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Contest submissions open June 1 - November 1
$1,333 Prize
$20 Entry Fee

The Gabriele Rico Challenge for Nonfiction recognizes outstanding works of nonfiction, awarding $1,333 to the author of the winning entry. We are looking for creative nonfiction, such as personal essays or narratives, not scholarly papers or book reviews. All works should be stand-alone essays, not chapters of a longer work. We do not accept previously published work. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us if your work is selected for publication elsewhere. Please limit prose submissions to 5,000 words. 


Please be sure to:

  • include your name, address, phone number, and email address within cover letter (exclude from works themselves)

  • format pieces in double-spaced 12-point font

  • include word count (5,000-word limit)

  • number pages

  • provide a brief 50-word bio

  • make sure your Submittable profile is up-to-date


The contest reading fee is $20, which includes a free copy of the latest edition of Reed. (Please note that submitters with US addresses on file will receive print copies of the journal, whereas those with international addresses may receive digital copies.) Multiple submissions are accepted as separate entries. Contest submissions not selected for final judging may still be considered for publication in the journal and/or online. 


Gabriele Rico (1937-2013) served as professor of English and Creative Arts at San José State University for over 40 years. She studied at UC Berkeley, completed her undergraduate degree at SJSU, and received her PhD (on the application of brain research to creativity) from Stanford University. Rico authored the best-selling Writing the Natural Way, which described the nonlinear brainstorming process she developed known as the Rico Cluster.

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