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SC Arts Commission Literary Arts Program

FY2018 South Carolina Novel Prize


Scott Sharpe of Eastover has been named the winner of the South Carolina Novel Prize. Read more >>>


Online Submission Process

South Carolina Novel Prize entries are submitted online through the Submittable system. Multiple file types are accepted, including Word and PDF. No paper applications will be accepted.



Application Opens: January 1, 2018


Application Deadline: March 15 , 2018



The South Carolina Novel Prize recognizes one of South Carolina's exceptional writers by providing a book contract with Hub City Press. The contest is highly competitive. All submissions will be read anonymously by our readers and judge. Winner is awarded publication by Hub City Press in the form of a printing of no less than 2000 copies to be nationally distributed to the trade in 2019. This can bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities in the literary community.


Brock Adams of Spartanburg won the 2016 First Novel Prize. His novel, Ember, was published by Hub City Press in September 2017.


James McTeer's 2014 winning novel, Minnow, received starred reviews in Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews and favorable reviews in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Los Angeles Review of Books. The book is now in its second printing.


Susan Tekulve won the 2012 First Novel prize with her book In the Garden of Stone. Tekulve's book has sold thousands of copies and was reviewed in national magazines and journals. Her book tour included four states and several book festivals. Tekulve's work is now represented by a New York agent.


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 and the South Carolina State Library are founding partners.


Eligibility Requirements
The applicant must:

  1. Be a legal resident of the U.S. and S.C. with a permanent residence in the state for one (1) year prior to the application deadline (twelve consecutive months);
  2. Be 18 years of age or older at the time of application;
  3. May have published a novel, a book of nonfiction, short stories, poetry or children's literature.
  4. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, as long as winning author is willing to withdraw it from consideration elsewhere upon accepting S.C. Novel Prize.



  1. Only manuscripts between 150 and 400 (single-sided) pages are eligible;
  2. Submission must be an original work of which the applicant is the sole author.

Other Information

  • We cannot give reasons for refusal or enter into correspondence or make suggestions, edits, or recommendations about submitted manuscripts.
  • No entry fees will be returned.
  • We will accept multiple entries from one author (no more than three novels).
  • The winning author will agree to at least five public appearances/book signings around the state.


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 author Jill McCorkle. McCorkle has written six novels, most recently Life After Life, and four story collections. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals, four of her short stories have been selected for Best American Short Stories and one essay was selected for Best American Essays. She has taught at Harvard, Brandeis, and N.C. State, and currently teaches in the Bennington College Writing Seminars. 

March 15, 2018
Manuscripts and résumés must be submitted online before 5:00 PM no later than the stated date.


Summer 2018

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 2,000 copies of the book, which includes a book for every public library branch in the state.


The winning author will also receive invitations from the College of Charleston, the South Carolina State Library and South Carolina Humanities to appear and sign books at significant events.


The winner will receive significant promotion by the sponsors of South Carolina Novel Prize:  Hub City Press, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina State Library and South Carolina Humanities. 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. The South Carolina State Library will purchase a book for each public library branch in the state, and South Carolina Humanities will promote the winner and the book on its website and at special events.

Filing Fee
The S.C. Arts Commission and Hub City Press reserve the right not to publish any of the submissions that have been solicited. Each submission must be accompanied by a processing fee of $35, payable by credit card with online submission. No entry fees will be returned.


Required Application Materials
Applicants must submit a manuscript and résumé online. Manuscripts submitted separately will not be processed.

  1. Novel
    • Upload one copy of your manuscript. Name your manuscript using the novel's title, NOT your name.
    • The title of the novel must appear on the upper right hand corner of each page of the manuscript.
    • Applicant's name and address MUST NOT appear anywhere on the work submitted. This includes the title page, headers and footers.
    • Manuscripts must be double spaced on 8 ½ by 11 pages.
    • Pages must be numbered.
    • Font must be no smaller than 12 point.
    • If you are submitting more than one novel for consideration, please complete a separate online upload for each novel.
  2. Current Résumé
    Résumé must not exceed three pages in length. The résumé will be used to prepare biographical information in the event the applicant is selected as winner of the competition. Résumés are not submitted with manuscripts for review.


How to Apply
The SC Novel submission process is an easy, online process. Clicking the button below will open Submittable, where you will choose the FY2018 Novel Competition and create a user name and password. You will then complete the application page, upload your manuscript and résumé, and enter your credit card information.






Questions? Contact Sara June Goldstein, Director of Literary Arts, (803) 734-8694.



Contest Partners:

The S.C. 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 www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.


Hub City Press

Hub City Press was founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995 and since then has emerged as one of the South's premier independent presses. Focused on finding and spotlighting new and extraordinary voices from the American South, the press has published over eighty high-caliber literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, memoir, and books emphasizing the region's culture and history. Hub City is interested in books with a strong sense of place and committed to introducing a diverse roster of lesser-heard Southern voices. For more information, visit www.hubcity.org or call (864) 577-9349.



College of Charleston

The College of Charleston is home not only to a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized writing faculty, but also houses one of the country’s premiere literary journals, Crazyhorse, published since 1960 and consistently ranked as among the top publishing venues in the nation. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program provides students an immersion in a world of prose and poetry and the practical aspects of establishing a career in the arts.Students from across the country have the opportunity to study writing, literature, publishing and the arts at large and to build a community of life-long relationships with the art of writing at its center.


The South Carolina State Library

The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment. It is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state's libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources.  For more information, please visit www.statelibrary.sc.gov or call 803-734-8666.      


South Carolina Humanities

South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. South Carolina Humanities 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 www.schumanities.org or call (803) 771-2477.


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