The First Novel Competition recognizes one of South Carolina’s exceptional writers by providing a book contract with Hub City Press. The competition is a highly competitive, anonymous process. Publication by Hub City of at least 1,500 paperback copies of the book will bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities. The book will be nationally distributed through John F. Blair Co. of Winston-Salem, N.C.

Matt Matthews of Greer was the winner of the last competition. His book, Mercy Creek, was published in 2011. Brian Ray of Columbia was the winner of the inaugural novel competition. His book, Through the Pale Door, was published by Hub City in June, 2009. Both books have been widely and favorably reviewed across the Southeast.

The winning author will agree to at least five public appearances/book signings around the state, including the South Carolina Book Festival in Columbia in May 2014.

Selection Process
Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by panelists who make their judgments on the basis of artistic merit. Six to eight novels will be judged by nationally recognized novelist Josephine Humphreys, who will select the contest winner. The distinguished judge is the author of four award-winning novels: Dreams of Sleep, Rich in Love, The Fireman’s Fair, and Nowhere Else on Earth. Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Southern Book Award, and the S.C. Governor’s Award in the Humanities, she’s a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers as well as the South Carolina Academy of Authors. She lives on Sullivan’s Island with her husband, Tom Hutcheson.

March 19, 2012

September/October 2012

The winning author will receive a book contract with Hub City Press, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg, S.C. Upon successful execution of the contract with Hub City, the winner will receive a $500 advance against royalties. Hub City will publish at least 1,500 paperback copies of the book.

Additional appearances/book signings around the state for this project will be provided by literary arts partners, The Humanities CouncilSC and the SC State Library.

To learn more and apply, visit

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