Enter our 2012 contest

Deadline: April 30

Click here to submit 

Please read the submission guidelines below.

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The Dooley Prize in Nonfiction

We're excited to announce our next contest, The 2012 Dooley Prize in Nonfiction. One winner will receive $300 in addition to contributor's copies. 

Specific guidelines and information:

  • Entries must be less than 5,000 words. 
  • Entries must be received by midnight, April 30, 2012.
  • Entry fee is $10. 
  • You may submit more than once, but you must pay the entry fee for each submission. 
  • Entries must be made in the "Contest" category of our submission manager
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted and encouraged. 
  • Entries will be vetted blindly by the staff, choosing five (5) finalists. 
  • One winner will be chosen blindly by our final judge. 

About Dave Madden:

Dave Madden is the author of The Authentic Animal, published by St. Martin’s Press. His shorter work has appeared in Indiana ReviewTampa ReviewMid-American ReviewThird CoastHOBART, and elsewhere, and he’s the recipient of the Sherwood Anderson Award in fiction, an AWP Intro Journals Award in nonfiction, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. His essay, “Play Dead”, was named a Notable Essay of 2009 by Robert Atwan of the Best American Essays series. Currently, he teaches in the MFA program at the University of Alabama and co-edits The Cupboard, a quarterly pamphlet.

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Information about our 2011 contest:

Winner: Adrian Shirk's "Our Bodies, Our Smoke." Here's what our final judge, David MacLean had to say about the piece:

"What's so great about 'Our Bodies, Our Smoke' is its twin biceps of density and clarity. There's so much going on in this meditation on smoking (multiple cities, multiple ages of the narrator, multiple characters) but we never feel like there's clutter. Instead we have all of these separate perfectly described beads hanging together, linked by cigarettes. I appreciate the associative structure of this essay and the descriptive depth of field that the essay provides. While not invested in the traditional story arc, the essay reads like a highly personalized encyclopedia entry on cigarettes. It's the kind of encyclopedia I could imagine reading for hours at a time. This is impressive and strong (two biceps strong!) work." 

The list of finalists, in no particular order:

  • "The Honesty of Baby Boy." Joshua Wheeler
  • "Special Needs." Corey Ginsburg
  • "If These Walls Could Talk." Lynden Harris
  • "Keeping Carl." Joanne Zaslow
  • "'D' is for David Duchovny" Jen Edwards