Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are the most Frequently Asked Questions about our group and the conference. Perhaps your question is here. If not, please contact us!

Group Related Questions

Q: How many members do you have?
A: The number varies from year to year. Around 30, though several are not local and not able to attend regularly. We typically have about 20 in attendance at each meeting — which includes members and guests.

Q: Do I have to live in White County to become a member?
A: Definitely Not. Many of our members are from neighboring counties. We even had a registered member who lived in Alaska! Come to a meeting and get to know us!

Q: If I attend meetings, will I be expected to join?
A: Not at all. You can come to as many meetings as you want and participate as much or as little as you like. You can join when and if you’re ready; we’re just glad to have you there!

Contest Related Questions

Q: How do you keep the judges from knowing who the authors are?
A: This is why you send a cover sheet. Our method is to number the cover sheets ( which contain the authors’ names and addresses) and the entries ( which don’t have any identification on them) as they come in, then separate the cover sheets from the entries. The cover sheets are kept by the awards committee, and the entries go on to the judges. When the judges make their decisions, they simply tell the awards committee the numbers of the winning entries in their contest. The awards committee finds the corresponding cover sheets, which have the names of the authors, and voila! We have a winner!

Q: Why don’t you read, publish on your site, or make copies available of the winners’ pieces?
A: When you enter a contest, you are not giving up any of your publication/distribution ‘rights’. This means that WE have no right to distribute it. Many of our entrants are 1) trying to sell their work; 2) entering it in other competitions and/or 3) publishing it themselves. If we publish it on our site, or distribute copies, we are infringing on the copyrights of the authors.

It has been suggested that we ask authors to indicate on their cover sheet if we may distribute their work if they win or relay a contact number to anyone interested in reading it. The logistics of this are not feasible at this time. You are welcome to contact the winners yourself.

Q: Do you tell how many entries there were in each contest?
A: Last year we had more than 365 entries overall. Some contests had dozens of entries and some had a few. When we pass out awards at the Conference, we usually announce how many entered.

Q: Isn’t the contest fee just a money-making gimmick?
A: No. While our contests are, for the most part, sponsored, W.C.C.W. does have expenses in getting the entries to the judges, printing the certificates, and of course, the contests we sponsor ourselves. The fees also help support the conference. We try to keep both the contest fees and the conference fees as low as possible, and try to break even on expenses. Every few years we do make adjustments.

Q: What is Manuscript Format?
A: Publications and contests require submissions to be in Manuscript Format. This is a form that is a consistent way of presenting your work. Editors and judges know where to look for certain information and find this form makes it easy to edit and qualify your work. Contests are a great way to polish your skills in following these instructions, so you will be ready to send your work out for publication. See our page on Formatting and Other Tips.

Q: Why don’t you just list all these details in the regulations?
A: For the same reason that we don’t explain a Sonnet or a Western. If you want to write, you must investigate to learn the specifics. When something calls for Standard Manuscript Format, it is telling you that you must follow accepted publishing practices.

Q: How do I know if my piece is considered published?
A: WCCW considers that any work that has been presented to the general public, whether via electronic publication, re: blogs, web sites, e-publishing, or ‘hard’ copy, has been published.

Conference Related Questions

Q: Why is there a registration deadline?
A: The registration deadline is so we will know how many people to prepare for. There is seating to arrange, handouts to prepare, food to order – even the size of the room is affected by the attendance. It actually helps cut down on the expense, and that savings is passed on to you in lower fees for the conference.

Q: What happens if I just wait and pay at the door the day of the conference?
A: You take a chance. We will not turn anyone away, for the main reason you are there is to hear the speakers and to network. But, you may not get to eat lunch or receive some of the things that we have prepared for the registered attendees. We usually give the caterers and the speakers a number that allows for a FEW walk-ins, but if there are more than we allowed for, we simply will not be able to furnish all the extras to those not registered.