Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize open for submissions

Press release from the North Carolina Writers Network:

ASHEVILLE—The 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is now open for submissions. This contest honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is open to all writers, regardless of geographic location or prior publication. Submitted stories must be unpublished and not exceed 3,000 words. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review. The deadline is January 30, 2016.

Beloved North Carolina author Ron Rash will serve as the final judge. He is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, as well as four other prizewinning novels, including One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, The World Made Straight, and The Cove; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award; and most recently, Something Rich and Strange. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

The 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is administered by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers. The program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes led by published writers and experienced teachers. Each course carries academic credit awarded through UNC-Asheville.

The Thomas Wolfe Review is the official journal of The Thomas Wolfe Society, publishing articles, features, tributes, and reviews about Wolfe and his circle. It also features bibliographical material, notes, news, and announcements of interest to Society members.

Mesha Maren of Alderson, West Virginia, won the prize in 2015 for her story Chokedamp, a complex and realistic exploration of a relationship between brothers.

Here are the full guidelines for the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize:

  • The competition is open to all writers regardless of geographical location or prior publication.
  • Submit two copies of an unpublished fiction manuscript – short story or self-contained novel excerpt – not to exceed 3,000 words, double-spaced, single-sided pages (1″ margins, 12-pt. Times New Roman font).
  • Author’s name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript: $15 for NCWN members, $25 for nonmembers.
  • The entry fee is per submission. You may submit multiple entries.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission.
  • Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • The winner is announced each April.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • To submit online, go to: Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($15 NCWN members / $25 non-members).
  • To submit by regular mail:
    Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
    Great Smokies Writing Program
    Attn: Nancy Williams
    One University Hts.
    UNC Asheville, NC 28804

Questions? Please contact Nancy Williams at or 828-250-2353.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


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