GREENVILLE—The 2018 Doris Betts Fiction Prize is now open for submissions.
The competition is for previously unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.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 winner receives $250 and publication in North Carolina Literary Review. The postmark deadline is February 15.
To submit, click here.
This year's final judge is Stephanie Powell Watts, winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her debut story collection, We Are Taking Only What We Need (Ecco Press, 2012), also named one of 2013’s Best Summer Reads by O: The Oprah Magazine. Her debut novel, No One Is Coming to Save Us (Ecco Press, 2017), follows the return of a successful native son to his home in North Carolina and his attempt to join the only family he ever wanted but never had. Her short fiction has been included in two volumes of the Best New Stories from the South anthology and honored with a Pushcart Prize. Born in the foothills of North Carolina, with a Ph.D from the University of Missouri and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she now lives with her husband and son in Pennsylvania where she is an associate professor at Lehigh University.
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,” NCLR has won numerous awards and citations.
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.
Robert Wallace of Durham won the 2017 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his story "The Science of Air," where "guilt, sadness, and wisdom conspire to make a gracefully introspective work of fiction." This was the second Doris Betts Fiction Prize for Robert Wallace.
Here are the complete guidelines:
- 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. Multiple entries ok, but each requires a separate entry fee. No novel excerpts. Stories do NOT have to relate to NCLR’s annual special feature topic.
- The deadline is February 15.
- Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
- 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
- If submitting by mail, mail story manuscript with a cover sheet providing name, address, email address, word count, and manuscript title, to:
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(but mail payment to the Network as per instructions above)
The winner and finalists will be announced by May 1. The winning story and select finalists will be published in the next year’s issue of the North Carolina Literary Review.
The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.