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SC Arts Commission Literary Arts Program

FY2008 First Novel Prize



Brian Ray Named South Carolina First Novel Contest Winner


First Novel Winner Brian RayThe S.C. Arts Commission and its literary partners have named Brian Ray of Columbia the winner of the inaugural South Carolina First Novel Prize. Ray received the opportunity to have his novel, "Through the Pale Door," published by the Hub City Writers Project, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg.

Artist Biography

Ray grew up in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Greensboro, N.C., where he is completing a doctorate in English. He earned his master’s degree in fine arts from the University of South Carolina, where he taught courses in writing and literature. Ray was a 2007 winner of the S.C. Fiction Project and his stories have appeared in Louisiana Review, Green Mountains Review and Storyteller magazine.


FY2008 First Novel Prize

The First Novel contest recognized one of South Carolina's exceptional writers by providing a book contract with the Hub City Writers Project. The competition was a highly competitive, anonymous process. Distinguished novelist Percival Everett was final judge of the competition. Hub City published at least 1,200 hardback copies of the book, including a book for every public library branch in the state.