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Greenville author’s debut novel gets ‘Best Thriller’ award

The Medina Device drops this week


Author T.J. Champitto was recently granted the 2020 Maxy Award for Best Thriller for his debut novel, The Medina Device, which releases Aug. 6, 2020.

Look for it in paperback, ebook and audiobook. “I’ve waited a long time for this,” says Champitto, who is represented by Langtons International Literary Agency. “It’s been a wild ride and I’m thrilled to see it finally release. The Medina Device has already won a big award and been critically acclaimed by reviewers around the globe, but in a lot of ways the real fun is just getting started.” T.J. Champitto is an American novelist who was once known for his successful travel blog, "The Blazing Nomad," which he retired in 2018 in order to focus on his new book. His captivating writing style and ability to weave suspenseful storylines caught the attention of Black Rose Writing, who acquired the publishing rights to The Medina Device last year. The novel follows a former Navy SEAL who enjoys a secret life of high-stakes crime which has gained the attention of the FBI. But when a secret brotherhood emerges, they offer him the opportunity of a lifetime—to steal the greatest archaeological discovery in human history. Secret societies, ancient technology and international espionage all converge in a journey that will test the bounds of reality. The Medina Device is available at all major retailers and can be ordered online from Amazon.

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Sunspot Lit’s 2020 ‘Inception’ contest

Call issued for literary or visual art

Submission deadline: Sept. 30, 2020

Sunspot Lit’s 2020 Inception contest is open to literary and visual artists.

Literary

Send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece from which the beginning is excerpted. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry. Graphic novel entries should be the first page (unlimited number of panels on that page) with a maximum of 250 words...so, cut the number of panels in order to meet the word count, if needed.

Visual

This contest is also now open for artwork. Visual art entries should be the first in a series, the first in a gallery lineup, the first photo in a themed collection, etc. Entries are limited to one image with up to 250 words to describe the series, lineup or collection.

The Contest

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

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2020 S.C. Novel Prize goes to Upstate writer

Winning manuscript publishes in 2021


The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina State Library,  and South Carolina Humanities are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2020 South Carolina Novel Prize is Maris Lawyer for her manuscript The Blue Line Down.  

Lawyer’s winning manuscript will be published in 2021 by Hub City Press of Spartanburg.

Maris Lawyer (right) grew up in Oconee County and hasn’t strayed far since. Graduating with a degree in Creative Writing from Anderson University in 2017, she then moved into a tiny apartment in Greenville with her husband, where she spent her evenings hunched over a laptop writing stories. Maris and her husband (and two cats) are now homeowners in Easley, where she still catches a glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains every day.

Stephanie Powell Watts, author of We Are Taking Only What We Need and No One is Coming to Save Us was the judge of the biennial prize this year. Of the winning manuscript, Watts wrote, “Readers are always looking for the topic that both feels familiar until we scratch the surface a little and realize we know almost nothing about it. In the clear light of the present, movements, protests and even revolutions of the past can seem obvious and inevitable. History loves to condense the story, connecting dots to make the narrative cohere. However, there is turmoil, angst, and great human suffering in between those dots. This story shows us how a decent enough person might be compelled to aid and abet bullies and killers. The story also shows us the main character's remarkable path to possible redemption.”


The South Carolina Novel Prize is funded by the following partner organizations:

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.

Hub City Press was founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995 and since then has emerged as one of the South's premier independent presses.

The College of Charleston is home not only to a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized writing faculty, but also houses one of the country’s premiere literary journals, Crazyhorse, published since 1960 and consistently ranked as among the top publishing venues in the nation. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program provides students an immersion in a world of prose and poetry and the practical aspects of establishing a career in the arts.

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.

South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. SC Humanities presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

For more information about the Novel Competition, visit or call http://www.SouthCarolinaArts.com, 803.734.8696; and http://www.hubcity.org, 864.577.9349.


More about Maris Lawyer

Maris Lawyer is a born and bred native of the South Carolina Upstate. She graduated with a degree in creative writing from Anderson University and has since gone to work as an HR generalist for an environmental consulting firm in Greenville. Maris lives in Easley with her husband Benjamin and two cats, Merlin and Luna. Alongside reading and writing, Maris spends much of her time fussing over the vegetable garden in her back yard. In The Blue Line Down, protagonist Jude Washer leaves his tormented childhood in the Virginian coal mines to join the Baldwin-Felts agents—the very agents who hunted down and disbanded the unionizers at his own mine camp. Instead of living a life of power and control, Jude finds himself disturbed by the brutal brand of justice dealt out by the Baldwin-Felts, and seeks to free himself and his young trainee, Harvey. An unplanned escape turns into a harrowing manhunt as Jude and Harvey flee the Baldwin-Felts, traveling down the Blue Ridge Mountains only to fall into the hands of bootleggers—who may present a greater threat than the Baldwin-Felts.

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: El Cinco de Mayo

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

Here are some virtual arts events

Sometimes we do events on the same day, sometimes we promo upcoming ones. Sometimes we do both. There are no rules in quarantine life! (Help yourself by reading all of them.)

Today

It's Creative Tuesdays with Liz... You'll need a piece of paper (any color), scissors, glue, old magazines or newspapers, and markers, crayons or colored pencils. Watch here at 11 a.m.: https://youtu.be/yCGcUaoivMo (Videos from past projects are available there for you to check out anytime.) Next week Liz is making '3D Frog on a Lily Pad.' You'll need paper, green construction paper, markers, crayons, or colored pencils, scissors and glue.

Upcoming

 
  Your event not here? Here's a little more on how Hub E-vents works.

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100 bucks for 100 words

New contest from Sunspot Literary Journal

Submission deadline: June 30, 2020
A contribution from Sunspot Literary Journal: Microfiction, micro essay, micro memoir, short poem, micro script, micro screenplay... if it's 100 words or less, it might be worth $100. No restrictions on theme or category. In addition to receiving the cash prize, the winner will be published. Select finalists will have the chance to be published. Sunspot asks for first rights only; all rights revert to the contributor after publication. Works accepted for publication include bylines and biographies. These are published in the next quarterly digital edition an average of one month after contest completion. All the published pieces will be considered for inclusion in the annual fall print edition. Enter as many times as you like. One piece per submission. Pieces must be unpublished except on a personal blog or website. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Work can have won other awards without being disqualified.

Cash award of $100 Entry fee: $5 Open April 1, 2020 Closes June 30, 2020

Link here to submit: https://sunspotlit.submittable.com/submit/164031/100-for-100-words-2020

Jason Rapp

South Carolina Novel Prize opens submission window

Author Stephanie Powell Watts judging entries

Submission deadline: Monday, March 16 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
Every other year, the South Carolina Novel Prize recognizes one of South Carolina’s exceptional writers. Submissions will be read anonymously by our readers at the College of Charleston Department of English and this year's judge, author Stephanie Powell Watts. The contest is highly competitive, and the winner is provided a book contract with Hub City Press, who will print no fewer  than 2000 copies to be nationally distributed to the trade in 2021. This can also bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities in the literary community. The S.C. Novel Prize is funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, and South Carolina Humanities. The College of Charleston and South Carolina State Library are also partners. The South Carolina Novel Prize (formerly the First Novel Prize) is open to any South Carolina writer, including those who have never had a novel published and those who have been published. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by panelists who make their judgments on the basis of artistic merit and narrowed through two rounds of judging. Five novels will be judged in a third round by Watts. Find the eligibility and restrictions and link to submit on SouthCarolinaArts.com. [caption id="attachment_34666" align="aligncenter" width="563"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption]   Ed. note: This post was updated March 12, 2020 with a deadline extension to March 23, reflected at the top of the post.

Tuning Up: Homeless shelter artists, new book release

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Fundraiser features art by homeless shelter residents

From ColaDaily.com: Transitions Homeless Center, the largest homeless facility serving Midlands residents, will be holding its eighth annual Reconstructing Home fundraiser Thursday at the Columbia Museum of Art. Reconstructing Home showcases current and past residents' artwork that will be available for purchase ... This year's event will display not just 2-D paintings, but also some 3-D work. "We have some afghans this year, a couple of really cool wooden 3-dimensional large pieces, and we have a butterfly quilt that butterflies were actually painted onto the fabric," explained (Vice President of Advancement Elizabeth) Iglehart. Read the full story, and see pictures, here.

Publication announced for new Janet Kozachek book

Finishing Line Press is announcing the publication of My Women, My Monsters, a new collection of poems by Orangeburg author Janet Kozachek. “In this book, Janet Kozachek, through her evocative illustrations and often biting poems, removes the lid of the cauldron containing several familiar feminine monsters–monsters that women know from their everyday encounters with other women and also from uncomfortable glances within," writes Rutgers University Professor of Comparative Literature Janet A. Walker in her review. Kozacheck, a Helena Rubinstein Scholar, holds a Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from Parsons School of Design and a certificate of graduate study from Beijing Central Art Academy where she studied Chinese poetry and painting. She received a category award in drawing at Artfields and grants from the Puffin Foundation and South Carolina Humanities.

NEA announces ‘Big Read’ community reading program grants

Additions to the NEA Big Read Library include selections in honor of 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Are you a nonprofit organization interested in increasing community engagement, creating new partnerships, and celebrating great books? The 2020/2021 guidelines for National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grants are now available. This National Endowment for the Arts initiative, in partnership with Arts Midwest, supports community reading programs across the country, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book. In honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the 2020/2021 list of NEA Big Read books will include classic literature by four female authors: My Ántonia by Willa Cather, The Essential Emily Dickinson (a selection of poems by Dickinson, introduced by Joyce Carol Oates), Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Also new for 2020-2021 is the addition of the novel Circe by Madeline Miller, a retelling of the life of a Greek mythological goddess, and An American Sunrise, a new collection of poems by U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo, which will be available in place of her book How We Became Human. In total, 32 books will be available for NEA Big Read projects taking place between September 2020 and June 2021; the full list of titles is available in the guidelines on Art Midwest’s website, where potential applicants can also find full details on eligibility, how to apply, and application advice. The application deadline is Wednesday, January 29, 2020. In addition to libraries, eligible applicants include colleges and universities, arts organizations, museums, humanities councils, school districts, historical societies, and more—read the guidelines for complete eligibility information. “Hosting an NEA Big Read program has been shown to be a powerful way to build community and encourage dialogue on a variety of pertinent topics, from taking care of elderly parents, such as in Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, to the opioid crisis in Burning Bright, to the challenges some boys face at the brink of manhood in Hustle,” said Amy Stolls, director of literary arts at the Arts Endowment. All NEA Big Read programs include a series of events, ranging from lectures and book discussions to film screenings and performances, all designed to create opportunities for conversation and engagement among a wide range of community members. Visit the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read website for more information on the program— including book and author information, podcasts, and videos—as well as to read community stories from past NEA Big Read grantees.

About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

Since the program began in 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,500 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $21 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 13 years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local matching funds to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 92,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read and to suggest a book, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest, a nonprofit regional arts organization headquartered in Minneapolis, serves audiences, arts organizations and artists throughout the nine state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 30 years. Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people's lives. Annually, cultural programs initiated by Arts Midwest reach close to a million people, enhancing the quality of life in hundreds of cities, towns, and rural areas. Arts Midwest's high-quality cultural activities, in a spectrum of artistic genres, reach school children, university students, families, and adults of all ages.

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Jasper Project to release sixth ‘Fall Lines’

The Jasper Project, in partnership with Richland Library, Richland Library Friends and Foundation, and One Columbia for Arts and History, announces the release of Fall Lines – a literary convergence, volume V on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019 from 2-3:30 p.m. at the main branch of Richland Library (1431 Assembly St., Columbia). Fall Lines – a literary convergence is a South Carolina based print literary journal that solicits submissions of poetry and prose internationally. With more than 500 submissions this year, more than 30 were selected for publication through a blind reading process. The winner of the Saluda River Prize for Poetry is Kimberly Driggers for her poem, “Imagine the Sound of Waves.” The winner of the Broad River Prize for Prose is Derek Berry for his story, “Sasquatch.” Judy Goldman served as the judge for the prose competition and Délana R. A. Dameron served as the judge for poetry.  DéLana R.A. Dameron is the author of Weary Kingdom and How God Ends Us. She is an arts and culture strategist who lives in Brooklyn. Goldman is the author of two award-winning poetry collections and two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back, which was a finalist for SIBA's Novel of the Year and winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award and the Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction. Her memoir, Losing My Sister, was a finalist for both SIBA's Memoir of the Year and ForeWord Review's Memoir of the Year. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, The Washington Post, and in many literary journals. She teaches writing workshops throughout the Southeast, and serves on the permanent faculty of Table Rock Writers Workshop. Winners are sponsored by the Richland Library Friends and Foundation. The public is invited to the free release event, readings, and awards ceremony on Sunday, August 18th from 2-3:30 p.m. at the main branch of the Richland Library. Copies of Fall Lines will be available and free.