Thursday, January 22, 2015

Enter the 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize contest and win $250

Doris Betts
I would consider it a supreme honor to win any contest with Doris Betts's name attached. Betts, a Statesville native, wrote novels and short stories that carved channels in the heart. She taught for years in the creative writing department at UNC Chapel Hill, and she inspired hundreds of students to become writers. If they didn't go on to write, they enjoyed a deeper appreciation for literature because of Betts, who died in 2012.

I urge you to find a copy of "The Ugliest Pilgrim," her stunningly wrenching 1973 short story about a young woman with a disfigured face who rides the bus from Spruce Pine to Tulsa in hopes a preacher will heal her. You'll find it in the collection, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," a 1974 finalist for the National Book Award.

The 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize is now open for submissions. First place winner will receive $250.

  • 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  • The competition is for previously unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words. One entry per writer. No novel excerpts. Stories do NOT have to relate to NCLR’s annual special feature topic.
  • Submit previously unpublished stories online at Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($10 NCWN members or NCLR subscribers / $20 for non-members/non-subscribers).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. 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.) If you have any problems submitting electronically, email NCLR's Submission Manager.
The winner and finalists will be announced in April. The winning story and select finalists will be published in the next year’s issue of the North Carolina Literary Review.
Direct questions to Margaret Bauer, Editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, at