The Lindenwood Review is happy to offer a Lyric Essay Contest with no entry fee for issue 7. Submissions open July 1, 2016, and close November 1, 2016.
Guidelines for the Lyric Essay Contest:
- No entry fee.
- Winner receives $50, publication in issue 7 of The Lindenwood Review, and three contributor copies.
- Honorable mentions receive publication in issue 7 of The Lindenwood Review and three contributor copies.
- Lyric essays may be submitted via Submittable from July 1 through November 1.
- No more than three lyric essays may be submitted per writer. Create a separate submission for each essay.
- Lyric essay submissions may include fragmented essays, braided essays, essays with poetic language usage, and other creative structures and styles for nonfiction work. See the end of this post for descriptions and examples of the lyric essay.
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but we ask to be notified immediately via Submittable if a piece is accepted elsewhere.
- Double-space and use a standard font size and style.
- Maximum submission length for each essay is 20 pages.
- Include your name and email address at the top of each submission document. List your name exactly as you would like it to appear in the book if accepted for publication.
- Include a brief third-person bio with your submission. List your name exactly as you would like it to appear in the book if accepted for publication.
- Work that is not accepted for publication will be noted as Declined on Submittable. No rejection emails will be sent, so please check Submittable for submission status. Acceptance notifications will be sent via email. All decisions will be made by February 1.
- Writers who submit work to the contest may also submit additional work for TLR issue 7 consideration (fiction, poetry, or personal essay). See submission guidelines HERE.
- Current students and faculty of Lindenwood University are not eligible to submit their work. (Alumni may submit.)
- The Board of Lindenwood University restricts some language and explicit content in university publications. When necessary, the editor will work with contributors on minor revisions to meet university requirements.
- Do not submit work that has been previously published elsewhere, whether online or in print.
- Submissions will not be considered for publication if they are sent via email or mail, if they are received before or after the submission period, or if they do not follow the posted guidelines.
Lyric essay submissions may include fragmented essays, braided essays, essays with poetic language usage, and other creative structures and styles for nonfiction work.
Eve Jones on the Lyric Essay:
Just when you think that you, reader or writer, have a handle on what the lyric essay is, it slips away and turns into something else. Meet it for coffee when it's prose, but understand it's also having a drink with someone else across the street as poetry. Here is what you know for sure: it's honest, it's true, it's surprising, its hair is a little messy, it is at once lyrically gorgeous and precisely organized, and it prefers the scenic route through the body, the past, the self, the external world. Examples of challenging & excellent contemporary lyric essayists include Anne Carson, Michael Ondaatje, Sarah Manguso, and John D'Agata.
Here's Anne Carson: “I used to think when I was younger and writing that each idea had a certain shape and when I started to study Greek and I found the word morphe it was for me just the right word for that, unlike the word shape in English which falls a bit short morphe in Greek means the sort of plastic contours that an idea has inside your all your senses when you grasp it the first moment and it always seemed to me that a work should play out that same contour in its form. So I can’t start writing something down til I get a sense of that, that morphe. And then it unfolds, I wouldn’t say naturally, but it unfolds gropingly by keeping only to the contours of that form whatever it is.”
Wm Anthony Connolly on the Lyric Essay:
The lyric essay is at the forefront of innovative writing melding the best of poetry with the best of essay composition. If a stand alone essay is said to be the autobiography of a thought and poetry the sound of experience then a lyric essay is a symphony of your brain. It looks like prose, but reads like music; it's composed like painting, but dries much quicker and you don't have to wear a smock. A lyric essay is connotative rather than denotative; it raises more questions than it answers; it's associative rather definitive; and it's beautifully fragmentary. It free-falls with juxtaposition and folly. A close cousin to the prose poem, the lyric essay is a short work of prose designed to illustrate not only what the writer is thinking, but perhaps more importantly how the writer thought what they were thinking. A lyric essay reveals how you view the world.
Examples of The Lyric Essay:
- Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Woman I've Ever Seen by Irène Mathieu, Issue 1 of The Lindenwood Review
- Notes from St. John's Hospital by Brenna J. Conley, Issue 4 of The Lindenwood Review
- Disordered by Christine Stewart-Nuñez, Issue 4 of The Lindenwood Review
- Through the Hands of Strangers by Wm Anthony Connolly
- The Rebirth of a Suicidal Genius by Lucie Brock-Broido via Poetry Foundation
On-Campus or Fully Online/No Residency Requirement