In a video featured in the Poets & Writers Theater, Hilton Als reads from his essay “Tristes Tropiques,” which appears in his book White Girls (McSweeney’s, 2014), recounting the story of how he was named after his mother’s best friend’s child who died at birth. “The minute I was born I was not just myself, but the memory of someone else,” reads Als. How did you get your name? Write an essay that tells the story behind your name. Examine the metaphorical and historical meanings of your name and allow your feelings to carry you through the essay’s unfolding.
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.