Fourth Genre Multimedia Essay Prize

The second annual Fourth Genre Multimedia Essay Prize

Please note that the deadline for this contest has been extended to March 31st!

We’re excited to be showcasing more work and more varieties of work online. Accordingly, Fourth Genre is sponsoring a multimedia essay prize, with the winner receiving $500 and publication on our website. Wayne Koestenbaum will judge this year’s contest.

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More About Wayne Koestenbaum

Wayne Koestenbaum—poet, critic, novelist, artist, performer—has published nineteen books, including Camp Marmalade, Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Andy Warhol, Humiliation, and Jackie Under My Skin. The Queen’s Throat, praised by Susan Sontag as “a brilliant book,” was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and appeared in French translation. His novel, Circus, was reissued in July 2019 with an introduction by Rachel Kushner. Recent projects include a book of short fiction, The Cheerful Scapegoat, and an essay collection, Figure It Out. His essays and poems have been widely published in periodicals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, London Review of Books, The Believer, The Iowa Review, Cabinet, and Artforum. He wrote the libretto for Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O, which premiered at the Houston Grand Opera, and for Mohammed Fairouz’s Pierrot, commissioned by Da Capo Chamber Players. Koestenbaum has exhibited his own paintings in solo shows at White Columns, 356 Mission, and the University of Kentucky Art Museum, as well as in many group shows, most recently in New York at Essex Flowers, Gordon Robichaux, Klaus von Nichtssagend, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. His first piano/vocal record, Lounge Act, was released by Ugly Duckling Presse Records in 2017; he has given musical performances of his improvisatory Sprechstimme soliloquies at The Kitchen, REDCAT, Centre Pompidou, Walker Art Center, The Artist’s Institute, and the Renaissance Society. He played the title role in Robert Ashley’s opera The Trial of Anne Opie Wehrer at the 2014 Whitney Biennial and in 2016 at L.A.’s 356 Mission. Koestenbaum’s brief essay-films, originally seen on Instagram (@Wayne.Koestenbaum), are the most recent development of his interdisciplinary, multi-media practice. His literary archive is in the Yale Collection of American Literature at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. He received a B.A. from Harvard, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins, and a Ph.D. from Princeton; he won a Whiting Writers Award, and was a co-winner of the Discovery/The Nation Poetry Prize. Formerly an Associate Professor of English at Yale and a Visiting Professor in the Yale School of Art’s painting department, he is a Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.

Frequently Asked Questions

We read contest submissions each year from January 1st to March 15th. In 2022, the deadline has been extended to March 31st. 

Yes, the submission fee is $20, though we offer a discounted submission fee of $10 for students.

You can submit any of the following file types: .doc, .docx, .odt, .pdf, .txt, .pages, .rtf. We also accept file sharing links (ie: Google Drive), video sharing links (ie: unlisted YouTube videos), and audio sharing links (ie: private Soundcloud tracks).

We accept submissions through Duosuma, Duotrope’s new submission manager. Making an account is free.

The winner and finalists will be announced in the late spring on our Facebook, Twitter, and website. 

While there is no set word or time limit for the Fourth Genre Multimedia Essay Prize, please keep in mind that your essay must be short enough to be web-friendly. Typically, web content does not exceed more than a few thousand words. Similarly, video and audio submissions should be relatively brief.

Yes. We are happy to accept multiple submssions for the Fourth Genre Multimedia Essay Prize. We also accept simultaneous submissions, though you must withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Yes, all submissions will be considered for publication on the Fourth Genre website. 

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