Literary Arts at Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival

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 We encourage all national and international writers to practice their craft by submitting previously unpublished poems and short stories to be juried.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. 

2017 Poetry & Short Story Entry Form


Meet our 2017 Juror!

Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for 2 years. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( ) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. His first spoken word album "Rick Lupert Live and Dead" featuring 25 studio and live tracks was released in March, 2016. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “Donut Famine”, "Professor Clown on Parade", "Romancing the Blarney Stone", “Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman”, “The Gettysburg Undress”  (Rothco Press) and “Nothing in New England is New”, and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah” and the noir anthology “The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” and writes the Jewish Poetry column “From the Lupertverse” for He is regularly featured at venues all over the world.

Congratulations to our 2016 Poetry & Short Story Contest Winners!

Poetry Awards:

Westmoreland Award: “To the Eighteen-Year-Old Track Star” by Teresa Narey - Pittsburgh, PA
First Place: “My Life As an Apple, a Pear” by Katharyn Howd Machan - Ithaca, NY
Second Place: “Loneliness of the Right Fielder” by Susan Richardson - Boise, ID
Third Place: “What Grandmother Did” by Rachel Michaud - Washington, DC
Honorable Mention: “Unfinished Poem” by Earl R. Keener - Bethany, WV
Honorable Mention: “Past Lives” by Eliza Callard - Philadelphia, PA
Honorable Mention: "Conclusions" by Carol Clark Williams - York, PA
Honorable Mention: "Blue Moon River Walk" by Laura Lovic-Lindsay - Freeport, PA
Honorable Mention: "Violent Dogs" by Sarah Santoni - Brdigeville, PA
Honorable Mention: "Winds Bend with Talented Tails from the Elements" by Carol Dee Meeks - Tulsa, OK
Honorable Mention: "Stara Majko, Mila Majko, Moja Draga Majko" by Eugene Z. Hirsch - Pittsburgh, PA

Short Story Awards:

Westmoreland Award: “Murder in a Mining Town” by Saundra McKee - Manorville, PA
First Place: “The Heartsmith” by Cody Michael Gros - Goose Creek, SC
Second Place: “Stir” by Laura Lovic-Lindsay - Freeport, PA
Third Place: “Fourteen Days” by Sharon A. Pruchnik - Windber, PA