Young Alumni Essay Contest 2016 rules

Author: Carol Schaal

Notre Dame Magazine is sponsoring its fourth annual Young Alumni Essay Contest. The magazine’s editors, who will judge the 2016 contest, are looking for original, previously unpublished, creative nonfiction essays. The editors are seeking evocative first-person works that would appeal to a college-educated audience.


Open to those who received a University of Notre Dame bachelor’s degree in the years 2007 through 2016.

Only one entry per eligible individual is allowed.

Previous winners may enter.

Submission requirements:

Entries must be written in the English language, be original and previously unpublished.

Submissions should range from 800 to 1,500 words. Essays longer than 1,500 words will be disqualified.

Essays must be submitted in Word format.

Entries accepted now through midnight Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.

Submission procedure:

Because the entries will be read blind, it is imperative that entrants follow the procedures listed here:

For a submission, send an email to Include the author’s contact information: name, postal address, email address, phone number and ND graduation year. Make sure to include the title of the submission in this email.

Attach the actual manuscript of the entry to this email. The manuscript should include the title of the essay but no author identifying information.


The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $500. The winning essay will be published in Notre Dame Magazine in 2017.

Second-place winner(s) will receive $250. The winning essay(s) will be published in Notre Dame Magazine in 2017.

Should the judges decide to award one or more honorable mentions, the winner(s) will receive $50 and publication in

Published essays are subject to editing.

Winners’ names will appear in the winter 2016-17 print and online issues of Notre Dame Magazine, and winners will be notified via email.

The judges’ decisions are final.

Contest tips:

Notre Dame Magazine has been lauded for the essays that appear in its CrossCurrents section.

For an idea of the types of essays most appropriate for this contest, we suggest reading previous CrossCurrents essays, which can be found at Also visit to find last year’s winning essays.

These essays are not term papers. They should be evocative, first-person works that would appeal to a college-educated audience.


Submit any questions about this competition to