Submissions for the second Lee Smith Novel Prize are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. We hope to announce the winner in the summer of 2016! Submissions for the Lee Smith Novel Prize will open again in Summer 2017.



Submissions for the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. We hope to announce the winner in Spring 2016.

Final Judge for the 2016 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series: Sam Witt

SamWitt photo

SAM WITT was born in Wimbledon, England, and lived there until the age of seven, at which time his family moved to America, where they lived in North Carolina and then Virginia. After graduation from the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Witt lived and worked as a freelance journalist in San Francisco for several years, publishing in such magazines as Computerworld, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, and Wired.

His first book of poetry, Everlasting Quail, won the Katherine Nason Bakeless First Book Prize in 2000, sponsored by Breadloaf. Everlasting Quail was published by UPNE the following year, and he received a Fulbright Fellowship to live and write in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for a year. Witt has participated in poetry festivals at Druskininkai and Vilnius at the invitation of the Lithuanian government; he has been a resident at the Breadloaf  Writers’ Conference and at Yaddo; his poems have been published in Virginia Quarterly, Harvard Review, Georgia Review, Denver QuarterlyColorado Review, Fence, and New England Review, among other journals, and in the anthologies New Young American Poets and the Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries.

Witt has taught  at the University of Iowa, Harvard University, the University of Missouri Kansas-City, Whitman College, and other institutions. He currently teaches creative writing and expository writing at Framingham State University.

His second book, Sunflower Brother, won the Cleveland State University Press Open Book competition for 2006, and was published in 2007.

Sam Witt also serves as the poetry editor for Jaded Ibis Press.



Thank you to everyone who entered the 2015 Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman contest. The winner is Hola and Goodbye by Donna Miscolta, to be published in 2016. Submissions for this contest will reopen in early 2016.

Final Judge: Randall Kenan


Randall Kenan‘s first novel, A Visitation of Spirits, was published 1989, and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, was published in 1992.  That collection was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was among The New York Times Notable Books of 1992.  He is also the author of a young adult biography of James Baldwin (1993) and wrote the text for Norman Mauskoff’s book of photographs, A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta (1997). Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century was published in 1999 and was nominated for the Southern Book Award.  His latest book, The Fire This Time, was published in May 2007. He is currently working on a novel set in North Carolina and New York City, and a collection of short stories. Recently he edited and wrote the introduction to The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin (Pantheon, 2010). *Photo by Miriam Berkley




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