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Doris Betts Fiction Prize Now Open

Submissions are now open for the Doris Betts Fiction Prize, judged this year by acclaimed novelist David Joy.

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, awards the first-prize winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review, whose editor also will nominate the winning story for a Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the NCLR, and authors will receive $50 to $150, depending on how many stories are selected.

To learn more and submit your entry visit

The Betts Prize 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 (NC resident or former resident) are also eligible.

The deadline to submit is October 31. Find the full submission guidelines here.

David Joy is the author of When These Mountains Burn (winner of the 2020 Dashiell Hammett Award), The Line That Held Us (winner of the 2018 Southern Book Prize), The Weight of This World, and Where All Light Tends to Go (Edgar finalist for Best First Novel). His stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in a number of publications, and he is the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey and a coeditor of Gather at the River: Twenty-Five Authors on Fishing. Joy lives in Tuckasegee, North Carolina. He is currently on tour for his latest novel Those We Thought We Knew.

The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late fiction 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

For more than 30 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,” the NCLR has won numerous awards and citations.

Find submission guidelines for the Doris Betts Fiction Prize contest here. Email questions to