Charlotte Lit’s Lit/South Awards are open October 1 – November 1. Current and past residents of North Carolina and its border states — Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia — are invited to enter their work in three categories: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Guidelines are below, and at Charlotte Lit’s Submittable site.

$6,000 in total prizes! Winners in each category receive $1,000, and an additional $3,000 prize pool is shared by the remaining finalists. And all winners, finalists, and selected semi-finalists will be published in the Spring 2024 issue of Litmosphere: Journal of Charlotte Lit.

2024 Lit/South Award Judges

Categories & Prizes


• Poetry: 1-3 poems, up to five pages
• Fiction: up to 4000 words
• Nonfiction: up to 4000 words


• 1st Place: $1,000 in each category
• Shortlist (finalists) and longlist (semi-finalists): a share of a $3,000 prize pool
• Publication in the Spring 2024 issue of Litmosphere: Journal of Charlotte Lit

Submission Guidelines & Eligibility

Welcome to the Charlotte Lit’s 2024 Lit/South Awards!

Lit/South will award $6,000 in prizes for writing in three categories: poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction. Entries are open to current and former residents of North Carolina and its border states: South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. The winning entry in each category will be awarded $1,000, and all finalists will share in an additional $3,000 prize pool and receive publication in the Spring 2024 edition of Litmosphere: Journal of Charlotte Lit, in both print and online editions.
  • Awards are given in three categories: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction.
  • The contest is open to current and former residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.
  • Winner in each category receives $1,000 and publication. Finalists and selected semi-finalists across all categories  receive a share of a $3,000 prize pool, and publication.
  • All entrants who are published in Litmosphere: Journal of Charlotte Lit will receive a print copy by mail. The journal will also be available online at
  • For poetry, submit 1 to 3 poems in a single file, up to 5 pages total, any style or subject. For creative nonfiction and fiction, submit a single stand-alone work of up to 4,000 words.
  • For all categories, please use Times New Roman or another readable font. For fiction and creative nonfiction, please double-space with one-inch margins. Acceptable file formats: .doc, .docx, and .rtf.
  • Submissions must be the entrant’s original work. AI-generated work is prohibited. Submissions should be previously unpublished in any media including blogs and social media.
  • In fiction and creative nonfiction, excerpts from longer works are permitted, but please note: they must stand alone as complete stories, and should not be labeled as excerpts.
  • The contest will be judged anonymously. Please do not include identifying information in your submission document or in our entry form. Entries that include your name will not be judged.
  • The editors will perform the initial screening of entries before sending finalists in each category to the contest judges. This year’s judges are Jericho Brown (poetry), Maggie Smith (creative nonfiction), and Clyde Edgerton (fiction).
  • There is a $10 entry fee for each submission. We will waive the submission fee for anyone with financial need. Please email us to request a waiver.
  • International submissions in English are allowed. Multiple submissions are welcome, as are simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
  • Submissions accepted October 1 – November 1, 2023, via Charlotte Lit’s Submittable page only.
  • Winners will be announced March 1, 2024. The journal will be published May 1, 2024.
  • Eligibility: In addition to the residency requirement (above), note the following: Charlotte Lit members, volunteers, students, and faculty are eligible to submit. Charlotte Lit staff and board members are not eligible to submit. Writers who have taken a Charlotte Lit or similar short course with one of the judges are eligible to submit. Friends, relatives, colleagues, and former or current academic students of the judges are not eligible to submit in that category.
Charlotte Lit adheres to the CLMP Contest Code of Ethics.
Please email with any questions.

2024 Judges

Poetry: Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition(2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies.

Nonfiction: Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith is the author of six award-winning books: You Could Make This Place Beautiful, Lamp of the Body, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, and Good Bones, named by the Washington Post as one of the Five Best Poetry Books of 2017, Keep Moving, and Goldenrod. The title poem of Good Bones was called the “Official Poem of 2016” by Public Radio International and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Smith’s poems have appeared in the New York Times, Tin House, The Believer, The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Best American Poetry, and on the CBS primetime drama Madam Secretary. A Pushcart Prize winner, Smith has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

Fiction: Clyde Edgerton

Clyde Edgerton, raised in the community of Bethesda, near Durham, NC, has published ten novels, a book of advice (Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers) and a memoir (Solo, My Adventures in the Air). The Night Train, his tenth novel, was published by Little, Brown in 2011 and received multiple starred reviews. Three of his novels have been made into movies: RaneyWalking Across Egypt, and Killer Diller. The latter two are now available on DVD. Stage adaptations have been made from RaneyWalking Across EgyptThe Floatplane NotebooksKiller DillerWhere Trouble SleepsLunch at the Piccadilly, and The Bible Salesman. Edgerton’s short stories and essays have been published in New York Times Magazine, Best American Short Stories, Southern Review, Oxford American, Garden & Gun and other publications. Edgerton is a musician and has performed with musicians including Jim Watson, Mike Craver, Jack King, and Matt Kendrick. Audio albums and CDs on which he has performed include most recently The Bible Salesman, music and story, with Mike Craver. Edgerton is the Thomas S. Kenan III professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington, NC, with his wife, Kristina, and their children.

2023 Judges

Fiction: Bryn Chancellor

Nonfiction: Melissa Febos

Poetry: A. Van Jordan

2022 Judges

Fiction: Ron Rash

Nonfiction: Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Poetry: Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs

Flash: Tara Campbell