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June 15-18, 2023

WV State Folk Festival Writers Contest

The West Virginia State Folk Festival is seeking writing submissions for the 2023 festival. Writers are encouraged to submit their work for judging no later than May 1, 2023. Submissions should be on a topic related to Appalachian life and culture, particularly found in West Virginia. Submissions may be on any related topic and in any prose genre: fiction, nonfiction, narrative, memoir, or essay. Poetry is not eligible for submission, and submissions must be free of graphics. Entries should be the sole creation of the writer and not include submissions that have been published and/or created prior to the beginning of this contest.

Entries will be accepted in the following categories and should not exceed the word length limits:

Children, 12 and under: 800 words

Young Adult: (13-17): 1,000 words

Adult: 1,250 words

Judging will be done, and winners will be announced at the West Virginia State Folk Festival (June 15-18, 2023). Selected works will also be printed in a 2023 WV State Folk Festival Writers Contest Booklet. A 1st place award of $100 will be presented in each category. Submission forms can be found at or picked up at the Robert F. Kidd Library, Glenville, WV.

The contest is open to the public. Entries should be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed to:

WV State Folk Festival

Writing Contest

100 High St.

Glenville, WV 26351

For more information or research assistance, please contact Library Director Jason Gum at 304-462-6161.

The WV State Folk Festival began in 1950 under the direction of Dr. Patrick Gainer and has remained a consistent attraction in Gilmer County through the work and leadership of many others over the years, which have included Fern Rollyson, Mack Samples, Ginny Hawker, Dr. Megan (Darby) McKnight, and Dr. David O’Dell.

Download the 2023 Folk Festival Schedule. A schedule will also be provided in the Folk Festival Newspaper, available at the Country Store during the festival. 

WVSFF Belles and long time members, please send us copies of your favorite recipes. The 2021 WVSFF Board will have a limited edition Cookbook celebrating the heritage of West Virginia and the Folk Festival. Please send all recipes to [email protected] and Carbon Copy [email protected]

Thank you! 

WV State Folk Festival Meetings

President: David O'Dell

Vice President: Brenda McCartney

Treasurer: Sandy Pettit

Secretary: Lynn Welch

Historian: Jason Gum

Board Members: Ginny Hawker, Carol Wolfe, Dennis Fitzpatrick, Ted Yurkiewicz, Tony Minney

General meetings will now take place on the third Tuesdays at 5:00 PM at The Country Store (unless otherwise announced).

Regular, yearly dues are $5.00 or lifetime membership is $50.00. Dues can be paid at meetings, sent to PO Box 362, Glenville, WV 26351 or sent through PayPal. Only paid members have voting rights. 

If you would like to support the Folk Festival without becoming a member, donations can to sent through PayPal. 

Join us each year -- beginning the third Thursday in June -- as the city of Glenville, West Virginia, takes on a marvelous change reminiscent of the old days. See antique cars, the Folk Festival Belles, quilt shows, and Appalachian arts and crafts. Your ears will be treated to the sweet sounds of banjo and fiddle contests, jam sessions in the streets, old-time gospel singing, and oral traditions. Please your tastebuds at the Festival as well! But no matter what, don't forget the Strawberry Shortcake from the Gilmer Co. FFA!

Festival Purpose:

The purpose of this corporate body shall be to preserve the remnants of pioneer life and culture of West Virginia in music, entertainment, education, and social and economic activities to the end that citizens may appreciate and respect the achievements of their forebearers.

Now you can view the WV State Folk Festival Newspaper online!

Job's Temple

The last event of the WV State Folk Festival is a church service like no other because it is held in Job’s Temple, a log structure established in the late 1850’s when congregants with southern sympathies withdrew from Pisgah Methodist Episcopal Church located approximately two miles east of this site. Job’s Temple, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was finished after the men returned to the community following the Civil War.

Regular services were conducted until 1912 when the church fell in disrepair. During the 1930’s, interest was revived for the preservation of the building and the annual homecomings began in 1936. Over 140 graves are on the property with the oldest being 1870.

   Job’s Temple Association Inc. oversees the preservation of the church building, provides perpetual care for the cemetery and grounds, and organizes homecomings each year. They love the old church so much that they recently worked to build retaining walls to hold back the drifting hillside from pushing on the sanctuary. They made repairs to the foundation and roof, using tools and methods of the first builders including hauling in logs with a team of horses.

Worship here is very special. The congregation sits on log benches. There is no electricity, only the rays of the sun coming through the open windows, and the light of God. Voices resound in old-time harmony off the log walls and ceiling.

  Each year the Job’s Temple Association holds an annual Homecoming in August to which all are welcome. They are currently selling books, which will be available on the day of the service, telling the history, events and people associated with this very special house of worship. The Folk Festival Committee appreciates the Job’s Temple Association, Inc. and its officers for permission to conclude the Festival with this very special event.

   Pastor Donnie Stout will give the message this year (2023) at Job’s Temple. This will be his first time to bring the message at the

Sunday morning Job’s Temple service. He and his wife are very excited about this service and meeting the Belles and others attending.

He has served as Pastor of the Kanawha Drive Baptist Church for the past seven years. He loves to play his guitars and ring out the old hymns each Sunday morning, or anytime he gets a chance. He has, also, had a successful prison ministry for 24 years. This ministry was anchored to the Rock Prison Ministry, until Covid restrictions were put in place, in 2021.

Pastor Stout works in the logging industry, as an owner and operator, along with his eldest son, Stacy. The name of his company is “Where the Timbers Cross Logging Company” and works mainly in Gilmer and the surrounding counties.

He was born and raised in Braxton County, but his roots run deep in Gilmer County, as his mother, Lorina Susan Hickman Stout, still lives in her Gilmer County home, located in the Stout’s Mills area. For the past 16 years he and his wife, Paula, have lived in the Kanawha Drive Community. He and Paula have two sons, Stacy (Lilly) and Scottie (Megan). They are proud grandparents of three boys; Abel, Grady, and Barrett.

The Job’s Temple Service is on Sunday, June 18th. The service will begin at 9:00 a.m. The little church is located below Glenville, on WV Route 5W. The Folk Festival Belles will be attending---come join them!

Part I & II of this wonderful documentary can be found on YouTube

Meet our 2023

Gilmer County Baby Belle!!


Ella Layne Conrad

Meet our 2023

Gilmer County Baby Beau!!!


Callahan Freshour

Meet our 2023

Gilmer County Junior Belle!!!


Phoebe Bailey

Please attend the 11 a.m. parade Saturday, June 17 to see the other Junior Belles from neighboring counties!

Meet our 2023

Gilmer County Belle:

Congratulations, Brenda Somerville!!

Attend the 2023 WV State Folk Festival and say hello!!!!!