Fall 2016 Writing Contest

Alexander Hamilton's desk at Washington's Headquarters at  Valley Forge National Historic Park

Alexander Hamilton's desk at Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge National Historic Park

Announcing Parks and Points

Fall 2016 Writing Contest!

The deadline for the fall nonfiction contest has been extended to October 12, 2016.

The centennial of the U.S. National Parks Service has inspired us to contemplate our reverence for all shared public parklands; these are spaces for exploration and adventure, self-discovery and self-reflection, and identification with community. Parks and Points is dedicated dually to celebrating park spaces and to promoting domestic travel as accessible and affordable.

For our first writing contest, we are seeking 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. Note that your entry is not required to be about a U.S. national park, and 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 winners will be selected by contest judge Leigh Stein.


As we are a travel and points based website, we are excited to offer prizes that reflect our love for and interest in travel:

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

Contest Rules

*Our submission portal will be open from open from August 26, 2016 to 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 9, 2016.

*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*Submissions of original and previously unpublished work should be no more than 1,500 words.

 *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 contest judge Leigh Stein. Former or current students of Leigh Stein are regretfully ineligible for the contest.

*Email amy@parksandpoints.com with questions.


Photo by Brian Jacks.

Photo by Brian Jacks.

Leigh Stein is the author of three books, including the new memoir Land of Enchantment. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Allure, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, Salon, and Slate. She is the executive director of the nonprofit organization Out of the Binders, and lives outside New York City.




Click here to enter the contest