“My feckless Googling had reaped a monstrous reality that I knew was going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” Douglas Preston writes in Wired about a nostalgia-induced online search for his childhood best friend that leads him into some unexpectedly dark territory. This week, think about a time when you inadvertently uncovered something (good or bad) you weren’t meant to know—perhaps you overheard a conversation about yourself or someone close to you, followed an Internet search that spiraled to an unintentional conclusion, or submitted an online DNA kit without considering the consequences. Write an essay about the discovery and the actions you took as a response. Did you confront this new truth or carry on as if you had never learned 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.