Competition recognizes Salisbury writer

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 1, 2016

GREENVILLE — The North Carolina Literary Review received a record number of submissions for the 2016 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

“The Anderson Kid” by Anita Collins was selected for the $250 prize, and “Rhino Girl” by Taylor Brown won second place. Both stories will be published in the Literary Review in 2017.

Chris Verner of Salisbury was a finalist for “White Christmas.”

Collins has a degree in English from Vanderbilt University and works for the University of North Carolina in the ITS department. She began writing fiction a few years ago, and this is her first time submitting to the competition. Her winning story will be her first publication.

Brown was a finalist in the 2014 Betts competition, and his story “World Without End” was published in NCLR Online 2015. He graduated from the University of Georgia, and now lives in Wilmington. He is founder and editor-in-chief of BikeBound, a website for custom motorcycle enthusiasts. His debut novel “Fallen Land” was published earlier this year.

A record 185 stories were submitted to this year’s competition, “That’s 20 percent more than last year, about 50 percent more than the preceding several years,” reports NCLR Editor Margaret Bauer, who attributes the increase to “the networking skills of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.”

The other finalists are Phil Bowie of New Bern for “Pocket Dream”; Tess Boyle of Burlington for “Manzanar and The Coincidences”; Mason Boyles of Carolina Beach for “Aid Station”; Sheryl Cornett of Chapel Hill for “Summer Solstice”; Kathryn Etters Lovatt of Camden for “Hatchlings”; Anne Felty of Davis for “Relics”; Paul Kurzeja of Charlotte for “To Relieve the Pain”; Vicki Lane of Marshall for “On the Coast of You Are Here”; Monica (Nikki) Leahy of Charlotte for “Making Beds”; Ray Morrison of Winston-Salem for “Return to Harmony”; Stephany Newberry-Davis of Biltmore Lake for “The Seahorse”; Rayford Norman of Fancy Gap for “Sea Change”; Brian Ownbey of Raleigh for “Lucky”; Patricia Poteat of Asheville for “Swimming Lessons”; Sherry Shaw of Gastonia for “Hyacinth Drive”; and Denise Sherman of Raleigh for “The Circle is Unbroken.”

The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late novelist and short story writer Doris Betts. For additional information about the North Carolina Writers’ Network, visit

Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the N.C. Literary and Historical Association, the review is publishing its 25th print issue this summer.

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2016 issue, featuring the winner from the 2015 Betts competition, as well as the 2017 issue, featuring the winning story from this year’s competition. For more information, go to and click on SUBSCRIPTIONS.