Deadline: August 1, 2017
Entry Fee: $20 (includes copy of Spring 2018 issue)
Prize: $250 & publication in the Prairie Schooner
Submit: Any type of creative nonfiction essay up to 5,000 words & cover letter
Judge: Esme Weijun Wang
Prairie Schooner’s Summer Creative Nonfiction Contest is open to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words. The $20 entry fee includes a copy of the Spring 2018 issue of Prairie Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear. The winner will receive $250 and publication in our Spring 2018 issue. Additionally, The magazine often publishes contest finalists, like Boyer Rickel’s “Morgan: A Lyric” and Emily Geminder’s “Coming To: A Lexicology of Fainting.”
Entries will consist of THREE parts: a cover letter, the essay manuscript, and the entry fee:
- Cover Letter: In the cover letter, include the submission’s title and your contact information, including e-mail address, phone number, and mailing address. Your name and contact info must not appear anywhere within the manuscript itself (double-check headers and footers!).
- Essay Manuscript: The contest is open to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words. We’re interested in reading imaginative essays of general interest. (Scholarly articles requiring footnote references should be submitted to journals of literary scholarship.) Manuscripts should be double-spaced and use a standard font, and, again, the submitter’s name and contact info should not appear within the manuscript itself.
- Entry Fee: Each submission must be accompanied by the $20.00 fee, which includes a copy of the Spring 2017 issue of Prairie Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear. Multiple submissions are welcome and encouraged, but a separate entry fee must accompany each submission.
JUDGE’S ADVICE from Esme Weijun Wang :
“Write beautifully, write intelligently, and write like your heart is on fire. I want to feel like all three of those things are happening.” Esme Weijun Wang is a novelist and essayist. Her debut novel, THE BORDER OF PARADISE, was named a Best Book of 2016 by NPR and one of the 25 Best novels of 2016 by ELECTRIC LITERATURE. She is the recipient of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize for her forthcoming essay collection, THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS; her work has appeared in THE BELIEVER, HAZLITT, ELLE, CATAPULT, and EATER. She can be found at esmewang.com and on Twitter @esmewang.
2016: E.M. Tran
2015: Laura Elizabeth Woollett
2014: Aurvi Sharma
- Winning Essay: “Eleven Stories of Water and Stone”
2013: Melissa Febos