C. Michael Curtis Story Story Book Prize


The C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize is open to emerging writers in thirteen Southern states. Submitters must currently reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia, and must have no previously published books of fiction.

The C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize includes $10,000 and book publication for a debut book of short fiction. C. Michael Curtis served as an editor of The Atlantic since 1963 and as fiction editor since 1982 and has discovered or edited some of the finest short story writers of the modern era, including Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and Anne Beattie. He has edited several acclaimed anthologies, including Contemporary New England Stories, God: Stories, and Faith: Stories. Curtis moved to Spartanburg, S.C. in 2006 and has taught as a professor at both Wofford and Converse Colleges, in addition to serving on the editorial board of Hub City Press. This prize is made possible by an anonymous contribution from a South Carolina donor.

Submissions:  January 1 - April 1 annually 
Current Judge: ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer is the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003) and has been frequently published in such journals as The New Yorker and Granta. She is at work on a novel. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy in Berlin Prize and a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship. She has taught at many institutions including Princeton, where she was a Hodder Fellow; the Michener Center at the University of Texas; Vassar College; and as a Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She received her education at Yale (BA), Johns Hopkins (MA), the University of Iowa (MFA), and Stanford as a Stegner Fellow.

A $25 submission fee will accompany each submission. Manuscripts will be taken through online submission only. All manuscripts will be read anonymously by paid screeners. This contest is guided by the CLMP Code of Ethics.

Previous Judges

2019: Lauren Groff
2018: Lee K Abbott

Previous Winners

2019: Ashleigh Bryant Phillips - Sleepovers
2018: Emily W. Pease - Let Met Out Here


  • Submitters must currently reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia and have resided there for a minimum of 24 consecutive months. (Residency will be verified before prize winner is announced.) 
  • Submitters may not have published or self-published a book of fiction (novel or short stories) in print or digital form or have a book of fiction (novel or short stories) forthcoming or under contract for publication.

  • Submitters must not be affiliated with Hub City Press or Hub City Writers Project as a staff member or volunteer or as previously published Hub City author. Close friends, relatives, students or former students of the final judge are not eligible.

Submission Requirements

  • The contest opens December 1 and closes April 1, 11:59PM EST. Finalists and winners are announced in late summer.
  • The manuscript must be between 140 and 220 pages (double spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman or similar typeface) and include no fewer than six stories. 
  • 50% of the stories must be new (not previously published) on January 1, 2020.
  • No story should be over 15,000 words in length. There is no minimum story word count. (Bear in mind that this is not a flash fiction or micro fiction contest and that stories of a more traditional length of 1,500 to 8,000 words are expected to make up the bulk of the story collection.)
  • This contest is read blind. Do not include a bio or acknowledgements page with your manuscript. All manuscripts must be read anonymously by our readers, editors, and judge. Manuscripts should include one title page with the manuscript’s title only. You may also include a table of contents. Manuscripts that do not adhere to this guideline will be immediately eliminated.
  • Simultaneous submissions of the same manuscript to other publishers or contests are acceptable but please notify us by email (submit@hubcity.org) if your manuscript has been accepted elsewhere.
  • While translations and manuscripts in languages other than English are not accepted, manuscripts that occasionally use words from other languages are acceptable and welcome.
  • No revisions of submitted manuscripts will be allowed during the contest.


I have never published a book before. Am I eligible?
Yes! The C. Michael Curtis Prize is meant for emerging writers who have never published a book of fiction before. You can have a previous book of nonfiction or poetry.
I am under contract for a book of fiction that won't be published for a year or two. Can I submit a different book?
No. The C. Michael Curtis Prize publishes a debut collection of stories. You cannot have a book of fiction forthcoming or under contract for publication.
I was born in / grew up in / attended school in one of the 11 states listed, but have since moved away. Am I eligible?
Unfortunately, no. The contest is open only to writers currently living in the Southern states listed in the guidelines. If you don't currently live in one of those states you are ineligible for the prize. You must currently live in one of the listed Southern states and have lived there for 24 consecutive months.
I have lived in two of the listed states (for example: North and South Carolina) in the last 24 months. Am I eligible?
Yes! As long as you've lived in the South, moving between states is fine.
If your questions isn't addressed above, please email kate@hubcity.org.

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