Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 27, 2019

C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize

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C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize

Submissions will open December 1, 2018 and close April 16, 2019 at 12:01 AM EST.

The C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize includes $10,000 and book publication. The prize is named in honor of C. Michael Curtis, who has served as an editor of The Atlantic since 1963 and as fiction editor since 1982.

The first winning book will be published in Spring 2019. This prize is made possible by an anonymous contribution from a South Carolina donor.

The new 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.

A $25 submission fee will accompany each submission. Submission information can be found at . 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.

The namesake of the prize, C. Michael Curtis 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.

2018 Judge: Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and the celebrated short story collections Delicate Edible Birds and Florida, which was published in June by Riverhead. Her work has appeared in journals including the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, One Story, and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and five editions of the Best American Short Stories.

Inaugural Judge

Lee K. Abbott’s short stories and reviews have appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic, the Georgia Review, the New York Times Book Review, the Southern Review, and Epoch. His fiction has been often reprinted in The Best American Short Stories and The Prize Stories: The O’Henry Awards. His latest collection of stories, All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories, was published by Norton in June 2006. He is professor emeritus of English at Ohio State University.

Submission Guidelines:

You are eligible if you:

• Have not published or self-published a book of fiction in print or digital form (including novel, short stories or novellas) or have a book of fiction forthcoming or under contract for publication.

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.)

• Are not 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 December 1, 2018 and closes April 16, 2019 at 12:01AM EST. We will announce the winner in late summer of 2019.

• 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, 2019.

No story should be over 15,000 words in length. There is no minimum word count. Some shorter stores are anticipated, but 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.

• Do not include a bio or acknowledgements page with your manuscript since 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 eliminated.

• Simultaneous submissions of the the same manuscript to other publishers or contests are acceptable but please notify us by email ( 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 perfectly fine.

• 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

Talk tomorrow,


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