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: Jonathan Segol of Saratoga Springs, NY for “Superheroes, Particle Physics," and "Lunch with Elijah”

Second Prize: Gail Tyson of Rowell, GA for “Like Water Lapping Shore”

Third Prize: Ann Hedreen of Seattle, WA for “The Naming of Things”

Honorable Mentions: Shizue Seigel of San Francisco, CA for “The Elephant Hair, India 1996”; Sarah Birnbach of Rockville, MD for “A Candle of the Lord”; Angie Romines of Dublin, OH for “A Pretty Word for Goodbye”