Young Writers Contest Update

The standard contract for winning and placing short stories (and artwork) for Huntsville Literary Association’s (HLA) High School Short Story Division is now available online at  It’s on the Young Writers’ Contest webpage.   Note that Artists winning or placing in the contest will have a slightly different version of the contract than authors, but that their parents/guardians must also sign a release for publication.

High School Short Story/Artwork winners and placers will be notified in the Mid-April timeframe.  Shortly thereafter, winners/placers will be asked to meet at a location (probably the Main Library in Huntsville) where parents (or guardians) will be asked to sign a contract allowing publication of the short story (or artwork) with The Ardent Writer Press.  As minors, authors or artists cannot legally sign over rights to publish; only their parents or guardians have such authority.

Students:  Be sure and have your parents read the draft contract before entering the contest in February so they will be aware of the requirements for publication if you win or place.

HLA and The Ardent Writer Press want to thank to Attorneys Howell Riggs and Douglas Gierhart for providing pro bono support in a legal review of the contract.  Both are wonderful supporters of the literary arts and literacy for students.  THANKS, HOWELL AND DOUG!

The Link to the draft contract is also HERE.

Steve Gierhart
Dale “Steve” Gierhart is a retired business manager for the United States Army. Based in Huntsville, Alabama on Redstone Arsenal, his career lasted from 1975 to 2010 in which he managed contracts, finances/accounting, and cost estimating for several missile defense systems, among which were Stinger, Avenger, Chaparral, Sentinel, JLENS, SLAMRAAM, and Non-Line of Sight.  The author wishes to thank the many co-workers, peers, and contractors who made these programs successful.  It is their tireless work that brought these systems to the soldier that needed them.  While budget constraints made it difficult for some of their work to see its full potential, they never blinked, they adjusted.  They persevered. Steve hails from Shawnee, Oklahoma; but most of his adult life has been spent in the beautiful hills of North Alabama where he lives with his wife, Bonny, who raises Tennessee Walking Horses. Between them, Steve and Bonny have 5 children and 7 grandchildren, and another grandbaby is on the way. Steve enjoys writing now that he is retired and plans more excursions of the imagination. He and Bonny, a retired engineer who worked as a contractor on several NASA and Army programs, will travel in their retirement though 15 horses, 4 dogs and 3 cats can crimp the best of plans.