Submit Your Stories to the 2023 NC State Fiction Contest

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The annual NC State Fiction Contest is a free literary competition open to all North Carolina residents, including out-of-state and international students who are enrolled in North Carolina universities. It remains one of the largest free-to-enter fiction contests in the South.

This year’s guest judge is Smriti Ravindra, Fulbright scholar and author of The Woman Who Climbed Trees.

Contestants may enter one story in each of the two contest categories:


– The James Hurst Prize for Fiction ($500): An unpublished short story of no more than 5,000 words. In addition to the winner, several honorable mention awards will be presented.
– The Shorter Fiction Prize ($250): An unpublished short story of no more than 1,200 words. One honorable mention award will be presented.


  1. The contest is open to all North Carolina residents except:
    1. Tenured/tenure-track professors in the University of North Carolina system; creative-writing instructors teaching at North Carolina State University (butteaching assistants and graduate students are eligible).
    2. Writers with a published book of fiction (if we can buy your book online or from a publisher or bookstore, we consider you published).
    3. Previous winners. Previous finalists must submit stories that have not been previously submitted.
  2. Contestants may enter no more than one story in each of the two contest categories.
  3. Entries may not have been previously published anywhere, in print or online, including personal blogs or websites.
  4. All entries must be typed and titled.
  5. Contestants should not include their name on their stories so that their work can be judged anonymously. Instead, contestants should include their name, address, telephone number and email address on a separate cover sheet.
  6. No emailed entries are accepted. Please mail entries to:

NC State Fiction Contest
Department of English
North Carolina State University
Campus Box 8105
Raleigh, NC 27695-8105

The postmark deadline is October 14, 2023.

Due to volume, they cannot respond to individual queries or return your stories afterward. Winners and honorable mentions will be contacted directly. The public award ceremony will take place on November 15 at 7PM in Caldwell Hall Lounge at NC State University. The results will be posted at