The 2018 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is open for submissions

This contest awards $1,500 in prizes to a piece of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.

The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $1,000, $300, and $200 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Ecotone.

Final judge Benjamin Rachlin grew up in New Hampshire. He studied English at Bowdoin College, where he won the Sinkinson Prize, and writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he won Schwartz and Brauer fellowships. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the New York Times MagazineRolling StoneVirginia Quarterly ReviewTIME, Pacific Standard, Orion, LitHub, and Five Dials. His first book, Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption, is available now from Little, Brown & Company.

The 2018 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is administered by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, a community of passionate, dedicated writers who believe that the creation of art is a pursuit valuable to self and culture. The contest is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2018 (postmark).

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the N.C. Press Women’s top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ Award.

Here are the complete guidelines:

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 15.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways: Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Or submit an electronic copy online at, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author’s name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • Winners will be announced in March.
  • If submitting by postal mail, send submission to: North Carolina Writers’ Network / ATTN: Rose Post / PO Box 21591 / Winston-Salem, NC 27120

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit

Join Us at the North Carolina Writers’ Network Conference

Attention North Carolinians! Lookout and Ecotone staff will be at the North Carolina Writers’ Network fall conference in Wrightsville Beach. The conference features three days of panels, classes, and resources for writers at all stages of development. We hope to see you at our three panels!

On Friday, November 3 at 12 p.m., Ecotone and Lookout Books editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell will lead this year’s kick-off event, “Writing from Place: A Poetry (or Prose) Walk.” Take an afternoon stroll on the beach to learn how close observation can inspire good sentences.

On Saturday, November 4 at 9 a.m., overcome your fears of angry, red pens as Lookout Books editor and Ecotone senior editor, Beth Staples, demystifies the editorial process. Her panel, “Understanding the Editorial Process,” will provide advice on successful writer-editor relationships and give a peek behind the editorial curtain.

Share the most important meal of the day with Lookout Books and Ecotone publisher, Emily Smith. At the “Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: Agents & Editors” on Sunday, November 5 at 8 a.m., ask professional agents and editors your burning questions about queries, submissions, slush piles, and the winding path to publication.

Remember to swing by our table for great deals on your favorite Lookout titles and the latest issue of, too.


It’s Time for Writers’ Week!

Ecotone and Lookout staffers are gearing up for the 18th annual Writers’ Week, held Monday, October 30 to Friday, November 3 on UNCW’s campus. More than a dozen notable authors and publishing professionals will participate in readings, craft talks, and panels, including 2017 Buckner Keynote speaker and poet Ross Gay, fiction writers Kristen Iskandrian and David Jauss, and graphic memoirist and Believer editor and art director Kristen Radtke. All events are free and open to the public.

Lookout’s own Emily Smith will moderate a publishing panel that includes Radtke, The Book Group agent Julie Barer, and poet and Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books editor Parneshia Jones. The panel, which takes place Wednesday, November 1 at 2 p.m., will be preceded by a talk with Barer, whose clients include such literary heavy-hitters as Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere), Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour), Ecotone contributor Bret Anthony Johnston (Remember Me Like This), and UNCW MFA alum Garrard Conley (Boy Erased).

For more information about Writers’ Week, including a full schedule, visit

Congratulations to Matthew Lansburgh!

We’re thrilled for Matthew Lansburgh, whose story collection, Outside is the Ocean, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, publishes this week. The title story appears in the current issue of Ecotone.

We love the review from Kirkus, which describes so much of what we love about Matthew’s work: “Not for the faint of heart, this collection is relentless and intense, but Lansburgh’s prose offers stunning moments of tenderness amid its stark depictions of loneliness. Arresting and pointed.” 

We hope you’ll check it out!