Former Franklin resident Mike Mallow was listed among the winners of West Virginia Writers’ annual writing competition at the organization’s annual convention on June 11.
Mallow’s story, “The Ghost Circuit,” was listed as first honorable mention under the category of book length prose. The judge of the category awarded first through third places, as well as three places for honorable mention.
The annual contest, which began in 1982, is the largest writing competition in the state. It is open annually to West Virginia residents or members of the West Virginia Writers, Inc.
“I am thrilled with the placement, especially since the story was still in a very rough form when submitted,” Mallow said. “I’m in the final stages of expanding the novel to my full vision, and this honor gives me the needed motivation to push to the end.”
“The Ghost Circuit” is a historical fiction tale loosely based on real events that took place in and around the Weston Hospital, now known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The novel intertwines a widowed patient in 1905, a delusional farmer in 1935, an urban spelunker in 1999 and a depressed researcher in 2019. Little decisions made in each time period impacts the other in unexpected ways and even poses a threat to the future beyond their lives.
Mallow has published four other novels. His newest book, “Burning Without Knowing,” a West Virginia-based thriller, was released this April.
He currently lives in Benson, Minnesota, with his wife, Traci, and daughter, Hazel.