- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
WILMINGTON—The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open for submissions. The deadline is January 15, 2021.
This prize awards $1,000 and possible publication in Ecotone to a piece of unconventional journalism not to exceed 2,000 words. Second and Third-Place winners will receive $300 and $200 respectively.
Destiny O. Birdsong will judge.
Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, fiction writer, and essayist. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and MacDowell, and won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Narrative Poetry Contest, and Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in October 2020, and her debut novel is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing in 2022. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University, and now lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee.
Subjects for essays submitted to the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.
This competition is facilitated by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, which runs a small press, Lookout Books, and a sister literary magazine, Ecotone.
Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.
Recent contributors include Ross Gay, David Gessner, Mesha Maren, and Jennifer Tseng.
Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the NC Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.
The winner of the 2020 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition was Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin of Cullowhee, for her essay "Plum Song."
The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org.
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.
- The postmark deadline is January 15.
- The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
- Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
- Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
- Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
- Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
- Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
- 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.)
- An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
- You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
- Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
- When you submit online at https://ncwriters.submittable.com/submit, Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($15 NCWN members / $25 non-members). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information. For more information about Submittable, click here.)
- To submit as a Member of NCWN ($10), click here.
- To submit as a Non-Member of NCWN ($12), click here.
- If submitting by mail, send submission to:
- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
GREENVILLE, NC—Molly Sentell Haile of Summerfield is the winner of the 2020 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for her story, "Little Things." Haile will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers' Network, and her story will be published in the thirtieth annual print issue of the North Carolina Literary Review.
Haile is a graduate of Davidson College and the MFA Creative Writing Program at UNC-Greensboro. Her fiction has appeared in Jabberwock Review and Cream City Review and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her nonfiction has appeared in Oxford American and O. Henry Magazine and has received an honorable mention in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She teaches creative writing classes for people with cancer, survivors, and caregivers at Hirsch Wellness Network in Greensboro.
The final judge this year was Josephine Humphreys, author of four novels, including Rich in Love, which was made into a movie starring Albert Finney, and Nowhere Else on Earth, inspired by the legend of Henry Berry Lowrie, North Carolina’s Civil War Robin Hood, and his wife, Rhoda Strong Lowrie.
Humphreys reported of her selection of “Little Things” for the prize: “I was smitten by this story. From the start, I knew I was in the hands of a writer who could make a trustable world within a limited number of pages while at the same time creating an atmosphere tinged with mystery. A story has to seem real (that’s the ‘trustable’ part) but it also has to seem—well—strangely crucial, important enough to get written and to get read. ‘Little Things’ achieves those goals in an interesting way: by building a fabric out of, yes, little things—accumulated details resulting in a texture strong enough to support the crucial human mystery at its core. This story is told aslant, via an inexperienced observer who watches with an eagle eye, learning the world—a child on the verge of her future. The telling proceeds like an incantation without much judgment or interpretation, until a final unexpected jolt that is itself not easy to interpret. Beautifully written throughout, with words that shine, sentences I will remember.”
A record breaking 187 stories were submitted to this year’s competition, breaking the previous record set in 2013. NCLR Editor Margaret Bauer says, “it remains to be seen whether the increase in submissions is a result of the new late summer-fall submission period or people having more time to write during the pandemic.”
Bauer reports that all of the seven finalists who made it to the last round of consideration are new to NCLR. From these finalists, Humphreys also noted two for honorable mention: “Next to Godliness” by Rose Himber Howse of Asheville and “Wherever You Go” by Nancy H. Williard of Hendersonville.
Humphreys said of “Next to Godliness,” “I particularly admire the ways in which these characters are made utterly convincing. Their dialogue is clever and realistic, as in ‘I told him I never smoked as far as Blue Cross knows…’ and the main character, Meredith, is both strong and vulnerable. There are no missteps in the writing.”
Humphreys called “Wherever You Go” “a powerful story about the need to escape—from grief, from memory, from love—and the gradual realization that escape may be impossible. Moving to a new place will not be the solution. The narrator is ultimately able to extract only minimal compensation, and yet at the same time it is compensation enough, no matter where his place on earth ends up being. A clear streak of honesty runs through this story.”
These stories will appear in NCLR Online 2021, and the authors will receive a $125 honoraria from a donation made to the North Carolina Writers’ Network for that purpose. The other finalists were “Hope Is a Thing That’s Molting” by Susan Emshwiller of Durham, “Tunnel” by Paul Kurzeja of Charlotte, “Communist” by Gary Powell of Cornelius, and “The Fish Pond” by Kathleen Tyler of Wilmington.
The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late novelist and short story writer Doris Betts and is sponsored by the nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network, the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.
The North Carolina Literary Review has been managing the contest for the Network since 2006. The new submission period runs September 15 through October 31.