Journalist Zahra Hankir’s book, Eyeliner: A Cultural History (Penguin Books, 2023), traces the lineage of eye makeup from its ancient Egyptian origins to contemporary times, zigzagging across a wide-ranging swath of globalism, fashion, and celebrity—from Nefertiti to Amy Winehouse—while relating the implications of the cosmetic accessory to themes of feminine performance and Orientalism. Choose an accessory or stylistic embellishment that has played some role in your own life, or perhaps one that is culturally pervasive or resonant. Consider your relationship to this seemingly frivolous item and write a personal essay about its relevance and connection to your identity. How might you connect the dots to larger social issues and historic moments in time?
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.