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Doris Betts Fiction Prize Redux

NCLR 2020

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize has been on a brief, planned hiatus, but we are just one week away from opening submissions to the 2020 competition!

We paused the competition for a year to better align the contest with the production calendar of the North Carolina Liteerary Review, which facilitates the prize. First Place wins $250, and all ten finalists will be considered for publication. Also, the winner is usually among the Pushcart Prize nominations put forth by NCLR!

The contest is open to short stories under 6,000 words, writeen by a 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 prize honors bestselling author and beloved writing professor Doris Betts, a 2004 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. 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. “The Ugliest Pilgrim,” the most widely printed of her stories, was the basis of a musical that won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and later became an Academy Award winner as a short film, Violet.

NCLR is produced at East Carolina University and published and distributed by the University of North Carolina Press. NCLR publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by and interviews with North Carolina writers and articles and essays about North Carolina writers and the rich literary history and culture of the Old North State. A cross between a scholarly journal and a literary magazine, NCLR has won numerous awards and citations. The print issue is published annually in the summer.

This year’s final judge is Josephine Humphreys, winner of the 1984 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Dreams of Sleep.

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize began in 2007. Two authors have won the prize twice: Thomas Wolf of Chapel Hill won in 2007 and 2011; and Robert Wallace of Durham won in 2010 and 2017. Gregg Cusick of Durham has been a finalist three times.

The 2020 Doris Betts Fiction Prize opens September 15! Keep an eye on www.ncwriters.org for details.