2018 Novel Contest

Southern Fried Karma seeks unpublished book-length fiction for our 2018 Novel Contest! We focus on cultivating the artistic voices of the new millennium—with a Southern accent. The successful manuscript will go beyond stereotypical depictions and illuminate the multiplicity of the Southern experience: past, present, or future; the good, the bad, and especially the unexpected.

There is no reading or entry fee. The winner will receive a $1500 advance on a book publishing contract with SFK Press. All finalists will be eligible for contracts as well.

The contest opens on March 1st, 2018 and closes at midnight on May 31st, 2018.

Finalists will be notified by June 30th.

The winner will be announced on August 1st


The contest is open to everyone except for employees of SFK and their family, and close friends and family of the judging committee and judge.

Cover Letter Guidelines
  1. Tell us about yourself in a short paragraph or two, and include the following information: Full name; email address; mailing address; phone number; manuscript title and word count.
  2. Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
  3. Save file as .doc or .docx.
Manuscript Guidelines
  1. Include a title page with your full name; email address; mailing address; phone number; manuscript title and word count.
  2. Include your full name and email address in the document header so that they appear on every page of the manuscript.
  3. Double-space the entire text.
  4. Don’t number the title page.
  5. Otherwise, page numbers should appear in the top-right corner of every manuscript page.
  6. Begin each new chapter on a new page, 1/3 of the way down the page.
  7. Begin the body of the chapter four to six lines below the chapter title.
  8. Indent the first line of each new paragraph.
  9. Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
  10. Save file as .doc or .docx.
  11. Manuscripts should be submitted through our online portal only. We will not consider snail mail and email submissions as contest entries.

Click here to download a print version of Southern Fried Karma’s 2018 Novel Contest details.

Southern Fried Karma is pleased to present the judge for our 2018 Novel Contest!


Pinckney Benedict, 2018 Literary Contest JudgePinckney Benedict grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. He attended Princeton University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has published a novel (Dogs of God) and three collections of short fiction, the most recent of which is Miracle Boy and Other Stories. His work has been published in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, the O. Henry Award series, the Pushcart Prize series, the Best New Stories from the South series, Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, and The Oxford Book of the American Short Story, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Benedict is the recipient of, among other awards and honors, a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fiction grant from the Illinois Arts Council, two Plattner Awards for fiction from Appalachian Heritage magazine, a Literary Fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, and the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award. Benedict has taught on the writing faculties of Oberlin College, Princeton University, Davidson College, and Hollins University, and he now serves as a professor in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and on the core faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, NC.


Visit sfkpress.com/contests to enter the contest.