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SC Arts Commission Press Releases

S.C. Arts Commission Calls for First Novel Prize Submissions

Nov. 10, 2011

Media Contacts:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and their literary partners announce a call for submissions for the biennial South Carolina First Novel Prize. The application deadline is March 19, 2012; a winner will be announced in October.  The competition judge is Josephine Humphreys, a Charleston novelist whose latest book is Nowhere Else on Earth.


The winning author will receive a book contract with the Hub City Press, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg, S.C. The winner will also receive a $500 advance against royalties, and Hub City will publish at least 1,500 paperback copies of the book.


Matt Matthews of Greer was the winner of the most recent First Novel Competition and his book, Mercy Creek, was published in 2011. The book sold out two hardback editions and will be released in December in paperback and e-book format.  Publishers Weekly called the book “an enticing full-blown whodunnit ... a first-rate effort displaying skill, sensitivity, and grace.”


“Working with Hub City Press has been exhilarating,” Matthews said. “I really appreciate the relationships that I have begun with libraries around the state and the S.C. Arts Commission, which does such a great job supporting the arts statewide.”


Brian Ray of Columbia was the winner of the inaugural competition. His book, Through the Pale Door, was published in June 2009 and was widely and favorably reviewed across the Southeast. Booklist gave it a starred review and called Ray “a talent to watch.”


Partnering again with the SC Arts Commission and Hub City Press for this competition are The Humanities CouncilSC and the South Carolina State Library


For information about First Novel Competition eligibility requirements and application guidelines, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com/firstnovel or call (803) 734-8696.


Hub City Press

Hub City Press is a nonprofit press in Spartanburg, S.C., that has published more than 50 books by regional authors, won four national 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 three previous book projects. For more information, visit www.hubcity.org or call (864) 577-9349.


The Humanities CouncilSC

The Humanities CouncilSC is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of The Humanities CouncilSC is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. The Humanities CouncilSC programs and initiatives are balanced, reflect sensitivity to a diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations. For more information, visit www.schumanities.org or call (803) 771-2477.


The State Library

The South Carolina State Library is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state’s libraries. The Library is a national model for innovation, collaboration, leadership and effectiveness. The Library’s mission is to optimize South Carolina’s investment in library and information services. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C. the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources. For more information, visit www.statelibrary.sc.gov or call (803) 734-8666.


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.