Hub City Press and South Carolina Arts Commission Announce Novel Series Winner

June 6th 2024

Hub City Press and the South Carolina Arts Commission are pleased to announce that Dan Leach has been selected as the winner of the 2024 South Carolina Novel Series for his novel, Challenger, which Hub City Press will publish in the fall of 2025. 

The South Carolina Novel Series publishes a novel by a South Carolina writer biennially. Writers selected for publication in this series are awarded $1,500 and book publication, including marketing and tour support from Hub City Press and the series partners, as well as placement in all South Carolina state libraries and readings/events with presenting sponsors.

“We are thrilled to continue the SC Novel Prize publishing partnership in support of South Carolina writers for readers everywhere. The Arts Commission seeks to serve all artists, and this program elevates talented literary artists with a significant contract and promotion. We congratulate Dan Leach on this milestone,” South Carolina Arts Commission Artist Development Director Tanisha N. Brown said.

“This one-of-a-kind partnership between Hub City Press and the South Carolina Arts Commission has highlighted working authors in our home state for nearly two decades and we’re pleased to add Challenger by Dan Leach to this exciting roster of novels,” said Meg Reid, Director of Hub City Press.

Set in Upstate South Carolina in the months leading up to Y2K, Challenger follows twelve-year old Junah Simmons as he confronts the iconic catastrophes of youth—falling in love, finding one’s self, and surviving public school—while wrestling with the notion that the world itself could end in December. Junah’s odyssey through this existential landscape is kicks off with an assignment from his teacher to convert a shoebox into a time capsule and fill it with “things that tell what it was like to be alive in Carolina at the end of the world.”

Dan Leach has published work in The Massachusetts Review, The Southwest Review, and The Sun. He has two collections of short fiction: Floods and Fires (University of North Georgia, 2017) and Dead Mediums (Trident, 2022). In 2023, Texas Review Press chose him for the Southern Poetry Breakthrough Award and released his collection Stray Latitudes (2024). He lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina and teaches writing at Charleston Southern University.

The South Carolina Novel Series is open to writers of all levels who have lived in South Carolina for at least one year prior to submission of their manuscript. Co-sponsors include the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina State Library and South Carolina Humanities. Entries for the series require no submission fee. 

Series Partners

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. Visit or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.

Founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995, Hub City Press is the South’s premier independent literary press. Focused on finding and spotlighting extraordinary new and unsung writers from the American South, our curated list champions diverse authors and books that don’t fit into the commercial publishing landscape. The press has published over ninety 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 is committed to introducing a diverse roster of lesser-heard Southern voices.

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 or call 803.734.8666.

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 or call 803.771.2477.

Error Message