Wilkes University

James Jones Fellowship Contest

2014 Winners

Winner ($10,000):

  • Cam Terwilliger, Montreal, Quebec Canada is the winner of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship with his manuscript titled Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart

Runner-Up ($1000):

  • Andrea Bobotis, Denver, CO is the runner-up with her manuscript titledThe Middlings.

Honorable Mention:

  • Priya Balasubramanian, Gold River, CA, for her manuscript The Alchemy of Secrets

: Laurie Loewenstein, James Jones Literary Society Advisory Board; Nina Solomon, James Jones Literary Society Advisory Board and Taylor Polites, novelist and author of The Rebel Wife.

The 24th Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship

will be awarded to an American author of a first fiction novel-in-progress, in 2015, by the James Jones Literary Society.  

The award is intended to honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture exemplified by the late James Jones, author ofFrom Here to Eternity and other prose narratives of distinction. Jones himself was the recipient of aid from many supporters as a young writer and his family, friends, and admirers have established this award of $10,000 to continue the tradition in his name. Two runners up awards of $1000 each will also be given by the Society. All decisions to award or not award prizes annually are at the discretion of the national judges; their decisions are final.

Eligibility: The competition is open to United States citizens who have not previously published a novel.

  • Novels in which one or more chapters have been previously published.
  • Authors who have published other types of work (non-fiction, short stories) but never a novel.
  • Manuscripts may be submitted for publication simultaneously, but the Society must be notified of acceptance elsewhere. Officers of the James Jones Society are not eligible for the award.

Not Eligible:

  • Collection of short stories.
  • Linked short stories
  • Self-published novels.
  • Authors who have published a novel.
  • Memoirs.

Entry Fee: A $30 check/money order, payable to Wilkes University, NOT to James Jones First Novel Fellowship, must accompany each entry.  For online submissions add a $3.00 processing fee.

Manuscript Guidelines: A two-page (maximum) outline of the entire novel and the first 50 pages of the novel-in-progress are to be submitted. The outline maybe a chapter outline or brief synopsis of the novel.  No specific format is required for the outline.

The manuscript must be typed and double-spaced; outline may be single-spaced. Entrants should include their name, address, telephone number and e-mail address (if available) ONLY on the cover letter,but nowhere else on the manuscript. Pages should be numbered. 

If a manuscript is selected for the final round, the author will be asked to send another copy of the originally submitted first 50 pages plus pages 51-75. Submissions will be acknowledged only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped postcard. No manuscripts will be returned. Failure to comply with manuscript guidelines may disqualify entries. 

For a copy of the press release on the winners, please submit a SASE (to the address listed in the next paragraph) marked "Winners 2015 Contest." The press release will be available in late Fall 2015. 

Entries can be mailed via SNAILMAIL or our ONLINE SUBMISSION FORMHard Copy entries should be sent to the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, c/o M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Wilkes University, 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766, and postmarked no later than March 15, 2015ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM entries should be sent to jamesjones.submishmash.com/submitELECTRONIC ENTRIES should be sent no later than midnight, March 15, 2015.

The winner will be notified in September 2015.  The first-prize winner mustaccept the award at the James Jones Literary Society Conference held each fall, usually in early November. Transportation funding will be provided. An excerpt from the winning manuscript will be published inProvincetown Arts (July 2016.) 

Entries for the 2015 contest will be accepted after October 1, 2014. 
For more information, please contact us via 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: I submitted a manuscript for the 2014 contest. Can I resubmit it for the 2015 contest? 
Yes, resubmitted manuscripts are accepted. 

Q: How many manuscripts are received every year? 
We usually receive close to 600 manuscripts. 502 manuscripts were submitted to the 2014 contest. 

Q: May I enter more than one manuscript? 
Yes, multiple entries from the same author are allowed, but each submission must be mailed separately along with a $30.00 entry fee and $33 for each online entry which includes a processing fee.

Q: I plan on making several revisions to my novel-in-progress. If I am selected as a finalist and have to provide pages 1-75, can I submit my revised version? 
No. Please keep a copy of the original version you submitted to the contest (as well as pages 51-75). All of the judges have to read the same version.

Q: Does a self-published novel make me ineligible for the fellowship?
 Yes. We do not accept entries from authors who have self-published.

Q: Are novellas and collections of closely linked short stories considered for the competition?
A:  NO.  The contest is only open to unpublished novels.