Fall 2017 Creative Nonfiction Contest    

The deadline for our 2017 fall essay contest is Sunday Oct 1, 11:59 p.m. E.D.T. Our submission portal will open June 1st, 2017.

Our annual fall essay contest invites nonfiction submissions of up to 1,500 words in the form of autobiographical essay, reportage, profile, memoir, or narrative nonfiction that express a moment of significance — personal transformation, awakening, adventure, exploration, reward, accomplishment, revelation — that is inspired by or set within a park space. Please do aim to name the park somewhere in the essay, and the park need not be a U.S. national park – other national forests and BLM lands, and state and city parks as well, are great subjects. Also note that the writer does not need to be the subject of the essay. First, second and third place entries will be published on ParksandPoints.com, as will the names of finalists. All 2017 winners will be selected by contest judge Melissa Faliveno.


The prizes for our 2016 contest were as follows; stay tuned for updates on our finalized 2017 contest prizes.

  • 1st Place $200 Delta Airlines gift card
  • 2nd Place $100 American Airlines gift card
  • 3rd Place $50 AirBnB gift certificate


  • Our submission portal will be open from open from June 1, 2017 to 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 1, 2017. Paste your submission in the portal AND email a copy to amy@parksandpoints.com.
  • Winners will be announced by November 30, and published on Parks and Points shortly thereafter.
  • Submissions of original and previously unpublished work should be no more than 1,500 words. Facebook and blog posts are considered “published” writing.
  • Upon publication all rights to written work revert to the author.  
  • A $3 submission fee is required to enter. Multiple entries are permitted, but each requires a separate entry.
  • Submissions will be judged blindly, without identifying information on the text, by our contest judge, but can be pasted and emailed with contact info included in the document; we will reformat for judging. 

Melissa Faliveno is the senior editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, and producer/cohost of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she has also taught workshops in magazine writing. Her essays have appeared in DIAGRAM, Green Mountains Review, Lumina, and Midwestern Gothic, among other journals, and in the book Derby Life, an anthology about women's roller derby published by Gutpunch Press in 2015. Originally from Wisconsin, she lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she also plays in the band Self Help. Follow her on Twitter @melissafaliveno.