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Fourth Genre Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize

The Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize is named in honor of Fourth Genre's founding editor, Michael J. Steinberg, The contest gives us an opportunity to highlight outstanding writers and their work. The first place winner of the contest will receive $1000 and publication in the following year's spring issue. The winner and finalists will also be announced on our Facebook page, Twitter, and website.

2024 Fourth Genre Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize Fee: usd $20.00


In honor of Fourth Genre’s founding editor, Michael J. Steinberg, we’re proud to award $1000 and publication each year to the winner of the Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize.

Our Judge this year is Sarah Viren. Sarah is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and author of two books of narrative nonfiction. Her essay collection Mine, a meditation on ownership and loss, won the River Teeth Nonfiction Book Prize and the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, was a silver winner for essays in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, was longlisted for the Pen Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award (as well as being named one of LitHub’s favorite books of 2018). Sarah’s newest book, To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories, out now, is a hybrid memoir that mixes philosophy with journalism and personal essay. It was named a best book of the year by NPR and LitHub and an Editor’s Pick by the New York Times. Sarah teaches in the creative writing program at Arizona State University and lives in Tempe with her partner, two kids, and our adorably ugly pup, Oki.

  • Submit from January 1st to March 15th.
  • All submissions will be considered for publication.
  • We rarely publish essays longer than 6,000 words. But if you have something longer, and it is really good, send it our way.
  • A Reading fee of $20(U.S.) for each individual submission (multiple submissions accepted).
  • For all reading periods, we read blind, so be sure your name or any other identifying information does not appear on the manuscript or in the file name.

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