In Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel, Leave the World Behind, which was recently adapted into a feature film, two families are stuck in a home in rural Long Island during a sudden and unexplainable time of apocalypse. Amid the chaos caused by large-scale blackouts, technology on the fritz, animals running amok, characters suddenly falling ill, and the possibility of terrorist attacks, the most terrifying thing seems to be the unknowability of what and who might be besieging their lives and the world as they know it. Write an essay about your fears of the unknown. What do you find terrifying and, on the flip side, what provides you a sense of reassurance and comfort? Reflect on the delicate balance of how you navigate the world as you know—and don’t know—it.
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.