South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Novel Series

books laid out on a table spine side up

Every other year, the South Carolina Novel Series recognizes one of South Carolina’s exceptional writers.

Writers selected for publication in this series are awarded $1,500 and book publication, including marketing and tour support from Hub City Press and the series partners, as well as placement in all South Carolina state libraries and readings/events with presenting sponsors.

The South Carolina Novel Series is a partnership of the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina State Library.

2022 submissions now open!

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2022 cycle. Continue reading for more information.

How the series works

The series is open to writers of all levels who have lived in South Carolina for at least one year prior to submission of their manuscript.  Submissions for the series opened Jan. 1, 2022 and will close April 15, 2022 and will require no submission fee.

  • The series is open to writers of all levels who have lived in South Carolina for at least one year prior to submission of their manuscript. (Residency will be verified before the winner is announced.)
  • Submitters must not be affiliated with Hub City Press or Hub City Writers Project as a staff member or volunteer.
  1. Hub City Press will accept typed manuscript submissions between January 1 and 11:59 p.m. April 15. The winner is announced in the summer.
  2. Only manuscripts between 150 and 350 (single-sided) pages are eligible (or no more than 90,000 words) Submission must be an original work of which the applicant is the sole author.
  3. We ask that writers submit only one (1) book during the submission period. Second submissions of additional books will not be read.
  4. Simultaneous submissions of the same manuscript to other publishers or contests are acceptable but please notify us through withdrawal of your submission if your manuscript has been accepted elsewhere.
  5. While translations and manuscripts in languages other than English are not eligible, manuscripts that occasionally use words from other languages are acceptable and welcome.
  6. No revisions of submitted manuscripts will be allowed during the contest.
Other Information
  • There is no fee to submit your work!


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.

Hub City Press

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. Focused on finding and spotlighting new and extraordinary voices from the American South, the press has published more than 80 high-caliber literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, memoir, and books emphasizing the region’s culture and history. Hub City is interested in books with a strong sense of place and committed to introducing a diverse roster of lesser-heard Southern voices. For more information, visit or call 864.577.9349.

South Carolina State Library

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. It is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state’s libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources. For more information, please visit or call 803.734.8666.

South Carolina Humanities

South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. South Carolina Humanities 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 or call 803.771.2477.

The winner of the 2020 South Carolina Novel Prize is Maris Lawyer for her manuscript The Blue Line Down.  

Lawyer’s winning manuscript was published in 2021 by Hub City Press.

Maris Lawyer 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.




Scott Sharpe of Eastover received the prize in 2018 for his manuscript, Whispering in the Wind, released by Hub City Press in 2019 under the name A Wild Eden.


Brock Adams of Spartanburg won the 2016 First Novel Prize. His novel, Ember, was published by Hub City Press in September 2017.


James McTeer‘s 2014 winning novel, Minnow, received starred reviews in Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews and favorable reviews in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Los Angeles Review of Books. The book is now in its second printing.


Susan Tekulve won the 2012 First Novel prize with her book In the Garden of Stone. Tekulve’s book has sold thousands of copies and was reviewed in national magazines and journals. Her book tour included four states and several book festivals. Tekulve’s work is now represented by a New York agent.


Matt Matthews of Greer was the winner of the 2010 competition. His book, Mercy Creek, was published in 2011. Brian Ray of Columbia was the winner of the inaugural novel competition. His book, Through the Pale Door, was published by Hub City in June 2009. Both books have been widely and favorably reviewed across the Southeast.