Tilia Klebenov Jacobs Religious Essay Prize

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

Category Details

Up to 3,000 words, double-spaced. No preaching, no proselytizing, no explaining why your religion is right and everyone else's is wrong. Yes to thoughtful writing about any of the following: religion in everyday life; approachable explications of religious texts; stories that fill in the gaps in Biblical narratives. To quote the Supreme Court: "Religion is the conduit of culture." It's part of how we breathe, whether we embrace or reject it.

About Judge/Sponsor

TILIA KLEBENOV JACOBS (Framingham, MA) has a BA in Religion and English from Oberlin College, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a secondary-school teaching certification from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Writing is Tilia's passion, and she has won numerous awards for both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The Jewish Magazine as well as the anthologies Phoenix Rising and The Chalk Circle, a collection of intercultural essays. Tilia's debut novel, Wrong Place, Wrong Time, won the Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Thriller; Kirkus described it as "a tense debut action-thriller...[written] with smooth skill and intense readability." Tilia is a member of Grub Street, Boston's premier writing center, and Sisters in Crime. She has taught in middle school, high school, and college; at present she teaches writing in Massachusetts state prisons.  


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First Prize: Rachel Hurwitz of Berkeley, CA for “Krecht”

Second Prize: Sarah Birnbach of Rockville, MD for “My Father's Blessing”

Third Prize: Shizue Seigel of San Francisco for “Of Christmas and Karma”;

Honorable Mentions: Rachel Hurwitz of Berkeley, CA for “Eye of the Storm”; Sara Etgen-Baker of Anna, TX for “The Butterfly Whisperer”; Gail Tyson of Roswell, GA for “The Gospel of Maggie”; Debra Jacobs of Somerville, MA for “One Toe In”; Jen Palmares Meadows of Folsom, CA for “Reconciliation”