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NC State Fiction Contest solicits entries for free literary competition

Come, North Carolina writers, with your pens. Or typewriters. Or laptops.

However you create your stories, be sure to submit them to one of the largest free literary contests in the Southeast.

The NC State Fiction Writing Contest, organized by the university’s creative writing program, is accepting entries for its 2015 competition. All North Carolina residents are eligible to enter the contest, except tenure-track professors in the University of North Carolina system, writers with a published book or previous winners.

Writers have until Monday, Oct. 12, to submit their works. Contestants are allowed to enter one story in both contest categories:

  • The James Hurst Prize for Fiction: $500
    • A story of no more than 20 double-spaced typed pages, limited to 5,000 words. In addition to the winner, two Honorable Mention awards will be presented. The award is named for NC State alumnus James Hurst, who wrote the much-anthologized, classic Southern tale, “The Scarlet Ibis” in 1960.
  • The Shorter Fiction Prize: $250
    • A short story of no more than 5 double-spaced typed pages, limited to 1,200 words. One Honorable Mention award will be presented.

All entries should be mailed to NC State Fiction Writing Contest, Campus Box 8105, English Department, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695-8105.

Entries must be double-spaced and typed, with a word count listed on the first page. Previous finalists must submit new work. So their works can be judged anonymously, entrants should not include their names on their stories. Entrants should include their name, email address and phone number on a cover sheet, along with any other contact information. No emailed entries are accepted. And due to the volume of submissions, NC State cannot contact each contestant to return stories.

This year’s guest judge is Kelly Link,  author of the short-story collections “Stranger Things Happen,” “Magic for Beginners,” “Pretty Monsters,” and “Get in Trouble.” Link will announce the winners and read from her work during a ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Caldwell Hall Lounge, Caldwell Hall, NC State University campus. The contest is supported in part by the Barnhardt Family Fund and other friends of the NC State Creative Writing Program. For more information, go to and click on “story contest.”