1st Prize: $100.... 2nd Prize: $50.... Third Prize:.... $25

Category Details

Up to 6,000 words. I am looking for essays dealing with matters of culture, race, and a sense of place, either within the smaller microcosm of self-identity or within the larger environment of family, society and world interactions. I seek essays in the traditional form, my definition being the conscious shaping of nonfiction prose around a central idea or subject. In E. B. White's words, you will be putting your "finger on a little capsule of truth," using reality to point to your truth, not fiction.

*Tara Masih is taking a leave of absence from this category (she created and founded), as she ferries The Best Small Fictions of 2015 (Queen's Ferry Press) through its debut in October, 2015

About Interim Judge/Sponsor

LI MIAO LOVETT (San Francisco, CA)

Li Miao Lovett is a writer, educator, and communications director in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her debut novel, In the Lap of the Gods, is a tale of love and loss set in China amidst the rising waters of the Three Gorges dam. Her 1st place Intercultural essay from 2009 is included in The Chalk Circle anthology, edited by founding judge Tara Masih. Li has been a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, New America Media, National Radio Project’s Making Contact, and KQED Perspectives. In both fiction and nonfiction, Li’s work has won awards or finalist standing from Glimmer Train, Writer’s Digest, Stanford Magazine, A Room of Her Own Foundation, and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. As a freelance journalist, she recently documented the health effects of pesticides on farmworking communities with a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.





First Prize: Peggy Payne of Raleigh, NC for "Letter to an Exile"

Second Prize: Joanne Rhodes of Peterborough, NH for "Meeting Motherlands: A Memoir in Two Voices"

Third Prize: Pirkko L. Graves of White Stone, VA for “Floating Lumber"

Honorable Mentions: Gail Kenna of Wicomico Chur, VA for "Three Artists in Arrested Time"; Sue Granzella of San Leandro, CA for "Rainbow Road"; Shizue Seigel of San Francisco, CA for "Just Across the Street"