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The annual NC State Fiction Contest is a free literary competition open to all North Carolina residents. Drawing more than 300 entrants last year, it’s one of the largest free-to-enter writing contests in the South. This year’s guest judge is Etaf Rum, author of the much-praised and New York Times best-selling debut novel A Woman Is No Man.  Contestants may enter one story in each of the two contest categories:

  • The James Hurst Prize for Fiction: Contestants must submit an unpublished short story of no more than 5,000 words.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  • The Shorter Fiction Prize:  Contestants must submit an unpublished short story of no more than 1,200 words.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

In addition, the best NC State undergraduate entry will receive a $100 prize.

For more information about the contest, including rules and the submission deadline, please visit the Department of English website.


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  • Natalia Knyzewski
  • Mary Paul

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