Ends on

Our annual summer nonfiction contest opens May 15th to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words.

The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in our Spring 2024 issue.

This year's guest judge is Siddhartha Deb. 

Born in Shillong, north-eastern India, Siddhartha Deb lives in Harlem, New York. His fiction and nonfiction have been longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize, and been awarded the Pen Open prize. His journalism and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Republic, Dissent, The Baffler, N+1, and Caravan.

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 2024 issue of the Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear.

Multiple submissions are welcome and encouraged, but a separate entry fee must accompany each submission.

This contest is administered anonymously. Editorial Assistants, Assistant Nonfiction Editors, the Guest Judge, and the Editor in Chief of the Schooner are not privy to submitters' identifying information.

If you have a problem with your submission, please write to Managing Editor Siwar Masannat at prairieschooner@unl.edu.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.