Our annual summer nonfiction contest opens May 15 to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words. The entry fee is $20 and includes a copy of the Spring 2019 issue of Prairie Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear.
Our guest judge, Carmen Maria Machado, will name a winner and finalist. The winner will receive $500 and publication in our Spring 2019 issue.
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 2019 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.
More about our guest judge:
Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize, and the Crawford Award. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century." Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared widely, and she's been the recipient of numerous fellowships. Her memoir, House in Indiana, comes out from Graywolf in 2019. She can be found on Twitter @carmenmmachado.