Essay/Memoir Contest

Streetlight’s 2017 Essay/Memoir Contest. A few details:

Please do not submit previously published work. Simultaneous submission of your work to other literary journals is fine, but please notify us immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere. Submissions cost $10.

As with our regular essay/memoir submissions, we are seeking strong and stirring personal stories. Submit a maximum of 800 words (no minimum).

Prizes will be awarded for 1st ($125), 2nd ($75), and 3rd ($50) place as chosen by the Streetlight’s non-fiction editor, Susan Shafarzek. All winning submissions will be published in the summer quarter of the Streetlight magazine website on July 14, 2017 and may also receive an audio production for the Streetlight Voices podcast.

Deadline for entries is July 1, 2017 (midnight EST).

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

Additional notes about contest entries:

  • Winners will be notified by email as soon as they are chosen. Winning essays and memoirs will appear on the website’s home page on July 14, 2017. Non-winning entries will not receive a notification but may be contacted shortly after the contest deadline about future publication at Streetlight. If you have a question about your non-winning entry, please use Submittable to manage your entry and send us your question.
  • You may enter our contest multiple times. Please submit a second contest entry and pay an additional contest fee.
  • Streetlight retains the first North American print and electronic publication rights of the essays and memoirs we select from the contest for publication. After your winning piece appears on our website, all rights return to you. If you publish your work again at a later date, we request that you include a notice of the first printing appearing at Streetlight.

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Streetlight Magazine is the non-profit home for unpublished fiction, poetry, essays, and art that inspires.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