Young Alumni Essay Contest 2018 rules

Author: The editors

Notre Dame Magazine is sponsoring its sixth annual Young Alumni Essay Contest. The magazine’s editors, who will judge the 2018 contest, are looking for original, previously unpublished, creative nonfiction essays.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.


Email entries will be accepted through midnight Wednesday, September 12, 2018. See below for official contest rules and instructions on how and where to submit an essay.



Open to those who received a University of Notre Dame bachelor’s degree in the years 2009 through 2018.

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Entries must be written in the English language, be original and previously unpublished.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

Each submission must be the work of a sole author.

Essays must be submitted in Word format.

Entries accepted now through midnight Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.

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 appear in the Winter 2018-19 issue of Notre Dame Magazine .

Second-place winner(s) will receive $250. The winning essay(s) will appear in the Winter 2018-19 issue of Notre Dame Magazine .

Should the judges decide to award one or more honorable mentions, the winner(s) will receive $50 and online publication in in 2019.

Published essays are subject to editing.

Winners’ names will appear in the winter 2018-19 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 You can also read 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