Randy, his novel, and his show, please visit http://www.randyrossmedia.com.


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The Loyalhanna Review

Writing Opportunities for Adults: The reading period for submissions to The Loyalhanna Review opens February 1, 2017.  Submit your poem, essay, short story, or artwork before May 1, 2017.

Phantom Dectives 3

If you missed the author signing, you may order the book from the Secretary

Loyalhanna Review 2016 Guidelines


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2016 Poetry Winners

Local Students Win Poetry Prizes from Ligonier Valley Writers

Students from schools throughout western Pennsylvania were honored at Ligonier Valley Writers’ twenty-fifth annual Student Poetry Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 23, at the Barnes & Noble store in Greensburg.  The judges received more than 500 entries from school students and homeschoolers throughout western Pennsylvania.

Grades 4-6: The winners of the Paul Spencer Poetry Award for rhymed verse (sponsored by Kathleen and Paul S. Brittain) are William Moyer of Conemaugh Township Middle School (first prize for "I'm Bad at Poetry," Shelby Bell of Ligonier Valley Middle School (second prize for “52-Hertz Whale”) and Valentina Gulino of Marshall Elementary School (third prize for “Pap-pap Pete").  Winners of the Chestnut Ridge Literary Award for unrhymed verse (sponsored by Lou and Barbara Steiner) are Lucy Lee Anthony of Ligonier Valley Middle School (first prize for “Missing Piece”), Dillon Fryer, also of Ligonier Valley Middle School (second prize for “I Can't Understand”), and Natalie Kimmel of Conemaugh Township Middle School (third prize for “Changing Seasons, Changing Feelings”).  Winners of the Hayden Savinda Memorial Award for haiku (sponsored by Ronald J. Shafer) are Makenna Miller (first prize for “Trees”), Jonathan Donaldson (second prize for “Sky”) and Lucy Lee Anthony (third prize for “Rainy Days”).  All three are students at Ligonier Valley Middle School.

Grades 7-9: First-prize winner of the Highview Farm Award for traditional verse (sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey) is Joselyn Busato of Southmoreland Middle School for “One Word.” Gianna Laurita of Belle Vernon Area Middle School won second prize for “The Land” and Emilie Brottish, also of Belle Vernon Area Middle School, won third prize for “Solar System.”  Winners of the Shirey Poetry Award for free verse (also sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey) are Amanda Shultz (first prize for “The Boy Who Was Left Alone”), Raelyn Horne (second prize for “See the Light”) and Isaiah Lezama (third prize for “That One Kid”).  All three winners attend Belle Vernon Area Middle School.  Winners of the Ogden Nash Award for light humorous verse (sponsored by Anita Staub) are Sydney Baciak of Belle Vernon Area Middle School (first prize for “An Interesting Encounter”), Maria Iacoboni, also of Belle Vernon Area Middle School (second prize for " Spaghetti"), and Faith McDowell of Ligonier Valley High School (third prize for "It Wasn't Me!").

Grades 10-12: Winners of the Log House Award for traditional verse (sponsored by the Greensburg Writers’ Group in memory of Tina Thoburn) are Grace Keibler of Trinity Christian School (first prize for “Eclipse”), Jordan Scott of West Mifflin Area High School (second prize for “Word to My Father”) and Kaylin Myers, homeschooled (third prize for “Take Heart”).  Winners of the Jane Robb Gallagher Award for free verse (sponsored by Judith Gallagher) are Anushka Shah of North Allegheny High School (first prize for “August"), Mehrnaz Tiv of North Allegheny High School (second prize for “A Full House"), and Claire Ewing of Keystone Oaks High School (third prize for “Neither Lamb nor Lion”).  Winners of the Marie Martin Memorial Award for romantic poetry (sponsored by Phil and Mary Lou Fleming) are Kaylin Myers, homeschooled (first prize for “Faded Flowers"), Caleb Tichon of West Mifflin Area High School (second prize for “The Modern-Day Hopeless Romantic”) and Emma Krofcheck of Yough Senior High School (third prize for “In Winter”).

McGough Awards: The Best of the Best The Walter McGough Memorial Award is for the best of the best in each age group.  Winners are Brynlyn Berkey of Conemaugh Township Middle School for “A Moonlight World” (grades 4-6), Robert Marr of Belle Vernon Area Middle School for “Trump Hair” (grades 7-9) and Mehrnaz Tiv of North Allegheny Senior High School for “Maternal Lament” (grades 10-12).

The winning students performed their poems aloud to an audience of proud family members, teachers and others.  These talented young writers received ribbons, booklets containing all the winning poems, and cash prizes (which most of them promptly spent on books).  Special congratulations to Mehrnaz Tiv, Lucy Lee Anthony, and Kaylin Myers, who won two awards each, as well as to Emma Krofcheck, who has won poetry awards in the LVW contest for seven years in a row.  Several other students were repeat winners.

Ligonier Valley Writers

Ligonier Valley Writers is celebrating 30 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 2014 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 2015.

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.