Contest for Creative Nonfiction 2011

Contest Details and Rules

>>Enter now

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A portion of entry fees will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association during National Alzheimer's Awareness Disease Month in November 2011. (Image used with permission from organization.)

Hippocampus Magazine is giving away more than $500 in cash prizes this November—and raising awareness for National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in The Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction. If you didn’t read our blog post about how we came up with the idea, read it here.

  • Enter between June 6and Sept. 15, 2011.
  • Memoir excerpts and personal essays of up to 3,500 words with fall themes eligible for prize. We’ll leave “fall” up to your creative interpretation, but should be somewhat evident to our readers and judges. Think stories revolving around Thanksgiving, Back-to-School, Halloween, fall colors–or things that fall may symbolize, such as change. Or, maybe you took a tumble… this is a loose theme that could go many ways.
  • $10 entry fee ($2 for each entry will be donated to Alzheimer’s Association.)
  • The Hippocampus reader panel will select six finalists from all submitted essays and memoir excerpts.
  • A panel of special guest judges (to be announced) will select the winners from these six finalists.
  • Winning stories will be published in the November 2011 issue of Hippocampus Magazine.
  • During the month of November, the Most Memorable contest will double as The Remember in November Reader’s Choice prize—the readers of Hippocampus will also have a chance to make their case for which of the six finalists should win!


  • $150 grand prize (1)
  • $75 runner-up (1)
  • $50 third place (1)
  • $10 honorable mention (3)
  • $100 reader’s choice winner (doubles as the most memorable designation of the month)
  • $10 reader participation prize (10)

Rules and Entry Information

  • There is a $10 entry fee. This entry fee supports the prizes. And, $2.00 for every entry will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Submishmash, our submission tool, uses PayPal to accept and process payments; however, you do not need to have a PayPal account in order to enter; you can use any accepted payment method. (Submishmash also keeps a portion of this fee to cover its processing costs, and we thank them kindly for their service!)
  • Entries must be submitted through Submishmash in the Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction Category and meet the submission requirements outlined on the submission page.
  • If you would like to enter an already-submitted story to this contest, you may withdraw your current submission and resubmit to Hippocampus under the Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction category.
  • Participants may enter the contest as many times as they wish. Also, participants can win more than one prize as we have a blind reading process.
  • Regular submissions in the usual Hippocampus Magazine categories will continue to be accepted for consideration in other forthcoming issues during the contest period.
  • All non-winning entries may be considered for publication in other forthcoming issues.
  • Prizes are in USD. Winners must provide mailing address or PayPal email address to receive prize. (A check or PayPal transfer is the only two methods of prize delivery.) Prizes will be awarded by November 30, 2011.
  • The Reader’s Choice Award follows the same rules for our Most Memorable contest.
  • The reader participation awards are randomly selected from readers who have commented on stories during the month of November or shared a link to a story on Twitter using the @hippocampusmag username or #hippocampusmag hashtag.  (The mention or hashtag is necessary so we can track participation.)
  • The Reader’s Choice Award winner and Reader Participation Award winners will be announced on December 1, 2011.
  • Donation will be made to the Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of Hippocampus Magazine in early November 2011. The donation will include the names of all participants in the contest, unless otherwise specified during the submission process. The total donation amount will be shared with Hippocampus readers via a blog post.

>>Enter now

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  • Dpaton1

    Is creative nonfiction defined for this contest? Can one enter stories from a recently published memoir?  

  • Dpaton1 – yes, a memoir except is acceptable. (Since you are speaking of an already-published work, just be sure you have the rights to publish an excerpt elsewhere.)

  • Do you have a direct link for Submishmash here on your website? If not, what is it? When Submishmash is Googled, their general site is somewhat confushing. Thanks.

  • Is it permissible to enter a previously published piece?   The essay I’d like to enter has been published both on my blog and in my self-published book of humor essays.    I own all the rights.  

    •  Hi Jayne, yes you can still submit something that has been previously published on your own blog or self-published. Thanks for asking and good luck.