The Carolina Prize
for Writing

January 15, 2024 — March 15, 2024
The contest opens to entries on January 15, 2024, and closes at midnight on March 15, 2024 (eastern time, USA).

[These rules and guidelines can also be downloaded as a PDF here.]

The Carolina Prize for Writing contest is sponsored annually by the Carolina Piedmont Writers Guild. This year, three prizes will be awarded: one for prose, one for poetry, and one for cover art/photography. Up to five honorable mentions may also be named for each.

(Past winners listed at the bottom of this page.)

Winning entries will receive:

Honorable mentions will receive:

General Restrictions

How to Enter Your Work

one entry = email + attached cover sheet + attached work(s)
(limited to one category: prose, poetry, or art)

Step 1. Email Your Entry

Detail: The Attached Work(s)

Prose entries may contain only 1 work of prose of no more than 3,000 words (excluding title).

Poetry entries may contain up to 3 poems of no more than 30 lines each (excluding title and stanza-separating empty lines). Attach each poem to the email as a separate .docx or .doc document.

TIPS FOR FORMATTING WRITTEN WORKS: Author William Shunn provides an excellent resource that demonstrates standard manuscript formatting: prose and poetry.

Art entries may contain up to 3 separate .jpg images.

TIPS FOR FORMATTING ARTWORK: The winning image will be used as the cover of the next issue of County Lines. Therefore, portrait orientation and high-quality images are best.

Step 2. Send Your Entry Fee


The Carolina Prize is an independently judged competition (see below). Winners and honorable mentions will be published in County Lines. Non-winning works will NOT automatically be included in the next issue of County Lines. If your entered work does not win or receive an honorable mention, please submit it during our general, non-contest, open submissions reading window for County Lines when it opens in mid-March.

By entering a work for consideration, you implicitly grant first-time-only publication rights to the Carolina Piedmont Writers Guild in the event the work is accepted for inclusion. All proceeds from the Carolina Prize contest help fund the Carolina Piedmont Writers Guild’s efforts to promote and support the activities and endeavors of the Guild.



Law Bullock

Born in Fayetteville, NC, Law is the owner of M.U.G. LLC, aka MUGwithUs, which was created as a brand for spoken word, publishing, photography, public speaking, hosting, and video recording. Law has been a traveling artist going on twelve years. He has published five books and one spoken word album and has been published in magazines, anthologies, and literary exhibits. Law has taken part in and/or been featured at festivals, showcases, slams, open mics, and conferences. He has also hosted some of these events. Law is part of Black on Black Rhyme Carolina. He is a staff photographer with Fayetteville Comic Con, a member of Toastmasters International, a member of Lets Make It Happen Together, and a graduate of Fayetteville State University. Law lives by the mantra that art has the ability to build connections between generations. Learn more at

Poet Law Bullock
Author Lori Hayes


Lori Hayes

Lori Hayes is an award-winning, bestselling author who writes compelling, heartfelt stories with themes of community, family, friendship, and deep connections with complicated people, feral animals, and wild horses. Her unique settings come to life and become characters themselves. Learn more at

Art and Photography

Diana Johnson

Diana Johnson is a former computer graphic designer who moved to North Carolina from Florida 13 years ago. Enjoying the mountains and the shore for inspiration, she picked up her almost forgotten passion for graphite pencil drawing and watercolor. She has made a retirement career out of drawing and painting pet portraits on commission, as well as teaching both mediums through various non-profit organizations. Her pet portraits always bring her great satisfaction when a cherished pet is captured in a forever memory. As an animal lover, Diana has helped the Triangle Beagle Rescue as an Application Coordinator for four years. Helping people bring home a furever beagles that didn’t have a great beginning to their life is so rewarding. Diana and her husband, Bruce Watson, have one very spoiled beagle named Daisy.

Artist Diana Johnson

Carolina Prize for Writing
Winners of Yore

Volume 11

Poetry: "Turning the Corner" - Kathryn Ewers Bundy
Prose: "Requiem for a Fir Tree" - Renee Skudra
Art: "Good Morning Sunrise" - Judy Spruill

Volume 10

Poetry: "Grief, finally" - Teresa McLamb Blackmon
Prose: "Mittens Can Help You With Everything" - Kim Beall
Art: "Mystic Morning" - Tammy Winkel

Volume 9

Poetry: "Deer Crossing" - Mark McAllister
Prose: "Frayed Edges" - Melanie Raskin
Art: untitled - Patricia Joynes

Volume 8

Poetry: "Coyote on Wisconsin Highway 63" - Mark MacAllister
Prose: "Walk With Me Through Bennington" - Wendy Harder
Art: "Fence Lines" by Patricia Joynes

Volume 7

Poetry: "Aimless Odyssey" - Alice Pettyjohn
Prose: "Crabapples from Heaven" - Colleen M. Arnold

DD's Starving Writers Fiction Contest

1st: "Golden Delicious" - Ashley Memory
2nd: "End of Times in the Santa Susanna Pass" - Leslie Carlin
3rd: "Full" - Yong Takahashi

Volume 6

Poetry: "Fontevraud Abbey" - Sylvia Freeman
Prose: "June Magic" - Judy Reed

Volume 5

Poetry: "Women Talking in Circles" - Joyce Compton Brown
Prose: "Farewell, Mr. Blue" - Pat Tyson

Volume 4

Poetry: "A Past Present" - Linda Riggins
Prose: "Honor" - RJ McCarthy

Volume 3

Prose: "Do You Love Me?" - RJ McCarthy