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) with MYSTERY as the first word in your subject heading.

The Black Warrior Review Contest, Now Nifty With Nonfiction!!

June 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Sixth-Ever Black Warrior Review Contest now features nonfiction (for the first time ever) with guest judge Lia Purpura.  Well, it is about time, wouldn’t you say?

Winners in each genre will receive $1,000 and publication in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue. Finalists in each category will receive notation in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue and are also considered for publication.

Reading Fee is $15 per short story (up to 7500 words), $15 per nonfiction piece (up to 7500 words), and $15 per group of up to 3 poems.

All contestants will also receive a complimentary one-year subscription.


Three Essay/CNF Contests Upcoming Soon

August 8, 2009 § 1 Comment

1.  Literal Latté is accepting entries for its Ames Essay Award until September 15

2. The Creative Nonfiction Prize from Hunger Mountain is open until September 10.  A one-thousand-dollar prize and publication of the winning work.

3. Real Simple magazine’s Life Lessons Essay Contest will award three thousand dollars and publication in the national magazine.  Deadline September 7.

Abigail Thomas judges the 2008 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction

December 14, 2007 § Leave a comment

If you don’t know the work of Abigail Thomas, for instance, Three Dog Life, you really should. And after reading the book, you should definitely enter the 2008 Iowa Review Nonfiction contest:

$1000 to the winner / $500 to first runner-up plus publication in The Iowa Review’s December 2008 issue

Submit during January 2008

The rules are posted here: RULES

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