The Golden Nib is the Virginia Writers Club (VWC) annual writing competition with cash prizes for state-level First Place-$100, Second Place-$50, and Third Place-$25, for each category of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Contestants must be members in good standing of a VWC chapter and a current member of the state organization. Each chapter submits the club level first prize winners to the state finals. Winners of the State-level VWC Contest will be announced and awards presented at the VWC Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony in November.

The CBW Entry Deadline was extended until July 29! VWC requires both snail mail and email copies. Priority Mail isn’t necessary if the email is received by July 29; the hard copy can follow by regular mail.

CBW awards a prize of $25 for First Place in fiction, nonfiction and poetry at the club level.
There are no fees to enter. You must be a member of CBW, and First Place CBW winners must be members of VWC in good standing to be in the State competition.

See the Contest Rules below for formatting and other requirements! VWC is very strict about the details, so please, follow the rules. Good writing and good luck!

CONTEST RULES for Golden Nib Contest
Entries will be accepted on any subject in the categories of Fiction, Non-fiction and Poetry.
  • Manuscripts must be the original, unpublished work of the entrant, and must not have won a prize at any level in any other competition. The VWC State competition will now allow entries published in your personal blogs. Writing published on social network sites, in an online publication, or in blogs other than your own is not eligible. 

  • Entrants may submit only one entry per category of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. 

  • Fiction and nonfiction entries must be no longer than 3,500 words. Poetry entries must be no longer than 50 lines. 

  • Fiction should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style; nonfiction can be either Chicago style or Associated Press Style.
  • Format: 

            Detachable cover sheet including author’s name, address, telephone number, email address (if available), category (fiction, nonfiction, poetry) and title.

          All other pages must show contest category, title and page number in the header. If the author’s name appears on any page of the manuscript other than the cover sheet, the entry will be disqualified.

          Prose (fiction and nonfiction) manuscripts must be printed in a plain, legible font, such as Times New Roman in 12-to 13- pitch. Manuscripts must be printed on 8 1⁄2 by 11-inch white paper, double-spaced, with one-inch margins top, bottom and left, and a ragged right margin. Poetry manuscripts must be printed in a plain, legible font, such as Times New Roman in 12- to 13-pitch. Manuscripts must be single-spaced and printed on 8 1⁄2 by 11-inch white paper with one-inch margins top, bottom and left.

Submissions not in accord with format and other rules will be disqualified.

          State winning entries in each category may be published in Portable Data File (*.pdf) format, on the
VWC Web site. All other rights remain the property of the author. Manuscripts for the contest will not be returned. 


Snail mail: Chesapeake Bay Writers
                    PO Box 324, North, VA 23128


Apply Now for 2017 CBW Second Monday Radio Interviews with Neal Steele!

We are looking for members with recently published books to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by Neal Steele on XTRA 99.1 FM.  Email Tracy Lanum at or call (804) 815-9954 to get a copy of the show guidelines and discuss scheduling an interview.

How to Join Virginia Writers Club

VWC Membership is independent of CBW Chapter Membership and requires a separate application and dues payment. If you wish to join the Virginia Writers Club (VWC), click here.

Great Program at CBW Dinner Meeting - Wednesday,
June 21 at Goodfellas in Gloucester

Twenty member and friends of CBW gathered to hear Michael Khandelwal, Director of The Muse Literary Center on June 21. The meeting included good food, a great chance to socialize, and an interesting and informative program with a lively Q & A session and helpful handouts.

Michael brought a door prize and added a free Muse seminar won by guest Elena Siddall of Mathews.

We introduced new member Jeff Walker and Grace M. DeLeesie brought gift bags for all attending.

Thank you to Michael, and to all who attended!

The Creative Power of Revision

The story or idea in our minds is often glorious, but when we translate what's known inside us into language, the good work and good fun of being a writer really begins. Our first drafts may be marvels of the unconscious mind, but 95 percent of a writer's work is revision, and rightly so. That's when we get to take conscious control of our work by editing. The secret of writing is that it's within the revision process that we become truly creative. Whether you are a published pro or just beginning, together we'll strengthen our understanding of the craft of self-editing, refresh our editing checklists, and discuss the pros and cons of support from others, including workshops, classes, retreats, and conferences.

Our speaker, Michael Khandelwal, is the Executive Director of The Muse Writers Center, a nationally recognized literary center in Norfolk. An award-winning writer and teacher, he writes poetry and fiction as well as editorials, profiles, and feature articles for Coastal Virginia Magazine, Alt Daily, and others and teaches poetry and fiction workshops for The Muse.