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NC Literary Awards Deadline Looms

Each year, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources hosts The North Carolina Awards, which aim to promote interest in the literary arts all across the Tar Heel State.

We thought you might be interested in four awards in particular, all of which have deadlines of July 15.

The Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction recognizes “the most significant work of original fiction writing published over the course of the last year by a North Carolina author.” Sponsored by the Historical Book Club of North Carolina, Terry Roberts won in 2016 for That Bright Land.

The Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry is given to “the most significant work of original poetry published over the course of the last year by a North Carolina poet.” Sponsored by the Roanoke-Chowan Group of Writers and Allied Artists, NC poet laureate and NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Shelby Stephenson won in 2016 for Elegies for Small Game.

The American Association of University Women’s Award for Young People’s Literature honors “the most significant work of original juvenile literature published over the course of the last year by a North Carolina author.” Sponsored by AAUW of North Carolina,  Sheila Turnage won in 2016 for The Odds of Getting Even.

The Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction is given for achievement in nonfiction, this award honors Sam Ragan, poet, critic, publisher, founder (and inductee) of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, and the first secretary of the present North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Sponsored by the NC Literary and Historical Association, Karin Zipf won in 2016 for Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory.

All but the Ragan Old North State Award (est. 2003) were established in 1953.

For a work to be eligible for consideration for these competitions:

  • It must be an original book published during the twelve months ending June 30 of the year for which the award is given;
  • Its author(s) must have maintained legal or physical residence, or a combination of both, in North Carolina for the three years preceding the close of the contest period; and
  • Three (3) copies of each entry must be submitted to the Awards Coordinator for the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association no later than July 15 of the year for which the award is given.
  • In reaching a decision, members of each panel of judges will consider creative and imaginative quality, excellence of style, universality of appeal, and relevance to North Carolina and her people.

For the Old North State Award, the extent to which the author has covered the subject, making use of all available source materials, giving a well-balanced presentation, and accomplishing the purpose the author set out to achieve also will be considered. Technical and scientific works are not eligible. All works will be judged without regard to length.

In the fiction category, self-published and subsidy published works will not be considered.

For full guidelines, and to submit, click here.

The NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources oversees the state’s resources for the arts, history, libraries and nature. They’re home to the state’s twenty-seven historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, thirty-nine state parks and recreation areas, the NC Zoo, the N.C. Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the NC Arts Council, State Preservation Office, Office of State Archaeology, the African American Heritage Commission, and the Office of Land and Water Stewardship.