South Carolina Arts Commission Calls for First Novel Prize Submissions

The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and SC Humanities 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.

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 SC Humanities 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. SC Humanities is a founding partner.

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

Hub City Press
Hub City Press, founded in 1995, has published more than 65 books by regional authors, won 12 national and regional IPPY awards from Independent Publisher magazine, is a recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, and has partnered with the S.C. Arts Commission on five previous book projects. For more information, visit or call (864) 577-9349.

SC Humanities
SC Humanities is in its 40th year as the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. The Humanities CouncilSC programs and initiatives are balanced, reflect sensitivity to a diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations. For more information, visit or call (803) 771-2477.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit or call (803) 734-8696.