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DEADLINE--September 1, 2021!


The Lee Smith Novel Prize opens for submissions May 17, 2021, and will close on September 1 at midnight EST. The final judge will be Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. Winner will receive $1,000 and publication.

There is no longer a submission fee for this contest. The suggested donation is optional. Readers and the final judge will not see submitters' donation status or any identifying information of the submitter. Submissions should be full-length, literary fiction novel manuscripts of at least 25,000 words. 

Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman or a similar font, and should NOT contain the submitter's name or any identifying information anywhere in the manuscript or the name of the manuscript file. Manuscript files should be named with the title of the manuscript only. Be sure author's name and any other identifying information only appear in the cover letter and not in the manuscript itself (including in headers or footers or on the first page of the manuscript).

Author's biography and list of previously published works is not required but may be included in the cover letter. 

Simultaneous submissions are okay, but let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. 

Please note that Blair does not publish genre fiction. Manuscripts cannot be substituted or edited after submission. Finalists will be announced in early 2022. Thank you for your patience with the process as we give each manuscript the individual attention it deserves.

We look forward to reading your work!

About the judge:

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction.


We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.