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NC State Fiction Contest Open

Calling all writers! NC State’s annual Fiction Contest is open and accepting entries for the 2016 competition.

The contest is free and open to all North Carolina residents, drawing more than 300 entrants last year. You have until Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, to mail your work to NC State Fiction Writing Contest, Campus Box 8105, English Department, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695-8105. Do not email your submission; it will not be accepted.

Tenure-track professors in the University of North Carolina system, published authors and previous contest winners are ineligible for the contest. You can’t submit work that’s already been published — either in print or online — and if you are a previous finalist, you must submit new work.

When formatting your entries, please follow these guidelines: all entries must be typed, double spaced and have a word count on the first page. To keep things fair and anonymous, do not put your name on your story. Include your name, email and any other contact information on a separate cover sheet. Because of the sheer volume of submissions, NC State cannot contact all of the contestants to return the stories.

There are two contest categories, and you can submit one story to each of them:

  • The James Hurst Prize for Fiction: $500

Submit an unpublished short story of no more than 20 double-spaced typed pages, limited to 5,000 words. In addition to the winner, several Honorable Mention awards will be presented.

  • The Shorter Fiction Prize: $250

Submit an unpublished short story of no more than five double-spaced typed pages, limited to 1,200 words. One Honorable Mention award will be presented.  

This year’s guest judge is Percival Everett, award-winning author of 30 books and novels, including Assumption, Erasure, I Am Not Sidney Poitier and Glyph. You can hear Everett read from his own work at the 2016 NC State Fiction Contest Awards Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, in Caldwell Hall Lounge, Caldwell Hall, NC State University campus.

If you have any questions or want more information, visit