Lyzette Wanzer Intercultural Essay Prize Category*
First Prize: $100
Second Prize: $50
Third Prize: $25
Up to 3,000 words. I’m looking for polished essays in both traditional and lyric forms on the subjects of culture, heritage, ethnicity, and race. I am partial to freighted, muscular writing that counters the conventional, displays a clean, even voice in the meat of the piece, and reflects the author’s flair and appetite for expression. Of prime importance to me? Work that discomfits, contemplates, balances scene and summary, and delivers the unexpected in the process. Practice good craft. Remember that over-reliance on adverbs means your noun and verb choices are not potent enough. Both proper grammar and correct punctuation do matter. And remember that Anton Chekhov said: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Lyzette Wanzer (San Francisco, CA) is a writer, web editor, and creative writing workshop instructor. Her work reflects the peri-racial, social, and economic experiences of African Americans and others in current times. A flash fiction connoisseur and essay aficionado, her work has appeared in Natural Bridge, Callaloo, Tampa Review, The MacGuffin, Ampersand Review, Journal of Advanced Development, Journal of Experimental Fiction, International Journal on Literature and Theory, and many others. She is a contributor to The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2012), Civil Liberties United: Diverse Voices from the San Francisco Bay Area (Pease Press 2019), 642 Tiny Things to Write About (Chronicle Books 2015), Essay Daily, The Naked Truth, and The San Francisco University High School Journal. Lyzette is the recipient of multiple grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation, Creative Capacity Fund, and San Francisco Arts Commission. Lyzette was selected as a Teaching Fellow for the 2021 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers’ Conference. She serves as a judge for the Women’s National Book Association’s Effie Lee Morris Literary Contest. Lyzette’s current project is Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narrative (Chicago Review Press 2022). She is also helming a summer conference of the same name.
- First Prize: Edward M. Corpus of Pacific Grove, CA
“The Connie in the Mirror”
- Second Prize: David Stewart of Palo Alto, CA
“Man at the Margins”
- Third Prize: Grace Segran of Belmont, MA
“An Illicit Affair”
*This category was founded by Tara L. Masih in 2006.