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Napa Valley College Jessamyn West Writing Contest

Jessamyn West



The English Department of Napa Valley College invites unpublished works of short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction for the 2022 Jessamyn West Creative Writing Contest. First, second and third place winners will be selected in each of the three categories. A first prize of $150, a second prize of $100, and a third prize of $50 will be awarded in each of the three categories. All winners will have their work published in our Jessamyn West Creative Writing Contest Anthology (medium to be determined). In addition, winners will receive free entry to the public craft lectures and readings presented at the 2022 Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. The contest is open to all Napa Valley College students enrolled in classes on a full or part-time basis during the last twelve months.

The deadline for receipt of entries is FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2022 AT NOON.

Entries will be screened by the English Department with final judging done by professional writers.
All manuscripts must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Participants may enter a maximum of one story, one essay, and five poems. All entries must be typed in a standard 12- point font and should be original and previously unpublished works. Entries including visual arts (e.g. graphic/comic narratives) are permitted and may fall outside the font/type requirement, but must still adhere to guidelines on length.
  • Fiction and Non-Fiction:  Entries should be typed, double-spaced with 1” or 1 ½” margins and should not exceed twenty pages.
  • Poetry: Poets may enter a maximum of five poems or five pages of typed poetry.  To clarify: There should be no more than one poem per page and no more than one column of poetry on a page  even if the lines are skinny enough to fit two columns side by side. If one or more poems are longer than one page, the total number of poems must be reduced so that the entire manuscript is no more than five pages. Complete an entry form for each poem.
  • Your name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript itself.
  • Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Follow all formatting guidelines for submissions. Email your submissions as a MS-Word attachment (no pdfs, please)  along with the completed entry form for each entry. Links to any online document storage such as Google Docs, OneDrive, or Dropbox, will not be accepted. Email electronic submissions to
  • Manuscripts that do not follow the formatting guidelines or that do not have a completely filled out entry form with complete information will be disqualified. 


It’s our pleasure to announce the results of the 2021 Jessamyn West Creative Writing Contest.

Announcing the Winners in Fiction - Christopher Oscar Peña, Fiction Judge

First Prize, Fiction                "The Poetry of Dirt" by Dana Rodney
Second Prize, Fiction           "Foregone Conclusions" by Amy Moore
Third Prize, Fiction              "Factory Summer" by Brad Shurmantine

Announcing the Winners in Poetry - Nicole Callihan, Poetry Judge

First Prize, Poetry                 "Ode to LBJs" by Brad Shurmantine
Second Prize, Poetry            "Life in Parts" by Erika Gottl
Third Prize, Poetry               "Résumé" by Lisa Shulman

Announcing the Winners in Nonfiction - Caroline Goodwin, Nonfiction Judge

First Prize, Nonfiction         "Borrowings" by Amy Moore
Second Prize, Nonfiction    "The House On Tupper Street" by Erin Stoltz
Third Prize, Nonfiction       "Amaryllis" by Valli Ferrell