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Ben Fountain Selects Story by Katey Schultz for 2019 Doris Betts Fiction Prize 

Katey Schultz of Celo is the winner of the 2019 Doris Betts Fiction Prize Competition for her story “Something Coming.” She will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and her story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2020 issue. 

Final judge Ben Fountain, author of the novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, said of Schultz’s story, “The experience depicted in ‘Something Coming’—that of a young girl’s coming of age—rings true at every level. The uncertainty, the excitement, the very real dangers, it’s all here, rendered in vivid, nuanced prose that does justice to the complexity and wonder of these several days in twelve-year-old Lauren’s life. The voice never falters, nor does the writer’s sure handling of exposition and scene. The temporal shift at the story’s conclusion is the kind of daring leap that’s the mark of a first-rate writer, and serves to, if I might borrow a metaphor from one of this fine story’s narrative lines, ‘stick the landing.’ ‘Something Coming’ pleased this reader very much.” 

Schultz is the author of the short story collection Flashes of War (reviewed in NCLR Online 2014) and the forthcoming novel Still Come Home (Loyola University Maryland). “Something Coming” is part of a short-story collection in progress. She is the founder of Maximum Impact, a mentorship service that provides transformative online curricula for serious writers. Schultz also received the Linda Flowers Literary Award in 2009, and she has received writing fellowships in eight different states. 

The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late novelist and short story writer Doris Betts, and is sponsored by the nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network, the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit  

Produced since 1992 at East Carolina University, the North Carolina Literary Review has won numerous awards and citations, including five from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals: the Best New Journal award in 1994, the Best Journal Design award in 1999 and 2010, the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement in 2007, and the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement in 2014. 

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2020 issue, featuring Schultz’s prize story and an interview with Ben Fountain. Go to for subscription instructions. 

You can read the recognized publications here.