2018 Essay/Memoir Contest

Send us your creative non-fiction work now to win cash prizes!

$125, $75, and $50 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
Entry fee: $10. Deadline for entries: July 13, 2018 — Midnight EST. (this reflects a two-week extension)

As with our regular essay/memoir submissions, we are seeking strong and stirring personal stories.


  1. Send us a maximum of 1500 words (no minimum). Please do not submit previously published work.
  2. Please submit only one written work per entry–multiple entries are permitted, but please make a separate submission for each entry.
  3. Simultaneous submissions at other magazines are okay. Notify us immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere.
  4. Contest deadline is Friday, July 13, 2018 midnight EST.
  5. Winners will be announced on July 27th, 2018, and all winning entries will be published in Streetlight. Additionally, all contest entries will be further considered by our non-fiction editor for general publication in Streetlight’s essay/memoir category.
  6. Entry fee: $10
  7. Winners will be chosen by our non-fiction editor Susan Shafarzek.

CASH PRIZES (paid by check):

  • 1st place: $125.00
  • 2nd place: $75.00
  • 3rd place: $50.00


  • By submitting your work, you grant Streetlight Magazine first North American print and electronic publication rights and guarantee that the submission is your own, original writing. All rights return to the author after publication.
  • If you publish your work again at a later date, we request that you include a notice of the first printing appearing at Streetlight.
  • Streetlight will only mark contest entries as ACCEPTED. Our editors do NOT decline contest entries nor close them out. After the contest deadline, winners are announced, and non-winning entries are considered for general publication.
  • All winning entries will be published in the summer quarter on our website and also at the end of 2018 in the 2018 Streetlight anthology. You may opt-out of the anthology if for some reason you do not wish to be published in print.
  • Winning entries may receive a receive an audio production for Streetlight Voices. If you wish to have your piece excluded from the podcast, you may opt-out.

About our contest judge, Susan Shafarzek:

Photo of Susan Shafarzek

Susan Shafarzek lives in Charlottesville, Va. Besides editing essays for Streetlight, she is a poet and photographer, blogging occasionally at Whaddyameanrosebuds.com.

Help promote our contest by printing and posting this full-page flyer (152kb PDF) at a writing resource center or classroom that you visit:

2018 essay contest flyer

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Streetlight Magazine is the non-profit home for unpublished fiction, poetry, essays, and art that inspires. Submit your work today!