We've all learned a thing or two in our time on this Earth. So, if you could have a conversation with your younger self, what you would say? What bits of wisdom would you impart?
For this contest, we want to see a personal essay of 1,000 words (or less) with insights you'd give your younger self written in first person point of view with an inspirational slant. The age of your younger self should be clear. We're looking for your authenticity to come through in your writing.
Your entry should be aimed at an adult audience and should be suitable to print in a magazine or anthology such as Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Deadline: June 30, 2023
ThoughtCo defines the personal essay as "a short work of autobiographical nonfiction characterized by a sense of intimacy and a conversational manner." Grammarly adds, "Personal essays relate the author’s intimate thoughts and experiences to universal truths. They aren’t simply a retelling of events, though—that falls more in the realm of memoir or autobiography. They conclude with the author having learned, changed, or grown in some way and often present some truth or insight that challenges the reader to draw their own conclusions." Check out this post on the IFW Blog for more insight in writing a personal essay.
$1,300 Cash Prizes
All entrants are invited to a FREE instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge who will share insights into successfully writing in this genre.
Winning entries will be workshopped in our live webinar by our judge to help writers understand what worked and what could be improved to make it submission-ready.
Our judge will be grading entries based on these criteria:
Of course, don't forget to check your grammar, punctuation, and spelling before sending in your submission. Only send your best work!
Submissions will be judged on clarity, potential in the market, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, one inch margins, no creative use of fonts).
The winning entries in this Essay to My Younger Self writing contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 90 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)
This is a great opportunity to build your writing and submitting skills!