Betty Gabehart Prizes

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2017 winners and honorable mentions:

FICTION winner: “Fish and Wildlife,” by Deborah Reed Downing of Metairie, LA

honorable mentions:

“Notes to a Nonexistent Niece, Vol. III,” by Kat Meads of Ben Lomond, CA

“Two Dollars Down,” by Ashley Strosnider of Lincoln, NE

 “The Watermelon Trick” by Michele Ruby of Louisville, KY

POETRY winner: “Consumption” and other poems by Ann V. DeVilbiss of Louisville, KY

honorable mentions:

“The Three-Year-Old in the Fertility Clinic Waiting Room” and other poems, by Lisa Ampleman of Cincinnati

“Portrait of Poet As Barn Owl” and other poems, by Carrie Green of Lexington, KY

NONFICTION winner: “Return to Chicago,” by Mary Jean Kledzik of Norfolk, VA

honorable mentions:

“Deep Neutral,” by Victoria DiMartile of Fort Mitchell, KY

 “How Many Hours in Mumbai,” by Laura Dennis of Williamsburg, KY


Three emerging writer awards are presented by Kentucky Women Writers each year. The Betty Gabehart Prizes in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry recognize and support writers of exceptional talent who show potential for excellence in their literary endeavors. Winners receive:

  • $300 honorarium (which may be used to defray travel & lodging expenses)
  • the opportunity to appear on stage to give a reading during KWWC2017, Sept. 15-16 in Lexington
  • full tuition support to attend the conference, plus complimentary admission for one guest
  • one slot in a small-group writing workshop for winner (if guest also wishes to enroll in a workshop, she must purchase the admission at the $200 workshop rate)

Submission guidelines

Download the entry form

Note: We are exploring using Submittable for this contest beginning in 2018, but for 2017 we still require a snail-mail package with:

  • entry form
  • 2 copies of the work
  • $10 entry fee payable to KWWC

Please send entries to:
Betty Gabehart Prize
Kentucky Women Writers Conference
University of Kentucky
232 East Maxwell Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0344

Direct inquiries to: