The William Bradley Prize for the Essay

January 8, 2018 § 2 Comments


The first annual William Bradley Prize for the Essay competition ends on March 15, 2018

The William Bradley Prize for The Essay is dedicated to the memory of essayist and scholar, William Bradley and intended to honor his legacy and his commitment to the essay form–its literary history, dynamic present, and promising future. In addition to being a nonfiction scholar, William wrote essays about academic life, pop culture, family, and illness; and with particular heart and grace about his own long-term battles with cancer.

William wrote of his battle with cancer and the love he had for his wife Emily in December 2016 here on the Brevity blog, and authored the flash essay “Julio at Large,” a beautiful mediation on freedom and “shitty coal mining towns,” for Brevity magazine in 2010.

He was a passionate advocate for social justice, a caring friend to many writers, and supporter of disenfranchised populations.

The Normal School: a Literary Magazine, for which William was a regular contributor over the years, is proud to publish the winning essay each year in their fall issue.

Please limit your submission to 6,000 words or less, and submissions should be previously unpublished in print or online. Double space your essay and use a 12 pt. text font and 1-1.25 inch margins.

The William Bradley Prize is generously supported financially by an anonymous group of writers known as The Maiden Aunts of Literature.

The entry fee is $5 and the Winning Essay will receive a $250 honorarium. All proceeds from the contest will go to support the William Bradley Reading Series at Heidelberg University, founded by William’s wife and collaborator, Emily Isaacson. Emily has graciously agreed to serve as the Inaugural Judge of the 2018 Prize.

Submissions accepted here.

§ 2 Responses to The William Bradley Prize for the Essay


    The announcement for the Wm Bradley Essay Contest is slightly misleading… I understand that it is an essay contest, but is the subject matter wide open or does the essay have to be on or about Wm Bradley and/or the subjects he was interested in (which are listed). Somewhere I am looking for “topic of essay is open”… ??

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