Ends on June 1, 2017

$5.00 USD

Out of respect for the wide spectrum of creative nonfiction, we’ve decided to split this contest in two, affording us the opportunity to recognize the best in both personal and documentary storytelling. We’re pleased to announce: The 2017 Proximity Narrative Journalism Prize and Personal Essay Prize.


The 2017 Proximity Personal Essay Prize

Theme: WORK

Judge: Adriana E. Ramírez

Adriana E. Ramírez is the author of  Dead Boys, a nonfiction novella, and winner of the 2015 PEN/Fusion Emerging Writer’s Prize. A Mexican-Columbian nonfiction writer and poet based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ramírez is “Critic At Large” for the Los Angeles Times’ Book Section, co-founder of Aster(ix) Journal, co-founder the Pittsburgh Poetry Collective, and a VONA alum. Her writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Review of BooksLiterary HubGuernica/ PEN AmericaConvolutionHEArtApogee, and Nerve.com. She has two collections of poetry, The Swallows and Trusting in Imaginary Spaces, and was the nonfiction editor of DISMANTLEan anthology of writing from the VONA workshops. A mentor in the Carlow University MFA program, Ramírez is currently at work on The Violence (forthcoming, Fall 2017), a book about her death fantasies, the War on Drugs, and the way we tell stories around violence.


For its second annual prize issue, Proximity Magazine is looking for true stories that explore the theme of WORK. Work defines our lives and our livelihoods. Work is labor. Work is art. Work is paid or unpaid, public or private or under the table. Work is at the heart of healthy relationships. Work puts food on the table. Work takes us out of our comfort zones. Work is political.

We’re looking for true stories that explore the many interpretations of WORK. All in a day’s work. Hard work. Dirty work. Grunt work. A piece of work. Work spouse. It’s good work if you can get it. Work your ass off. Work your way up. Keep up the good work. Work out. Work nights. Work like a dog. Work yourself up. Work wonders. Work together. Work ’til you drop.

As always, we seek stories across a wide range of forms with a strong sense of place — so keep that in mind as you send us your personal essays, photo essays, reportage, flash nonfiction, true poems, and multimedia around the theme of WORK.

Do you have a WORK story to share? We want to read it (or see it, or take a listen).

Deadline: Originally May 1, 2017. Extended to June 1, 2017

Entry Fee: $5, multiple entries accepted.

Each Prize winner will be awarded $200. Entry fees go toward this award, and any fees that push past the cost of running this contest will be put forth to pay Proximity writers in 2018. Finalists will be announced in advance. Winners will be announced in October, the day of publication. All finalists will be published in our annual anthology and a selection among them will be published in Issue 16.

>> For details on word count, multiple submissions, previously published work, and other questions you might have, please visit our Prize information page and FAQs. We also advise that you familiarize yourself with Proximity's past issues. <<

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Thank you for considering Proximity for the publication of your true stories. We encourage the submission of original work from everyone---especially women, writers of color, and marginalized individuals, including gender-nonconforming and LGBTQ writers. We are committed to intersectionality and our founding mission.

Submissions must be previously unpublished (#) and submitted to Proximity for publication in one of the following categories: long-form (6,000 words maximum), mid-range (2,000 words maximum), flash (500 words maximum), or photo essay/multimedia. Multiple submissions and alternative forms of true stories are welcome and encouraged. ** See the Proximity website for frequently asked questions.

#PleaseNote: Although we do not accept previously published work, we do make exceptions for book excerpts from memoirs / narrative nonfiction / essay collections slated for publication or published no more than three years ago.

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