Submit Your Story to the NC State Fiction Contest

Are your heroes Eudora Welty and O. Henry? Do you spend your weekends at writers’ workshops? Is there an idea for a short story pinging around your brain? If you are an unpublished writer, waiting for your big break, this contest is for you.

The 2018 N.C. State Fiction Contest is now accepting entries through Monday, Oct. 8.

Drawing more than 300 entrants last year, this literary contest  is one of the largest free-to-enter writing contests in the South. This year’s guest judge is Brando Skyhorse, author of “The Madonnas of Echo Park” and “Take This Man: A Memoir.”

Contestants may enter one story in each of the two contest categories:

  • The James Hurst Prize for Fiction ($500): An unpublished short story of no more than 5,000 words. In addition to the winner, several honorable mention awards will be presented.
  • The Shorter Fiction Prize ($250): An unpublished short story of no more than 1,200 words. One honorable mention award will be presented.

The contest open to North Carolina residents except:

  • Tenured/tenure-track professors in the University of North Carolina system and writing instructors teaching at NC State (teaching assistants and graduate students are eligible).
  • Writers with a published book of fiction or collection of short stories (if we can buy your book online or from a publisher or bookstore, we consider you published).
  • Previous winners. Previous finalists must submit stories that have not been previously submitted.

No emailed entries will be accepted. Hard copy submissions must be dropped off at the Department of English, 221 Tompkins Hall (2211 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, or mailed to:

NC State Fiction Contest
Department of English
North Carolina State University
Campus Box 8105
Raleigh, NC 27695-8105

Entries must be dropped off or postmarked by Oct. 8, 2018.

Winners will be announced at the 2018 NC State Fiction Contest Awards Ceremony, which will include a literary reading by Brando Skyhorse, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Piedmont Suite at Talley Student Union on the N.C. State University campus.

For the complete contest rules and more information, visit

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