WILMINGTON—The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open for submissions. The deadline is January 15, 2024.
This prize awards $1,000 and possible publication in Ecotone to the creation of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians and must not exceed 3,500 words. Second and Third-Place winners will receive $300 and $200 respectively.
Belle Boggs will judge this year’s Rose Post contest.
Boggs is the author of The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood; Mattaponi Queen, a collection of linked stories set along Virginia’s Mattaponi River; and The Gulf, a novel. The Art of Waiting was named a best book of 2016 by O the Oprah Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, the Globe and Mail, and Buzzfeed, and was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Mattaponi Queen won the Bakeless Prize, the Library of Virginia Literary Award, and was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Boggs’s work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, and her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Harper’s, Orion, Ploughshares, Ecotone, The Atlantic, and other publications. She teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University and lives near the Haw River in North Carolina with her family.
Subjects for essays submitted to the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.
This competition is administered by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, which runs a small press, Lookout Books, and a sister literary magazine, Ecotone.
Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought. Recent contributors include Destiny O. Birdsong, Brock Clarke, Kenji C. Liu, Mesha Maren, and Jennifer Tseng.
Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the NC Press Women’s top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ Award.
The winner of the 2022 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition was Diane Milhan of Mount Airy, for her essay “Abandoned Sky Shames and Shades.”
The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found here.
Eligibility and 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.
- The postmark deadline is January 15.
- The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
- Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
- Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
- Submit an electronic copy online at ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
- Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
- Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 3,500 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
- 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.)
- An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
- You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
- Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
- When you submit online at ncwriters.submittable.com/submit, Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($15 NCWN members / $25 non-members). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information. For more information about Submittable, click here.)
- Click here to submit as a Member of NCWN ($10).
- Click here to submit as a Non-Member of NCWN ($12).
- If submitting by mail, send submission to:
North Carolina Writers’ Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120