logocolor_jpgThe South Carolina First Novel Prize 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 copies of the book will bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities. The book will be nationally distributed.

Susan Tekulve of Spartanburg was winner of the 2012 competition. Her book, In the Garden of Stone, was published in May 2013 and was nationally reviewed by such publications as Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal. Additionally, Tekulve has toured bookstores throughout the Southeast and participated, or will participate, on panels at the Southern Book Festival, the South Carolina Book Festival, and the High Country Festival of the Book.

Matt Matthews of Greer was the winner of the 2010 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 South Carolina First Novel Prize is funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and the Phifer/Johnson Foundation of Spartanburg, SC. The Humanities CouncilSC is a founding partner.

Selection Process
Ben FountainApplicants’ 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 Ben Fountain. Fountain won the National Book Critics Circle book prize in 2012 for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime WalkThe New York Times praised Fountain’s novel as “grand, intimate and joyous.” The Washington Post called it “a masterful gut-punch of a debut.”  His short story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, won the PEN/Hemmingway Award for first fiction in 2006. He has won a Pushcart Prize, two O. Henry Awards, two Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Awards, and a Whiting Writers Award, among other honors and awards. Fountain’s fiction has been published in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times and The New York Times Sunday Magazine, among other publications. His reportage on post-earthquake Haiti was nationally broadcast on the radio show This American Life. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas.

March 3, 2014
Applications must be postmarked (or hand-delivered to the S.C. Arts Commission offices before 5:00 PM) no later than the stated date.

Summer 2014

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 $1,000 advance against royalties. Hub City will publish at least 1,500 copies of the book.

The winning author will also receive an invitation from The Humanities Council SC to appear and sign books at the 2015 South Carolina Book Festival. The winner will receive significant promotion by the sponsors of South Carolina First Novel Prize:  Hub City Press, The South Carolina Arts Commission  and The Humanities CouncilSC. Hub City Press will promote the book through social media and by mailing galleys and news releases to national and regional reviewers and to key booksellers. Additionally Hub City will set up author appearances at book festivals, bookstores, colleges and libraries.  The S.C. Arts Commission will promote the winner and the book on the agency’s websites, in the e-newsletter, through social media and by distributing news releases to media outlets around the state, and to key regional and national arts organizations.

To learn more, visit www.southcarolinaarts.com

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