Steinberg Essay Contest

Reading for the Fourth Genre Steinberg Nonfiction contest begins each year on January 1, and continues through March 15. Winners and finalists are announced in late spring both here and on our Facebook page. The winning essay is published in the following year’s spring issue. All submissions are considered for publication.
  • Prize: $1,000 and publication in Fourth Genre. All entries are considered for publication.
  • Entry fee: $20 per submission (and we accept multiple submissions).
  • Word limit: 6,000 words (please include word count on the manuscript).
  • We use
  • Manuscripts should not contain the author’s name anywhere–in file name, headers, footers, or in the body of the essay.

Find complete guidelines on the Michigan State University Press site here. Each year’s contest judge is announced both here and on our Facebook page.

Please familiarize yourself with Fourth Genre before submitting to us. We publish only nonfiction. We accept only work that has not been published previously, online or in print. We’d be happy to send you a sample back issue if you send $5 (check made out to Michigan State University) for shipping and handling, with full mailing information.

Selected content from our current issue is available free here and for purchase on the same site through the lefthand navigation bar. You may access all content previous to the current issue on Project MUSE and on JSTOR.

The contest is named in honor of Fourth Genre’s founding editor, Michael J. Steinberg (