C. Michael Curtis Short 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 more than one previously published book.
The C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize includes $5,000 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 at both Wofford and Converse Colleges, in addition to serving on the editorial board of Hub City Press. This prize is made possible by a generous contribution from Michel and Eliot Stone of Spartanburg.
Submissions: September - December, biennially
Current Judge: Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson is the author of two collections, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award, and Baby You’re Gonna Be Mine, and three novels, The Family Fang, Perfect Little World, and Nothing to See Here. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, A Public Space, and elsewhere, and has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best anthology as well as The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Rivendell, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his sons, Griff and Patch, where he is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Sewanee: The University of the South.
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.
2020: ZZ Packer
2019: Lauren Groff
2018: Lee K Abbott
- 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 have only one previously published book. (Any book with an ISBN, self-published and chapbooks included, qualify as previous publications.)
- 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.
- The contest opens September 1 and closes December 31, 11:59PM EST. Finalists and winners are announced in the summer of the next year.
- 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. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included.
- 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 acknowledgments 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 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 no more than one previous book. A published work with an ISBN (including chapbooks with IBSNs) is considered a book.
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.