Reading for the Fourth Genre Steinberg Nonfiction contest begins each year on January 1, and continues through March 15. Winners and finalists are announced in late spring both here and on our Facebook page. The winning essay is published in the following year’s spring issue. 
  • Prize: $1,000 and publication in Fourth Genre. All entries are considered for publication.
  • Entry fee: $22 per submission (and we accept multiple submissions).
  • Word limit: 6,000 words (please include word count on the manuscript).
  • Submissions are accepted beginning January 1, 2016 at A link will appear here after the end of the fall reading period.
  • Manuscripts should not contain the author’s name anywhere–in headers, footers, or in the body of the essay, nor should there be a cover letter attached to the manuscript itself.

Find complete guidelines on the Michigan State University Press site here. Each year’s contest judge is announced both here and on our Facebook page.

Please familiarize yourself with Fourth Genre before submitting to us. We publish only nonfiction. We accept only work that has not been published previously, online or print. We’d be happy to send you a sample back issue if you send $5 for shipping and handling, with full mailing information.

Selected content from our previous issues is available here and on JSTOR.

You may also access all content previous to the current issue on Project MUSE.

The contest is named in honor of Fourth Genre’s founding editor, Michael J. Steinberg (