James Jones First Novel Competition

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


The 28th Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship
will be awarded to an American author of a first novel-in-progress, in 2019, 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 may be given by the Jones Literary Society. All selections are at the discretion of the judges.

Eligible writers

Have never published a novel

Are U.S. citizens

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

Eligible submissions

Unpublished novels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at any time up to the announcement of the First Novel winner, the Society must be notified and the selection will be withdrawn from the contest.

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 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 cover letter box, and attach you outline/synopsis and the first 50 pages of you novel as one document.

For a copy of the press release on the winners, please submit a SASE (to the address listed in the next paragraph) marked "Winners 2019 Contest." The press release will be available in late Fall 2019.


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 midnight March 15, 2019 Eastern Standard time. ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM entries should be sent to jamesjones.submittable.com/submit.  ELECTRONIC ENTRIES should be sent no later than midnight, March 15, 2019 Eastern Standard time.

The winner will be notified in September 2019. The first-prize winner must accept 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 2020.)

Entries for the 2019 contest will be accepted after October 1, 2018.
For more information, please contact us via e-mail

James Jones First Novel Competition