Parks and Points Fall 2017 Essay Contest is Open


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. We seek essays that express a moment of significance — personal transformation, awakening, adventure, exploration, reward, accomplishment, revelation — that is inspired by or set within a park space or public land. Essays need not be about a U.S. national park—national forests, municipal and state parks, BLM lands, beaches, lakeshores, campgrounds, designated woodlands—and more—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 Parks and Points, as will the names of finalists. All entries are considered for publication. 

Winners will be selected by contest judge Melissa Faliveno, Senior Editor of Poets & Writers magazine.

To read last year's winning essays, click here.

To enter this year's contest, click here.

The submission deadline is November 1, 2017, 11:59 p.m. E.D.T.  


We have chosen prizes that we hope will support your impulse to travel:

  • 1st Place  $250 Southwest Airlines gift card
  • 2nd Place $150 Marriott gift card
  • 3rd Place  $50 AirBnB gift card
  • Honorable Mention awardees will receive a copy of the book Crown Jewel Wilderness, The Making of North Cascades National Park, by Lauren Danner 


  • Winners will be announced by November 30, 2017 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  • Submissions of original and previously unpublished work should be no more than 1,500 words.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 will revert to the author.  
  • A $3 submission fee is required to enter. Multiple entries are permitted, but each requires a separate entry.