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Doris Betts Fiction Prize

Submit between September 15 and October 31.

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. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the NCLR, and authors will receive $50 to $150, depending on how many stories selected.

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. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible.
  • The competition is for previously unpublished* short stories up to 6,000 words. Multiple entries ok, but each requires a separate entry fee. No novel excerpts. Stories do NOT have to relate to NCLR’s annual special feature topic.
  • The deadline is October 31. Submissions are open only from September 15 to October 31.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Submit previously unpublished stories online at https://nclr.submittable.com/submit. Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($10 NCWN members or NCLR subscribers / $20 for non-members/non-subscribers).
  • To pay submission fees by check or money order, make payable to the North Carolina Writers Network and mail to: Ed Southern, PO Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC 27120- 1591
  • Documents must be Microsoft Word or .rtf files. Stories should be double-spaced. Author’s name should not appear on manuscripts. (Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.) If you have any problems submitting electronically, email NCLR’s Submission Manager.
  • If submitting by mail, mail story manuscript with a cover sheet providing name, address, email address, word count, and manuscript title, to:

ECU Mailstop
555 English
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(but mail payment to the Network as per instructions above)

The winning story and select finalists will be published in the next year’s issue of the North Carolina Literary Review.

Questions may be directed to Margaret Bauer, Editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, at BauerM@ecu.edu.

*“Published” means the work has appeared for public consumption in any form: print, online, digital, etc.

Has it appeared in a magazine or journal, of any size or circulation? Then it’s been published. Has it appeared on a blog, even one hardly anybody reads? Then it’s published. Audio book? E-book? Free download? ‘Zine, mimeographed and stapled in 1995? Published.

For our contests, we’re looking for new work, fresh work, work unseen by anyone outside your immediate family and/or critique group. Shine a light on your published work in your portfolio, and submit your new work for one (or more) of our annual prizes. Good luck.

Past Winners

First Place: Erin Miller Reid
Honorable Mention: Theresa Dowell Blackinton

First Place: Heather Bell Adams, Raleigh, NC
Honorable Mention: Settle Monroe, Raleigh, NC

First Place: Molly Sentell Haile, Greensboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Rose Himber Howse, Asheville, NC
Honorable Mention: Nancy H. Williard, Hendersonville

First Place: Katey Schultz, Celo, NC

First Place: Miriam Herin, Greensboro, NC
Honorable Mention: David Brendan Hopes, Asheville, NC

First Place: Robert Wallace, Durham, NC
Honorable Mention: W.A. Polf, Pittsboro, NC

First Place: Anita Collins, Chapel Hill, NC
Honorable Mention: Taylor Brown, Wilmington, NC

First Place: Brad Field, Wilmington, NC
Honorable Mention: Kathryn Etters Lovatt, Southport, NC

First Place: Laura Herbst, Pittsboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Taylor Brown, Wilmington, NC
Honorable Mention: Jude Whelchel, Asheville, NC

First Place: Claudette Cohen, Carolina Beach, NC
Honorable Mention: Annie Frazier, Ocala, FL
Honorable Mention: Donald Marple, Charlotte, NC
Honorable Mention: Seth Peavey, Raleigh, NC

First Place: Leah Hampton, Waynesville, NC
Honorable Mention: Gregg Cusick, Durham, NC
Honorable Mention: Ron Jackson, Durham, NC
Honorable Mention: Kathryn Lovatt, Camden, SC

First Place: Thomas Wolf, Chapel Hill, NC
Second Place: Joseph Cavano, Charlotte, NC
Honorable Mention: Gwendolyn Bikis, Oakland, CA
Honorable Mention: Carol Cooley, Wake Forest, NC
Honorable Mention: Doris Iarovici, Durham, NC
Honorable Mention: Sandra Lunsford Mason, Marshall, NC

First Place: Robert Wallace, Durham, NC
Honorable Mention: Wayne Johns
Honorable Mention: Susan Snowden, Hendersonville, NC

First Place: David McGuirt, Charlotte, NC
Honorable Mention: Marjorie Hudson, Pittsboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Melanie Raskin, Chapel Hill, NC
Honorable Mention: Kuruvilla Verghese, Raleigh, NC

First Place: Malcolm Campbell, Charlotte, NC
Second Place: Gregg Cusick, Durham, NC

First Place: Thomas Wolf, Chapel Hill, NC
Second Place: Gregg Cusick, Durham, NC