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Did three ghosts visit the Network staff last night, stirring the spirit of generosity in their miserly hearts?

Or did two months of Christmas Muzak break their brains?

Whatever the reason, the North Carolina Writers’ Network has decided to spice up their Contest Season by adding an additional prize to all five of their annual writing competitions.

Starting now, the Network will offer full scholarships to their Spring Conference to the five contest winners. The Network also will recognize these writers during the Spring Conference’s opening general session, just before the Keynote Address.

“While, yes, we hope this will make our contest more attractive to writers, we also hope this will emphasize what an honor it is to win a NCWN competition,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said, after sticking his head out a window and asking what day it was. Southern did not explain why he was dressed in a Victorian-era nightshirt and sleeping cap.

He then tossed a shilling to the Network’s Communications Director, Katherine O’ Hara, and instructed her to go to “the poulterer’s in the next street” and buy “the prize turkey.” O’Hara said she has no idea what a “poulterer” is, or what to do with the long-defunct currency.

The Network awards more than $4000 annually through its five contests: the Doris Betts Fiction Prize, the Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize, the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition, the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, and the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition.

Three of those contests are open to submissions now: the Jacobs/Jones Prize until January 2, 2023; the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition until January 15; and the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize until January 30.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition will open on January 15, and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize was open from September 15 to October 31.

All five contests accept entries through Submittable.

The Network’s 2023 Spring Conference will be on Saturday, April 22, at UNC Greensboro.