Essay Contest: Mystery and Memory

January 13, 2013 § 16 Comments


antWe’ve launched a fine new issue of Brevity featuring fifteen brief wonderful essays. To celebrate our shiny January 2013 issue, we are launching a flash essay contest based on Philip Graham’s writing prompt in the the recently released The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers (and reproduced in the new issue as a Craft Essay). You have one month, until February 14th, to send in your entry

Here’s the prompt: First, read Graham’s craft essay.  Then, think of a memory, even a familiar one that you haven’t looked at closely in a long time: the lie you once told, the one whose memory you still flinch from; a conversation or argument you were part of or overheard that you’ve saved in memory but aren’t sure why; or a fraught incident from your childhood that you can’t seem to relinquish. Whatever the memory you dredge up into the light of the present, write a flash nonfiction essay (500 words or less if you plan to enter it in the Brevity contest) and examine the memory as if with first sight, its familiar shape transformed by something hidden. If you take the long pause and dig into the moment, perhaps you will find your memory’s “floating ant.”

Yes, you heard us right: 500 words, or fewer.

Philip Graham, author, teacher, bon vivant, and nonfiction editor of the literary/arts journal Ninth Letter, will be the judge. First prize is a copy of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers and $50, second prize and third prizes will be other books from Rose Metal Press.  All three winners will be published on the Brevity blog.

Deadline February 14th, 2013.  Mail your entries to brevitymag(at)gmail.com with MYSTERY as the first word in your subject heading.

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§ 16 Responses to Essay Contest: Mystery and Memory

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