The Fountain Essay Contest 2018

Should We Be Grateful?

Submissions to be posted

October 1, 2018 – March 1, 2019

www.fountainmagazine.com

That perfect cup of coffee in the morning. Seeing an old friend for the first time in years. A big meal with your family. All of them make us feel grateful – grateful for loved ones and grateful to be alive. Gratitude is an important part of the human experience. And it’s not only for people; animals show gratitude to those who care for them.

The question is: Why do we feel grateful? What should be we grateful for? And even, should we still be grateful when we’re depressed or when our lives are a mess? For this year’s Essay Contest, we want to hear from you. What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful to? Are you grateful? We can’t wait to read your responses.

  • Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2019
  • Contest open to all writers worldwide
  • Essay word count must be between 1,500 and 2,500
  • For submissions use this link The Fountain Magazine Essay Contest 2018

Cash prizes:

  • 1st Place - $1,000
  • 2nd Place - $500
  • 3rd Place - $300
  • Two Honorable Mentions - $150 each

Frequently Asked Questions

THEME
REFERENCES
WORD COUNT
STYLE
PUBLISHING
NUMBER OF ENTRY
DISQUALIFICATION
EVALUATION
SUBMISSION
DEADLINE
WINNERS
ELIGIBILITY

THEME

What qualifies a good essay?

An essay that you feel your heart rests more comfortably on. The more concise an essay, the more acceptable it is. Its authenticity and uniqueness, and how elaborately you put your theme into words so that others are inspired from it.

REFERENCES

Do we have to include references, bibliography, notes, etc. as in an academic journal?

The Fountain is not a journal. Thus, we do not expect a full scale reference list for all the information you provide. But, we encourage contributors to provide at least a reasonable number of references (not more than four or five) especially for the arguments borrowed from other sources, as it would make your work more reliable. If the kind of information you provide needs citation, please provide it; but essays with lengthy references are not preferred. Some reference and recommendations for further reading may help readers who are interested in the essay. Accuracy of data is expected in essays in which information provided needs sourcing. An essay based on personal experience does not require citation, and it is equally acceptable.

WORD COUNT

Does the word count limit include the bibliography or just the essay itself?

The Fountain is not a full-scale academic journal, so we expect authors to keep references to a maximum of four or five. Notes can be more. References and notes do not make a big change in word count which is advised to be between 1,500 and 2,500. A range is always necessary to be able to have an objective measure in terms of size.

STYLE

What kind of writing style do you expect? Can we use informal phrases? Is this essay supposed to be a personal opinion piece, or more of a scholarly supported article?

In writing style, we mainly seek consistency. We prefer the Chicago Manual of Style, but if you are more familiar with another style, that is also acceptable. Some informal usage can be OK in a certain essay, but not in another. It is basically the author’s call.

Would an essay in the short story genre qualify for the contest?

As long as your theme is skillfully woven through its structure, and if it upholds The Fountain’s values and principles, yes.

PUBLISHING

Are you going to publish submitted essays anywhere?

We might publish submissions in The Fountain, both the print and web editions, even if the essays did not win any prize. By submitting your essay to this contest, you agree that you give permission to The Fountain to publish it in any medium.

NUMBER OF ENTRY

Can I submit more than one essay?

No. One entry per person.

DISQUALIFICATION

What makes an essay disqualified?

  1. Offensive and devotional essays—particularly essays that emphasize superiority of a specific worldview or derogating a specific worldview—will not be considered for the Grand Prize. Essays that "propagate" a certain spiritual order, a religious denomination, a spiritual leader, or a political activist, etc. in a way that subordinates all other faiths and traditions are considered devotional and will be disqualified.
  2. Title is missing – Do not forget to put a title. Title tells a lot about the essay and important for readers and reviewers to see what lies in the center of your message. Missing title will disqualify your submission.
  3. If the word count exceeds the 2,500 limit by more than 200 words, or if it is less than 900 words, your essay will be disqualified.

EVALUATION

Who will determine the winners? Can you explain more specifically what you are looking for in a winner?

The winners will be determined by our board who will decide according to the literary effectiveness of the essay in reflecting the philosophy behind the motto, richness in content, and authenticity.

All submitted essays will be evaluated using the following criteria.

  1. Relevance to the contest theme (40 points)
  2. Innovation & creativity (30 points)
  3. Writing style and structure (30 points)

SUBMISSION

How am I going to submit my essay?

Fill out the form, attach your document and send it.

DEADLINE

When is the last day for submissions?

March 1, 2019

WINNERS

When will the winners be announced?

April 30, 2019.

ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible to participate in this contest?

There is no age limit or a condition to fulfill for entry. The contest is open to all who want to share his or her ideas with us.

THE FOUNTAIN ESSAY CONTESTS

How to Face a Disaster?
2017

I am an Immigrant
2016

The Defining Theme of Our Age
How do you think history will record the 21st century?
2015

You and Your 100-Year-Old Self
Celebrating The Fountain’s 100th issue
2014

What Is Your Motto?
2013

The Last 72
2010


How to Face a Disaster?
2017

FIRST PLACE

  • Curtains in the Breeze
    Nyri Bakkalian

SECOND PLACE

  • 80 Miles
    Beth J. Polazzo

THIRD PLACE

  • It’s Not about Where You Break
    Kassandra M. Lighthouse

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Sweaty Armpits and Infinite To-Do Lists
    Jordann Cress
  • Love and Suicide
    Jan McDaniel

I AM AN IMMIGRANT
2016

First Place

  • Peter Ferguson Swarr

Second Place

  • Matthew Hawk Eldridge

Third Place

  • Valentina Locatelli

Honorable Mention

  • Salma Hany Abdel Fattah
  • Claudia Verona

Special Thanks

  • Karina Nava-Melchor
  • Ray Mwareya
  • Lawrence Brazier
  • Janette Conger
  • Nuran Elif Öztürk

The Defining Theme of Our Age
How do you think history will record the 21st century?
2015

First Place

  • Mariya Tytarenko

Second Place

  • Tony Mitchell

Third Place

  • Billy von Raven

Honorable Mention

  • Deborah Moldow
  • Serenity Jean Miller

You and Your 100-Year-Old Self
2014

1st Place

  • Elizabeth Allen

2nd Place

  • Matt Hritz

3rd Place

  • Philip Golabuk

Honorable Mention

  • Tarbia Hamid
  • Jean Blanchard

What Is Your Motto?
2013

First Place

  • Magdalena Rusanova

Second Place

  • Noble Lee

Third Place

  • Janet Fichter

Honorable Mention

  • Caroline Lancaster
  • Elizabeth Harmatys Park

THE LAST 72
2010

First Place

  • Joseph J. SALTER

Second Place

  • Ha-Thanh NGUYEN

Third Place

  • Joanna BODNAR

Honorable Mention

  • Belinda STURGILL
  • Kimberly PARKER
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