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Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize Now Open

ASHEVILLE—The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is now open for submissions. The deadline is January 30, 2024.

This prize awards $1,000 and publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review to a piece of short fiction under 3,000 words. Submit here.

Heather Newton will judge this year’s contest.

Newton’s novel The Puppeteer’s Daughters (Turner Publishing 2022) won the North Carolina Indie Author Project award for adult fiction, was a finalist for the Forword INDIES Book of the Year Award and has been optioned for television. Her short story collection McMullen Circle (Regal House 2022) was a finalist for both the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the W.S. Porter Prize. Her novel Under The Mercy Trees (HarperCollins 2011) won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Reads Selection and named an “Okra Pick” by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. A practicing attorney, she teaches creative writing for UNC-Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program and Charlotte Lit and is co-founder and Program Manager for the Flatiron Writers Room  writers’ center in Asheville.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is facilitated by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers. The program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes led by published writers and experienced teachers. Each course carries academic credit awarded through UNC-Asheville.

The Thomas Wolfe Review is the official journal of The Thomas Wolfe Society, publishing articles, features, tributes, and reviews about Wolfe and his circle. It also features bibliographical material, notes, news, and announcements of interest to Society members.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), was born in Asheville. His Look Homeward, Angel is considered one of the most important coming-of-age novels in the English language. Wolfe was considered at the time of his death to be the greatest talent North Carolina had given to American literature. His novels and collected short stories go beyond autobiography, trying to, in William Faulkner’s words, “put all the experience of the human heart on the head of a pin.” His intense poetic language and thoughtfully developed symbology, combined with his uncanny ability to enter the minds of his other characters and give them powerful voices, elevate the books from memoir to undeniable literary art.

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found here.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to all writers regardless of geographical location or prior publication.
  • Submit two copies (if submitting by mail) of an unpublished fiction manuscript – short story or self-contained novel excerpt – not to exceed 3,000 words, double-spaced, single-sided pages (1″ margins, 12-pt. Times New Roman font).
  • 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: $15 for NCWN members, $25 for nonmembers.
  • The entry fee is per submission. You may submit multiple entries.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • The winner is announced each April.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • When you submit online at https://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.)
    • To submit as a Member of NCWN ($15), click here.
    • To submit as a Non-Member of NCWN ($25), click here.
  • To submit by regular mail:

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
Great Smokies Writing Program
UNC Asheville
1 University Heights – CPO 1915
Asheville, NC 28804

Questions? Please contact Lilly Danzis, ldanzis@unca.edu.