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REMINDER: First Novel Prize submissions due March 3!

What will be on the cover of your first novel? Submit your unpublished manuscript to the 2014 South Carolina First Novel Prize and you may find out! The competition recognizes one of South Carolina’s exceptional writers by providing a book contract with Hub City Press. Eligible applicants are writers who have not published a novel. A submitted manuscript must be an original work, and self-published books are ineligible, including e-books. Ben FountainApplicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by panelists who make selections based on artistic merit. Six to eight novels will be judged by nationally recognized novelist Ben Fountain (pictured right). Fountain won the National Book Critics Circle book prize in 2012 for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. His other honors include the PEN/Hemmingway Award, a Pushcart Prize, two O. Henry Awards, two Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Awards and a Whiting Writers Award. Hub City Press will publish at least 1,500 copies of the winning book, which will be nationally distributed. The First Novel Prize provides significant promotion, including an invitation from The Humanities CouncilSC to appear and sign books at the 2015 South Carolina Book Festival in Columbia. The South Carolina First Novel Prize is funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and the Phifer-Johnson Foundation of Spartanburg, S.C. The Humanities CouncilSC is a founding partner. Submission deadline is March 3, 2014. Find more information and complete guidelines online. Images, left to right: First Novel winners Through the Pale Door by Brian Ray (2008), Mercy Creek by Matt Matthews (2010), In the Garden of Stone by Susan Tekulve (2012).

First Novel winners join Humanities CouncilSC speaker’s bureau

Susan Tekulve and Matt MatthewsSusan Tekulve and Matt Matthews, winners of the prestigious South Carolina First Novel Prize, have joined The Humanities CouncilSC Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud program. Tekulve is the author of In the Garden of Stone, winner of the 2012 prize and a 2013 SIBA "Okra Award."  Matthews is the author of Mercy Creek, the winner of the 2010 prize. (Related: The First Novel Prize is Back! Submissions due March 3, 2014.) "The South Carolina First Novel Prize validates the creative energy and spirit of emerging writers,"  said Humanities CouncilSC Executive Director Randy Akers. "The Humanities CouncilSC is proud to be able to showcase these new South Carolina authors through one of our longest-running and most beloved programs, the Speakers Bureau.” Through this program, some of South Carolina's finest scholars travel throughout the state to share their interests and knowledge of the humanities and to spark discussions about human values, traditions and cultures. The Humanities CouncilSC makes these programs available to nonprofit groups and public agencies at a reasonable cost. The Council provides $150 towards speaker honorariums, which covers full speaker payment for the majority of programs; any other costs are negotiated between speaker and sponsor. All programs must be free and open to a general public. Each sponsoring organization is limited to two programs per year. While The Humanities CouncilSC pays $150 towards each speaker's honorarium, the sponsoring organization must match this cost with in-kind contributions and any cash expenses the organization may incur, including travel expenses. The sponsoring organization is also responsible for making all arrangements, publicizing the event and providing final evaluations of the program. Check out the list of speakers and topics and find out how to schedule a speaker on the The Humanities CouncilSC website. Via: The Humanities CouncilSC