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James Jones Fellowship Contest

Breiseth Hall 570-408-4547(T) Email


The James Jones First Novel Fellowship Contest deadline has been extended to March 15, 2014!

2013 Winners

Winner ($10,000):

  • Margot Singer, Granville, Ohio is the winner of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship with her manuscript titled The Art of Fugue

Runners-Up ($1000):

  • Jennifer S. Davis, Baton Rouge, LA is the runner-up with her manuscript titled Reckonings.
  • Timothy Brandoff, New York, NY is the runner-up with his manuscript titled Connie Sky.

Honorable Mention out of 666 submissions

  • Tamara B. Titus, Charlotte, NC, for her manuscript Lovely in the Eye

: Dr. Bonnie Culver, Director of Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University & President of James Jones Literary Society; Laurie Loewenstein, James Jones Literary Society Advisory Board; and Taylor Polites, novelist and author of The Rebel Wife.

The 23rd Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship

will be awarded to an American author of a first fiction novel-in-progress, in 2014, 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 of From 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 Jones Literary Society.

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

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 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) on the cover page, 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 2014 Contest." The press release will be available in late Fall 2014.

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 1, 2014ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM entries should be sent to jamesjones.submishmash.com/submit. ELECTRONIC ENTRIES should be sent no later than midnight, March 1, 2014.

The winner will be notified in September 2014.  The first-prize winner must accept 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 in Provincetown Arts (July 2015.)

Entries for the 2014 contest will be accepted after October 1, 2013.
For more information, please contact us via

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: I submitted a manuscript for the 2013 contest. Can I resubmit it for the 2014 contest?
Yes, resubmitted manuscripts are accepted.

Q: How many manuscripts are received every year?
We usually receive close to 600 manuscripts. 666 manuscripts were submitted to the 2013 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 $25.00 entry fee and $28 for each online entry.

Q: I plan on making several revisions to my novel-in-progress. If I am selected as a finalist and have to provide pages 1-100, 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.

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