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NORTH CAROLINA—The 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize is now open for submissions. The Doris Betts Fiction Prize awards the first-place winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the NCLR.

For over twenty years, East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary & Historical Association have published the North Carolina Literary Review, a journal devoted to showcasing the Tar Heel State’s literary excellence. Described by one critic as “everything you ever wanted out of a literary publication but never dared to demand,” the NCLR has won numerous awards and citations.

The competition is for previously unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words. The Doris Betts Fiction Prize is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible.

The final judge is NCLR fiction editor Liza Wieland. She the author of seven books and three collections of short fiction. She has won two Pushcart Prizes, the Michigan Literary Fiction Prize, a Bridport Prize in the UK, and fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The North Carolina Arts Council, and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. She has recently been awarded a second fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.

Laura Herbst of Pittsboro won the 2014 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for her story, “The Cliffs of Mobenga.” Two finalists from the 2014 competition were invited to revise and resubmit their stories for publication consideration: “World Without End” by Taylor Brown of Wilmington and “Big Joy Family” by Jude Whelchel of Asheville.

Doris Betts was the author of three short story collections and six novels. She won three Sir Walter Raleigh awards, the Southern Book Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the John Dos Passos Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Medal for the short story, among others. Beloved by her students, she was named the University of North Carolina Alumni Distinguished Professor of English in 1980. She was a 2004 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

 

 

Here are the guidelines for the 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. The deadline is February 15:

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible.
  • The competition is for previously unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words. One entry per writer. No novel excerpts. Stories do NOT have to relate to NCLR’s annual special feature topic.
  • Submit previously unpublished stories online at https://nclr.submittable.com/submit. Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($10 NCWN members or NCLR subscribers / $20 for non-members/non-subscribers).
  • To pay submission fees by check or money order, make payable to the North Carolina Writers Network and mail to: Ed Southern, PO Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC 27120- 1591
  • Documents must be Microsoft Word or .rtf files. Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.) If you have any problems submitting electronically, email NCLR's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The winner and finalists will be announced in April. The winning story and select finalists will be published in the next year’s issue of the North Carolina Literary Review.

Questions may be directed to Margaret Bauer, Editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Did you know the North Carolina Writers’ Network offers an ongoing critiquing and editing service for its members? Through this program, Network writers have the opportunity to open a dialogue about their work with established writers and editors of varying backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Whether you write fiction or essays, poetry or travelogues, there is a critiquer waiting to help you and your writing take that next step. Check out some recent testimonials:

 

"It was unbelievably helpful . . . I was totally impressed, and it was well worth the price. You have a very satisfied member."
-NCWN member Reid Wilson

 

"I have been working on my novel for quite some time and really wondered if I was on the right track. Therefore, I decided it would be most helpful to send a few pages just to see what someone thought about it. I must say, I am really glad I did, as Mr. Manchester's words greatly inspired me to continue on. I will likely have a few questions after reading the critique/corrections in its entirety, and I was glad Mr. Manchester gave me his e-mail in which to ask them. "
-NCWN member Jennifer Bower

 

"I’ve never been edited as thoroughly and with as much consideration as Linda (Hobson) showed toward my story. Her micro edits were precise, and her macro edits found things inside the story that even I didn’t realize were there. She wrote all over every page—an incredible amount of work for what turned out to be a very reasonable fee....I found her edits and critique to be spot-on: demanding more from me as a writer, while also engaging with the story so completely that I felt like she was really invested in its eventual success. That’s the very definition of a great editor, isn’t it?"
-Anonymous NCWN member

 

So, how's this work? Here's the rundown.

 

Fees

A base fee of $30 must be included in the total amount paid to the Network.

  • Prose/Poetry/Plays/Screenplays (5-page minimum):
    5-50 pages - $3/page; each page thereafter, $2/page
    Poems must be single-spaced and only one poem per page is allowed.
  • A Manuscript Consultation with your critiquer may be scheduled after the initial critique is complete. The fee for a post-critique consultation is $50/hour, with no base fee.

 

Instructions

All prose manuscripts should be double-spaced, single-sided, with 1-inch margins and in a 12-point font. Poetry must be single-spaced with a limit of only one poem per page. No fancy fonts, please.

Manuscripts should NOT be bound when submitted.

Please indicate your first preference plus two back-ups for a critiquer. Otherwise, we will select an appropriate critiquer based on availability.

Please send your manuscript, along with payment (checks must be made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network) and a self-addressed envelope with postage sufficient enough for the critiquer to return your manuscript, to:

NCWN Critiquing Service
P.O. Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

The critiquer will return the manuscript with comments directly to you.

If you have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please call us at 336.293.8844 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Critiquers

For the complete list of critiquers, click here.

 

 
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