Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Getting personal with the Edna Staebler essay contest

Edna Staebler
There are a lot of writing and magazine competitions out there, many of which are important and indispensable devices to raise funds, plump up circulation and promote publications to new audiences.  But one of the most personal -- in several ways -- is the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest that is run by The New Quarterly and which celebrates literary journalism that was pioneered by a little lady from Waterloo County. She is remembered not only as a writer but also as a generous benefactor.                    

The competition's focus is on the personal essay, of any length and on any topic framed by the writer's personal engagement. Entries are $40 each (which includes a one-year subscription to TNQ) and are due by March 28. It's open to Canadians or residents of Canada and the submission cannot  have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere. The winning essay will receive $1,000 prize and winners and runners-up will be considered for publication in the magazine, with a fee of $250 per essay. 

It's worth remembering the amazing contributions Staebler made as a magazine freelancer working for Maclean's, Saturday Night, The Toronto Star and Chatelaine. Her first article was published in Maclean's in 1948 and her articles led to a number of treasured books, including cookbooks such as what has become a classic, Food that Really Schmecks. Staebler was recipient of the Order of Canada in 1996 and was inducted into the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame in 1998.

The New Quarterly hosts two other contests: the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest; and the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award, named after one of the founders of the magazine. 



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