ELIGIBILITY: Writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book may enter.
WHAT TO ENTER: Fiction and nonfiction: up to 6,000 words. Poetry: 3–5 pages.
FEE: $24. The fee includes a 1-year subscription to Ploughshares (beginning with the Spring 2020 issue and ending with the Winter 2020-2021 issue) and free submissions to the 2020 regular reading period.
PRIZE: Publication, $2,000, review from Aevitas Creative Management, and a 1-year subscription for one winner in each of the three genres.
HOW TO ENTER: Submissions must be made via Ploughshares’ online submission manager. You must create an account before submitting.
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.
“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.