WINSTON-SALEM—November 1 marks the beginning of "Contest Season" for the North Carolina Writers' Network. Over the next five months, NCWN will award more than $4,000 in cash prizes, and writers will potentially land publications in reputable literary journals across North Carolina.

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize, which honors the best in short prose by African-American writers in North Carolina, is now open.

The deadline is January 2, 2020.

The contest, sponsored by NCWN and administered by the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, is open to any African-American writer whose primary residence is in North Carolina. Entries may be fiction or creative nonfiction, but must not have been published before (including on any website, blog, or social media), and must be no more than 3,000 words.

The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of their winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.

The final judge of the 2020 Jacobs/Jones contest will be author and journalist Bridgette A. Lacy.

Bridgette A. Lacy is an award-winning journalist and author. She served as a longtime features writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh. She's the author of Sunday Dinner, a part of the Savor the South series by UNC Press and a finalist for the Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize. Lacy is also a contributor to The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food, edited by Randall Kenan (Eno Publishers, 2016) and 27 Views of Raleigh: The City of Oaks in Prose & Poetry (Eno Publisher, 2013). Her work has appeared in Our State, Salt, and O.Henry magazines.

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize honors the nineteenth-century writers Harriet Jacobs and Thomas H. Jones. Jacobs was born in 1813 near Edenton, escaping to Philadelphia in 1842, after hiding for seven years in a crawl space above her grandmother’s ceiling. She published her autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, under a pseudonym in 1861. Jacobs died in 1897 and was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1997.

Jones was born into slavery near Wilmington in 1806. Able to purchase the freedom of his wife and all but one of his children, he followed them north in 1849 by stowing away on a brig to New York. In the northeast and in Canada, he spoke as a preacher and abolitionist, writing his memoir, The Experience of Thomas Jones, in 1854, as a way to raise funds to buy his eldest child’s freedom.

This Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize was initiated by Cedric Brown, a Winston-Salem native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Though Brown has lived in California the last three decades, he has “deep roots, an abiding love, and a little house in the Tar Heel State,” he said.

“The literary award was borne out of my frustration with being unable to readily find much fiction or creative nonfiction that conveys the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians,” Brown said. “I wanted to incentivize the development of written works while also encouraging Black writers to capture our lives through storytelling.”

The winner of the inaugural Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize, in 2019, was Sandra Headen of Raleigh, for her short story, "Papa's Gifts."

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org.

 

JACOBS/JONES AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERARY PRIZE

Postmark Deadline: January 2 (annual)
Submissions Accepted: November 1 – January 2

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize honors Harriet Jacobs and Thomas Jones, two pioneering African-American writers from North Carolina, and seeks to convey the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians. The contest is administered by the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication of the winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any African-American writer whose primary residence is in North Carolina.
  • Entries may be fiction or creative nonfiction, but must be unpublished, no more than 3,000 words, and concerned with the lives and experiences of North Carolina African-Americans. Entries may be excerpts from longer works, but must be self-contained. Entries will be judged on literary merit.
  • An entry fee must accompany each submission: $10 for NCWN members, $20 for nonmembers. You may submit multiple entries, but the correct fee must accompany each one.
  • You may pay the members’ entry fee if you join the NCWN when you submit.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • If submitting by mail, submit two copies of an unpublished manuscript, not to exceed 3,000 words, on single-sided pages, double-spaced, in black 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins.
  • The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • To submit by USPS:

Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize
UNC Creative Writing Program
Attn: Anita Braxton
Greenlaw Hall, CB#3520
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520

  • To submit online, go to https://ncwriters.submittable.com/submit. Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($10 NCWN members / $20 nonmembers). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • The winner will be announced in February.

For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

 

ASHEVILLE—The pre-registration deadline for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Fall Conference has been extended until 11:59 pm on Sunday, November 3.

Fall Conference classes are first-come, first-served. While spaces remain in most sessions, spots are not guaranteed.

This pre-registration extension is only for online registrations; mail-in registrations must still be received no later than Friday, November 1, at 4:00 pm.

Register now to secure your seat November 8-10 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore.

By registering early, attendees save more than 50 percent off conference fees.

Need a last-minute hotel room? Click here for suggestions.

The NCWN 2019 Fall Conference promises a full weekend devoted to the craft and business of writing, when all the literary riches of the North Carolina mountains will be on display.

Friday evening, New York Times bestselling author Charles Frazier will join Margaret D. Bauer, editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, for a Keynote Conversation.

Saturday's luncheon will feature former NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti and veterans reading selections from the anthology Brothers Like These.

The Annual Banquet on Saturday night will feature the world premiere of poems written by three female poets set to music, by the Asheville-based ensemble Pan Harmonia.

Also on offer: open mics, faculty readings, an exhibit hall packed with representatives from literary journals and organizations from all across the Carolinas; and all the excellent courses NCWN members have come to expect.

Register now: www.ncwriters.org.

 

ASHEVILLE—Due to an unavoidable conflict, the NCWN 2019 Fall Conference will not open with a Keynote Address by bestselling, prize-winning North Carolina novelist Ron Rash, who has had to cancel his appearance.

Instead, the conference will open with a Keynote Conversation with bestselling, prize-winning North Carolina novelist Charles Frazier.

This Keynote Conversation with Charles Frazier will be on Friday, November 8, at 8:00 pm, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore.

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Cold Mountain (1997), his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, won the National Book Award in 1997, and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film by Anthony Minghella in 2003. Charles's second novel, Thirteen Moons (2006), was a New York Times bestseller and named a best book of the year by The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His third novel, Nightwoods (2011), also a New York Times bestseller, is a critically acclaimed literary thriller set in a fictional Western North Carolina town in the early 1960s.

Charles's latest novel, Varina, an instant New York Times bestseller released in April of 2018, is a fictional reimagining of the life of Varina Howell Davis before, during, and after the American Civil War.

Margaret D. Bauer, editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, the Ralph Hardee Rives Chair of Southern Literature in the Department of English at East Carolina University, and a trustee of the North Carolina Writers' Network, will facilitate the conversation during Charles Frazier's Keynote Address.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2019 Fall Conference is a full weekend of sessions and workshops on the craft and business of writing, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, the business of books, and more. Additional programming includes a world premiere of poems set to music by the Asheville-based ensemble Pan Harmonia; readings by veterans from the anthology Brothers Like These, hosted by former NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti; faculty readings; open mics; and more.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2019 Fall Conference ends November 1.

Register here.

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

 

 
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