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Doris Betts Fiction Prize

Submissions accepted September 15 – 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  • The competition is for previously unpublished* short stories up to 6,000 words.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  • Submit previously unpublished stories online at nclr.submittable.com/submit.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:

NCLR
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

2023
First Place: Paul Reali, Charlotte
Second Place: Ronald Jackson, Durham
Third Place: Kaylie Saidin, Wrightsville Beach

2022
First Place: Erin Miller Reid, Kingsport, TN
Honorable Mention: Theresa Dowell Blackinton, Durham

2021
First Place: Heather Bell Adams, Raleigh
Honorable Mention: Settle Monroe, Raleigh

2020
First Place: Molly Sentell Haile, Greensboro
Honorable Mention: Rose Himber Howse, Asheville
Honorable Mention: Nancy H. Williard, Hendersonville

2019
First Place: Katey Schultz, Celo

2018
First Place: Miriam Herin, Greensboro
Honorable Mention: David Brendan Hopes, Asheville

2017
First Place: Robert Wallace, Durham
Honorable Mention: W.A. Polf, Pittsboro

2016
First Place: Anita Collins, Chapel Hill
Honorable Mention: Taylor Brown, Wilmington

2015
First Place: Brad Field, Wilmington
Honorable Mention: Kathryn Etters Lovatt, Southport

2014
First Place: Laura Herbst, Pittsboro
Honorable Mention: Taylor Brown, Wilmington
Honorable Mention: Jude Whelchel, Asheville

2013
First Place: Claudette Cohen, Carolina Beach
Honorable Mention: Annie Frazier, Ocala, FL
Honorable Mention: Donald Marple, Charlotte
Honorable Mention: Seth Peavey, Raleigh

2012
First Place: Leah Hampton, Waynesville
Honorable Mention: Gregg Cusick, Durham
Honorable Mention: Ron Jackson, Durham
Honorable Mention: Kathryn Lovatt, Camden, SC

2011
First Place: Thomas Wolf, Chapel Hill
Second Place: Joseph Cavano, Charlotte
Honorable Mention: Gwendolyn Bikis, Oakland, CA
Honorable Mention: Carol Cooley, Wake Forest
Honorable Mention: Doris Iarovici, Durham
Honorable Mention: Sandra Lunsford Mason, Marshall

2010
First Place: Robert Wallace, Durham
Honorable Mention: Wayne Johns
Honorable Mention: Susan Snowden, Hendersonville

2009
First Place: David McGuirt, Charlotte
Honorable Mention: Marjorie Hudson, Pittsboro
Honorable Mention: Melanie Raskin, Chapel Hill
Honorable Mention: Kuruvilla Verghese, Raleigh

2008
First Place: Malcolm Campbell, Charlotte
Second Place: Gregg Cusick, Durham

2007
First Place: Thomas Wolf, Chapel Hill
Second Place: Gregg Cusick, Durham