Vela Magazine, an online journal that publishes works of nonfiction written by women and inspired by travel, has launched its inaugural nonfiction contest for women . The winner will receive $500 and publication. The deadline is March 31; there is no entry fee.
The editors seek a “strong voice, a compelling narrative, and/or a powerful driving question. We’re interested in a wide range of essays and stories, including literary journalism, personal essays, memoir, and expository or experimental essays.”
Women writers may submit a previously unpublished essay of up to 6,500 words along with a cover letter via the online submission system . While there is no entry fee, donations to the magazine are accepted with submissions; those who donate will receive a PDF titled Women We Read This Year, an annotated compilation of writing by women from 2013, drawn from the magazine’s weekly Women We Read This Week  column.
In addition to the winner, two finalists will also have their work published. All entries will be considered for publication.
Michelle Orange , the author of the essay collection This Is Running For Your Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), will judge.
Vela Magazine was founded in 2011 by nonfiction writer Sarah Menkedick in response to the gender disparity in publishing, which is tracked each year through VIDA’s annual count . “As long as [this disparity] continues to be the case,” Menkedick writes in the magazine’s manifesto , “then I believe in creating a separate space in which women can write what they want to write, with the same intellectual freedom as men; without a major overhaul of self and world views.”