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BlakeWrites Inaugural Essay Contest

Submissions are open December 1st, 2019 through February 22nd, 2020.

Prizes:

First prize: $100 (USD) and publication
Second prize: $75 (USD) and publication
Third prize: $50 (USD)and publication
Fourth through Tenth place: Honorable mention badge with publication on BlakeWrites.
 

About the Writing Contest

BlakeWrites is a growing men's lifestyle publication. Our focus is on creating fashion, wellness, and self-improvement content that embraces our core mission of empowering today's men to live their best, most authentic lives.

We believe that one of the ways we can do this is to create opportunities for folks to share their own stories, reflect on their experiences, and drive impact on the world around them. That's what we want you to do through this contest– share your voice and your perspective on the topic below. If you're chosen as one of our winning essays, you may receive a cash prize (for first, second, and third place) along with publication on BlakeWrites (the top ten submissions). You will receive the byline for your essay if it is chosen to be published, and you will be invited to provide a bio and any website or social media profiles that you would like to include. 

The Prompt

In a nutshell, answer this question: What does it mean to be a "self-made man" today? 

The phrase "self-made man" is typically considered to have been coined in 1832 by Henry Clay to describe individuals whose success lay within the individuals themselves, not with outside conditions. Self-made men are typically thought of as those who have been perceived to have been the masters of their own destiny. Whether they have a rags to riches story or are regarded as heroic innovators, we are typically taught to celebrate their accomplishments. 

While the concept of the self-made man is quite old, it's still something that a lot of people, especially young men, value and to which they aspire. Yet, at the same time, this doesn't always seem to be attainable. Amidst rising debt levels, political corruption, and a pervasive nihilistic outlook on life, it's not uncommon for guys to feel directionless or to feel like they don't have control over their lives. It creates a sense of conflict between what guys feel like they are supposed to do and what they're actually able to do. 

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions must be unique. We will not publish content that has previously appeared elsewhere.
  • Submission of an article implies consent to publish on BlakeWrites.com. If accepted for publication, an article may be published at any time regardless of the outcome of the competition.
  • Submissions must be between 500 and 2500 words in English (US or UK is fine, though winning submissions will be edited and published using US spelling). 
  • Essays, blog posts, memoirs, or other works of creative nonfiction are welcome. Please do not submit works of fiction or poetry for this contest.
  • You must be 18 or older to be eligible to participate in this contest. 
  • Profanity and mature content are fine as long as they are used within reason and do not promote or condone illegal or restricted behavior. 
  • All entries will be reviewed by BlakeWrites editor-in-chief, Blake Reichenbach. Winners will be notified by April 1st, 2020.
  • All decisions are final. Cash prizes will be paid to winners via Paypal. 

You may submit your essay as either a .doc or .docx, or you may paste it directly into the "Essay Submission" field below. If you have questions, please send an email to blake(@)blakewrites(dot)com with the subject line "Essay Contest Question." 

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