SC First Novel Prize -- Hit This Up, Soda City Writers!

Sharing this news from our friends at Hub City Press and The Humanities Council of SC and the SC Arts Commission -- Heads up, Soda City Writers The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and The Humanities CouncilSC announce a call for submissions for the biennial South Carolina First Novel Prize. Guidelines, eligibilty requirements and the application are available at The application deadline is March 3, 2014.

The competition judge is Ben Fountain of Dallas, Texas, who won the National Book Critics Circle book prize in 2012 for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. His other honors include the PEN/Hemmingway Award, a Pushcart Prize, two O. Henry Awards, two Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Awards and a Whiting Writers Award.

Ben Fountain photo courtesy of Hub City Press

The winning author will receive a book contract with Hub City Press, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg, S.C. The winner will receive a $1,000 advance against royalties, and Hub City will publish at least 1,500 copies of the book.

The First Novel Prize provides significant promotion, including an invitation from The Humanities CouncilSC to appear and sign books at the 2015 South Carolina Book Festival in Columbia.

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, S.C. The Humanities CouncilSC is a founding partner.

For more information, visit or call (803) 734-8696.