The 25th Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship will be awarded to an American author of a first novel-in-progress, in 2016, 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 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.



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. For online entries put your cover letter in the cover letter box, and attach you outline/synopsis and the first 50 pages of you novel as one document.


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 2016 Contest." The press release will be available in late Fall 2016.


Entries for the 2016 contest will be accepted after October 1, 2015.

DEADLINES: Entries can be mailed via SNAILMAIL or our ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM. Hard 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, 2016. ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM entries should be sent to jamesjones.submishmash.com/submit. ELECTRONIC ENTRIES should be sent no later than midnight, March 15, 2016 Eastern Standard time.


The winner will be notified in September 2016.  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 in Provincetown Arts (July 2017.)


For more information, please contact us via e-mail or visit our website www.wilkes.edu/pages/1159.asp.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I submitted a manuscript for the 2014 contest. Can I resubmit it for the 2016 contest?

A: Yes, resubmitted manuscripts are accepted.


Q: How many manuscripts are received every year?

A: We usually receive close to 600 manuscripts. 502 manuscripts were submitted to the 2014 contest.


Q: May I enter more than one manuscript?

A: 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?

A: 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?

A: 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.

JAMES JONES literary society



Copyright © 2015 The James Jones Literary Society

Thanks to Vincennes University, Vincennes, Indiana, for providing access to these web pages.

Note: Opinions/comments expressed on these pages belong to the authors and no endorsement of such material by the James Jones Literary Society should necessarily be inferred.