The James Jones First Novel Fellowship, in the amount of $10,000, is awarded annually to an American writer of a novel-in-progress who has not previously published a novel. The Fellowship is co-sponsored by the James Jones Literary Society and the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing of Wilkes University.
Please review eligibility requirements and manuscript guidelines under the Submit Here link first, before submitting your entry.
- Have never published a novel. This includes self-published novels.
- Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of America with Green Cards
- May have published any other type of work including non-fiction articles and short stories
Non eligible writers
- Officers of the James Jones Literary Society
- Writers who have published previous novels
- Unpublished novels
- Novels in which one or more chapters have been published
Non eligible submissions
- Collections of short stories
- Linked short stories
- Self-published novels
Note: Manuscripts may be simultaneously submitted for the First Novel Contest and to a publisher for publication. If the work is accepted by a publisher at any time up to the announcement of the First Novel winner, the Society must be notified and the selection will be withdrawn from the contest.
All manuscripts must include:
- A synopsis of the novel, not to exceed more than two pages.
- A cover letter with entrant’s name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. This is the only place that the entrant’s name should appear to ensure anonymity during judging.
- The first (50) pages of the novel-in-progress or first 50 pages of a complete draft .
- The entry fee is $30 plus a $3 processing fee. Payment options are provided on submission.
All manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced, with 1″ margins, 12 pt. font, and numbered pages. No other special formatting is required. Entrant’s name should appear only on the cover letter, and must not be present anywhere else on the manuscript.
All personal information should appear only on the cover letter and synopsis and that the first 50 pages of the novel be submitted as a separate document.
Please note: Printed manuscripts are no longer accepted. All entries must be submitted electronically.
Manuscripts may be submitted for publication simultaneously. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, we request you inform The James Jones Literary Society at your earliest convenience.
Entries are accepted from October 1 of every year until midnight on March 15 of every year. Finalists will be notified no later than late August.
The Fellowship was established in 1992 and to date has selected 27 Fellows. 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 this tradition in his name. Runners-up, if also named, receive $1,000. Honorable mentions carry no monetary prize.
All decisions to award or not award prizes annually are at the discretion of the national judges; their decisions are final.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I SUBMITTED PREVIOUSLY. CAN I RESUBMIT?
Yes, resubmitted manuscripts are accepted.
CAN I SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE MANUSCRIPT?
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.
ARE SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS ELIGIBLE?
No, we do not accept submissions from self-published authors.