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NC Literary Hall of Fame




NORTH CAROLINA—Thomas Wolf of Chapel Hill is the winner of the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for his story "Boundaries." Wolf will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and his story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2012 issue.

Wolf is a previous Doris Betts Fiction Prize winner, and his 2007 winning story “Distance” appears in the 2008 issue of NCLR. He has an MFA in Fiction Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He and his wife, Patricia L. Bryan, co-authored Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America’s Heartland (Algonquin Books, 2005), a nonfiction narrative about a now century-old Iowa murder case.

NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland selected Wolf’s 2011 submission, saying, “The impressive power of the winning story, ‘Boundaries,’ comes from the quiet longing with which it is told. The tone is acutely reasonable, the perfect foil for the act of violence at the story’s center. The narrator’s tangential relationship to this act allows him to peer more and more closely into the lives of those involved and finally feel beautifully and horribly touched by it: ‘I wonder,’ he says, ‘how it feels to be loved like that.’ ‘Boundaries’ shows us quite brilliantly the truth of Faulkner’s notion of the past—that it is never dead, and not even past.”

Wieland named a second place finisher in this year’s competition: Joseph Cavano’s “The Honey Wagon.” Of this story she says, “I admire ‘The Honey Wagon’ for the consistency and authenticity of its narrative voice and the way that voice guides the reader through a complicated progress of responses. We follow him from humor and happiness to uncertainly and finally to the complex world of adult knowledge and deception. It’s remarkable to see a voice grow up in this way, to change subtly but surely and gracefully in the course of twenty pages. I ache for this narrator.” Born in upstate New York, Cavano currently lives in Charlotte. He was a lso a finalist for last year’s Doris Betts Fiction Prize.

This year’s competition received nearly 100 entries. Of the 9 finalists, Wieland also noted for Honorable Mention "You Never Know Who's Watching You" by Gwendolyn Bikis, "Falling Through Chairs" by Carol Cooley, “Jump” by Doris Iarovici, and "The Yellow Forsythia" by Sandra Lunsford Mason. Other finalists were “Yang Rising” by Kathryn Etters Lovatt, “The Cops” by Bernard Lumpkin, and “Life Choices” by Sarah Meyer.

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize is sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and managed by the editorial staff of the North Carolina Literary Review. Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, NCLR has won numerous awards and citations. Fiction Editor Liza Wieland is the author of three novels and four collections of short stories.

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2011 issue, featuring the winning story from the 2010 Betts competition, as well as the 2012 issue, featuring stories from this year’s competition. Subscribe by June 1 to avoid postage charges.

Dannye Romaine PowellGREENSBORO, NC – Charlotte Observer writer Dannye Romine Powell has won the 2011 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “I Am the Girl.”

Poet and editor Dan Albergotti chose Powell’s poem from close to 100 entries.

“I love how this deceptively simple poem navigates what is actually highly complex at the level of syntax, temporality, perspective, and emotion,” Albergotti said. “It's a poem strongly driven by voice and idea, but it doesn't neglect the necessity of image: the high window, the spring breezes, the brown dress and ivory beads, and the wonderfully surprising peach of the final line. There may be only one sentence here, but it magically reveals a lifetime in a way that only poetry can.”

Powell will receive a $200 prize from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the contest’s sponsor, and her winning poem will be considered for publication in the literary journal The Crucible.

Powell has written for the Charlotte Observer since 1975, in various capacities, including book editor, feature writer, metro columnist, and restaurant reviewer. She has twice won the Brockman-Campbell Award for the best book of poetry by a North Carolinian published in the preceding year. Her poems are forthcoming from Prairie Schooner and the Tampa Review. Her latest collection is A Necklace of Bees (2008, University of Arkansas Press). She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers.

Albergotti also named “From Dry Seed Casings” by Mary Jo Amani as runner-up, and poems by Terri Kirby Erickson, Maureen Sherbondy, and Nancy Martin Young as honorable mentions.

A graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, Albergotti currently teaches creative writing and literature c ourses and edits the online journal Waccamaw at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. He is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008), selected by Edward Hirsch as the winner of the 2007 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize.

The preliminary judge for this year’s contest was Amanda Rutstein, a former poetry editor for The Greensboro Review. She is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at UNCG, where she teaches courses in literature and poetry writing.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the graduate program in creative writing at UNCG, and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Visit for more information on this and other contests.


The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is now accepting submissions for its annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize, administered by the North Carolina Literary Review.

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize awards $250 and publication in the NCLR to the author of the winning short story, up to 6,000 words.  The contest is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina, a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, or a subscriber to the NCLR.

Robert Wallace of Durham won the 2010 Betts prize for his story “As Breaks the Wave Upon the Sea.”

Entries to the 2011 contest can be submitted through the NCLR’s online submission process at  Full submission guidelines, including entry fees, are listed below.

Doris Betts Fiction Prize
Postmark Deadline: February 15 (annual)
Submissions Accepted from January 1 – February 15

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize awards the first-prize winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the NCLR.

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 short stories up to 6,000 words. One entry per writer. No novel excerpts.
  • Submit story electronically via the NCLR’s online submission process. For electronic submission instructions and to start the online submission process, go to:
  • Names should not appear in the Word file of the story; authors will register with the NCLR’s online submission system, which will collect contact information and connect it to story submission.
  • An entry fee must be mailed to the NCLR office (address below) by the postmark deadline (February 15 each year).
  • You may pay the Network member/NCLR subscriber entry fee if you join NCWN or subscribe to the NCLR with your submission:

$10/NCWN members and/or NCLR subscribers
$20/nonmembers (must be a North Carolina resident)

  • Checks for submission fee and/or Network membership should be made PAYABLE TO the North Carolina Writers’ Network (separate checks payable to the NCLR only if purchasing a subscription).
  • Mail checks or money orders to:

North Carolina Literary Review
ECU Mailstop 555 English
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

The winner and finalists will be announced in May. 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 the North Carolina Literary Review, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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