Ends on

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

The winner will receive $500 and publication in our Spring 2023 issue.

This year's guest judge is Jerald Walker who is the author of The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult; Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption, recipient of the PEN/New England Award for Nonfiction; and, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays, a Finalist for the National Book Award. His work has appeared in publications such as The Harvard Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Iowa Review, and Mother Jones,and it has been widely anthologized, including five times in The Best American Essays series and in the Pushcart Prizes. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the James A. Michener Foundation, Walker is a Professor of Creative Writing and African American Literature at Emerson College.

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 2023 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 Siwar Masannat, Managing Editor, at prairieschooner@unl.edu.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.