“The world is abundant even in bad times; it is lush with interestingness, and always, somewhere, offering up consolation or beauty or humor or happiness, or at least the hope of future happiness,” writes guest editor Kathryn Schulz in the introduction to The Best American Essays 2021. Featuring essays by Elizabeth Alexander, Molly McCully Brown, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Wesley Morris, to name a few, this installment of the annual anthology captures writers at work during a historic year of grief and tumult. From an intimate account of nursing a loved one during the pandemic to an exploration of the political and aesthetic history of a mustache, this collection demonstrates what it is to be writing during an unprecedented time, offering readers and writers solace and inspiration through rigorous prose.
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.