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SC Arts Commission Press Releases

Five Finalists Announced for 2016 South Carolina First Novel Prize

July 5, 2016

Media Contacts:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press announce the five books named finalists in the 2016 South Carolina First Novel Competition. The finalists are Ember by Brock Adams of Spartanburg; Falling from High Places by Michael Bruton of Charleston; The Protectorate of Bohemia by Thomas McConnell of Spartanburg; Bait by Erika Pertell of Spartanburg; and Don't Go Ramanya by Rush Leaming of Columbia. Photos and brief bios of the finalists are available on the Hub City Press website.


Forty-four unpublished manuscripts were submitted for the prize.


The winner will be announced later this month and will have his or her book published in 2017 by Hub City Press of Spartanburg. Bridgett M. Davis, author of Into the Go-Slow and Shifting through Neutral, is this year’s judge of the biennial First Novel contest. She is a professor at Baruch College CUNY and lives in Brooklyn.


The four previous First Novel winners are Brian Ray (2008) of Columbia, author of Through the Pale Door, selected by Percival Everett; Matt Matthews (2010) of Greenville, author of Mercy Creek, selected by Bret Lott; Susan Tekulve (2012) author of In the Garden of Stone, selected by Josephine Humphreys; and James McTeer (2014) of Columbia, author of Minnow, selected by Ben Fountain.


The South Carolina First Novel Prize is funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and the Phifer/Johnson Foundation of Spartanburg. The South Carolina State Library and South Carolina Humanities are founding partners.


For more information, visit or call www.SouthCarolinaArts.com/firstnovel, (803) 734-8696; or www.hubcity.org. (864) 577-9349.


Hub City Press

Hub City Press, founded in 1995, has published more than 65 books by regional authors, won 13 national and regional IPPY awards from Independent Publisher magazine, is a recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, and has partnered with the S.C. Arts Commission on five previous book projects. For more information, visit www.hubcity.org or call (864) 577-9349.


About the South Carolina Arts Commission:
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. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.