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Monday, June 03, 2019

"Carolina Prize Writing Contest Judges Announced, Deadline Approaching" - The Grey Area News

Carolina Prize Writing Contest Judges Announced, Deadline Approaching - The Grey Area News: By Donna Campbell Smith

The Franklin County Arts Council’s Writers’ Guild is sponsoring its fifth annual Carolina Prize Writing Contest.  It is open to writers of any age and location for previously unpublished (this includes online publication) poetry, short stories, essays or creative non-fiction....

Judging the poetry division is award-winning author Marly Youmans, who is a native of the Carolinas, currently living in Cooperstown, New York. Forthcoming from Phoenicia Publishing in mid-2019, The Book of the Red King is her fifth book of poetry. Her prior poetry books are The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press), Thaliad (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing), The Throne of Psyche (Mercer University Press), and Claire (LSU.) She has also published nine novels; next year will see publication of a tenth, Charis in the World of Wonders.

The prose judge is E. M. Jerkins. She describes herself as a wife, and mother of three from Charlotte, NC. She received her B.A. in mass communications from North Carolina Central University and has written and published three novels: Reach, If Ever a Time, and Where the Ground Cries Out. Ersula also owns Write-Hand Publishing, LLC, a company designed to aid in the production of all things literary.

Click the link for more info! And thanks to writer Kim Beall, who asked. Who is Kim? Answer: "a member of the Franklin County Writers Guild, an author of contemporary southern gothic fantasy who is so very grateful to have discovered I can't throw a rock without hitting another wordsmith here in the rural wilds of The Writingest State."


  1. "a writing contest... open to writers of any age and location..."

    But what about foreigners? And if so, foreigners writing in a foreign language - ie, english as opposed to american-english? Would I have to supply sub-titles?

    The poetry division is out since I'd have to declare an interest via our long-range friendship. In any case that way hubris lies. The prose division could also be out since it precludes stuff that has been published, including online. Bang go my paperback novels, Gorgon Times and Out of Arizona; also all my fifty short stories which have been squandered either in Tone Deaf or my previous blog Works Well.

    But I have two unpublished novels: Blest Redeemer and Second Hand. And BR is about secular redemption which could be a goer among those with a university education; I mean it's sort of theoretical. SH is about me, converted into a much cleverer (and much younger) woman, endowed with a skill I could only dream about (Did dream about! For whence otherwise came the plot?) and which she has to give up under shocking conditions to become a closer version of me.

    Does one submit novels? Both in the region of 100,000 words. How exhausting for the judge. A comforting thought is that if either or both of mine were demonstrably bad the judge wouldn't have to read through to the end.

    But have do I the guts? That's the $64,000 question, which by inflation must by now be the $1m question. And I must accept the fact that Herefordshire, where I now live, is far from being the UK's most writingest county. Hoo-wee.

  2. Comfort: Otsego, where I live, is also not the writingest country! It runs more to painters (some serious, many Sunday) and summer opera.

    I do mean to read some Robinsoniana, just as soon as I finish up all my promises to read, review, etc. I'm off blurbing at the moment because I was so behind last year that I never caught up.

    I expect Carolinians could handle some furriners, as they say the mountain folk said, once upon a time. I don't remember hearing it said that way except in jest, although I went to school with loads of Scots-Irish descendants from Little Canada.

  3. Hi, Mr. Robinson! I'm a member of the Franklin County Writer's Guild, who is sponsoring the contest and I hope I can answer your questions.

    One of the rules is that prose submissions must be under 1500 words. So that would rule out most novels!

    As to region and language: we have had submissions from many countries, in the past, and there are no rules against that! There are no rules against submissions in languages other than English, either, however, I'm pretty sure the judge (this year, at least!) will only be able to read English submissions, so she probably would not be able to give a good (or bad!) rating to a story in any other language. Maybe next year we'll have a multi-lingual judge (we are open to volunteers!)

    I know how you feel about word count: I am almost physically incapable of writing anything under 10,000 words, myself. I did manage to write something for the contest last year, though. Wore me right out! I won't be trying that again this year, but it certainly gave me new respect for people who can write short fiction.

  4. Kim Beall: I fear I was a bit tongue-in-cheek about language, a transatlantic joke if you like. The fact is we here in Brexit land read US fiction as it is, digesting the idioms and cultural differences as if to the manor born. UK writers wishing to export their stuff to the US are urged to modify their expressions and references if they want to be understood. A load of nonsense really since most US readers are far better educated. Take Marly for instance - loaded with all sorts of academic associations whereas I started work aged 15.

    Apart from being far too long my two unpublished novels are not only very Englishy, most of one of them is set in provincial northern England, an area of great grimness which would probably be surprisingly uncongenial to residents of Franklin County.

    I have no difficulty writing to length since I am a retired journalist and have done so all my professional life. On the principle that less is more, my blogposts are limited to 300 words. I make an exception with short stories two or three of which have run to 6000 words. However. probably two dozen have been deliberately kept to 1000 words and would meet your limit. Alas, they have all already appeared online.

    I did briefly run a blog (Gros-Calin, in honour of Romain Gary) in French. Perhaps if short stories in French are eventually accepted by your Guild I could submit such a story, hoping to find the field less competitive. Thanks for your response.

    Marly: I worry about existing as a black cloud on your literary horizons, given you keep saying you mean to read to me. At a stroke I take away this burden by forbidding you to do so. You are more than conscientious with your blog exchanges and nothing further must deflect you from blurbing. Mortification, true. But your light must not be hidden by a bushel.

    1. Well, now I definitely have to read you! Hahaha! You are actually in my basket on one site. But of course I am beleaguered with things I must read for other purposes, despite saying NO MORE BLURBS!

    2. I take it this means I really should not ask you to blurb my next book, yes? ;) <3

    3. I love the differences between American English and British English. I once worked for a man from Devon and he made sure I was thoroughly educated on the matter, yet somehow he never explained about the difference between American pants and English pants - he left me to discover that on my own by inserting my foot into my mouth once!

      Mr. Robbins I hope you do finish those novels! Getting the word count down is always my biggest challenge, too. Fortunately, fantasy permits a much higher word count than most other genres.

      When I set out to write mine, I was determined to insert sweet magic into the modern world WITHOUT the need for a setting in some rural part of England. (Is there really any such place as "the Cotswolds" anyway? ;) ) Small-town Carolina turned out to be an ideal cradle for magic and mystery, after all.

      And I hope you do feel encouraged to submit a shorter piece to the contest! I'd encourage Marly to do so, also, but due to some arcane and fussy rules, judges are not allowed to submit their own work!

    4. Hahaha! I was a total failure on blurbs last year--bombed out completely. I just had too much to do. Maybe when all of my children are at least out of the house I might agree again.

    5. Judge and winner would be bad... XD

      Yes, I put the two fantasies I wrote for my daughter into the Carolina mountains...

      You've changed Mr. Alliterative's name but given him a similar last name associated--once upon a time--with bestsellers. He might not mind! There's Tom Robbins, who appears to be alive. And Harold Robbins, who sold a crazy number of books. Like a billion. Have not read either, though.

  5. Marly/Kim: I hope neither of you objects to this conflation of your first names; the comment exchange was becoming awkwardly triangular.

    Also I feared I was close to committing an etiquette-ish solecism, not knowing what gender to ascribe to Kim. Female seemed the most likely but my mother had a white (and thus perpetually dirty) male bull-terrier called Kim. The longer I live the more unnecessarily complex my life becomes. Theoretically, as a spear-carrying feminist, I shouldn't be worriting (N. England argot) about this matter.

    The two novels I refer to are complete, simply unpublished. If and when they are published will be up to my publisher who has not been terribly charmed by the sales (lack of them, rather) from the two novels and one non-fiction book of mine he has already gracefully published.

    It is true I am not Harold Robbins though I did, in a moment of extreme boredom, during National Service with the RAF, read The Carpetbaggers. Good plotting I seem to remember but that was sixty-three years ago and my memory isn't to be trusted.

    I can explain the difference (other than 2500 miles distance) between US and British pants. For the sake of propriety I would transmit this in permanent form in a plain brown envelope. No blushes, then, in front of the postman.

    I have the advantage over Kim in re. english and americo-english. For a time in the USA I was paid to to improve the prose style of professors at USC, Berkeley, MIT, Ohio State and other obscure groves of academe. Astonishingly, and quite unlike their counterparts here in Britain (eg, Oxbridge), they were grateful in polite letters. My suggestions for a similar service in re. a prominent US businessman have gone unanswered.

    The Cotwolds originally referred to a range of rolling hills (Don't all hills roll?) "that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale".Now it is a vague term for an area south of Oxford of stratospherically high property prices to which failed politicians - notably our last PM bar one - retire to lick their wounds.

    I have in JA's words "delighted you too long". To Marly I must add: my prohibition still stands.

    1. As I must scurry about and clean for an unexpected visitor, I shall let Kim take the field! More anon...

  6. Hi, Mr. Robinson! Thank you for asking about my pronouns: I do identify as female. My name is actually Kimberly but I divorced that name a long time ago: it's what my mother always called me when I was in Big Trouble. However, in fact I know men named Kimberly! Apparently in the distant past, it was considered a masculine name. Who knew?

    I am delighted to learn the Cotswolds are a real place. Are they really as magical as the novels set in them lead us to believe? No, wait, don't tell me: I'd rather just believe they are! (And I guess it's true: yes, all hills roll, and almost all of them are magical, too, in one way or another!)

  7. Kim: Magical? Yes if you were rich beyond the dreams of avarice. My daughter took me for a tour there and we called in at a sooper-dooper expensive food shop. Outside I noticed a young women getting into a giant SUV. I pointed her out to my daughter, saying she appeared "well dressed"

    My daughter replied: "Did you see her trainers? They were Versace."

    Says it all, really.

    As to your ambiguous first name there's a diamond mine area in Australia called Kimberley. You can always fall back on that if your trainers come from Walmart.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.