The Megaphone Prize

The Megaphone Prize

The Megaphone Prize is an annual contest from Radix Media dedicated to the discovery of timely, urgent, and interrogative collections from debut writers of color.

This year, the prize is open to personal essay collections by debut writers of color. Submissions are open September 15 to November 15.

The Guest Judge for this year’s prize is author Hanif Abdurraqib.

One winner will receive $1,000 and 20 author copies. At Radix Media, we pride ourselves on the production of superior quality, purposefully designed books.

ABOUT THE GUEST JUDGE

Hanif Abdurraqib - Guest Judge for The Megaphone Prize

Hanif Abdurraqib is a writer from the east side of Columbus, Ohio.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

The Megaphone Prize is open to writers of color writing in the English language who have not published a full-length book in the genre they’re submitting in. We are looking for work that believes the personal is political, that comes from a place of deep interrogation and critique of one’s self and society at large, that is rebellious at heart, and that seeks to question the status quo. At a time when there is a deep reckoning with political thought in the literary community, we want to identify and highlight emerging writers who are at work on collections they deem urgent and essential.

For the debut iteration of the prize in 2020, we opened submissions to chapbook-length poetry collections from poets of color—and published There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife by JinJin Xu and BINT by Ghinwa Jawhari, which were chosen by guest judge poet Aria Aber. Last year, we opened submissions to short story collections. Guest Judge Deesha Philyaw picked Is This How You Eat a Watermelon? by Zein El-Amine, which is due to arrive November 08, 2022.

This year, we are inviting writers to submit book-length personal essay collections. We are looking for creative essays and not polemic or academic manuscripts. However, the personal essay can certainly incorporate criticism or study so long as it’s imperative to the narrative.

We like collections where the essays are bound thematically, where there is a strong intention in their curation—where a single pulsating heart beats through the entire manuscript. Here are some exceptional recent collections that we’ve enjoyed immensely:

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon

In Sensorium: Notes for my People by Tanaïs

This is One Way to Dance by Sejal Shah

Girlhood by Melissa Febos

And of course, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib

Given the nature of revelation that is tied to the personal essay, we accept and in fact encourage name changes when necessary, especially in sensitive texts.

All entries will be considered for publication. Finalists may be offered publication with Radix Media.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Open to debut writers of color writing in the English language (not exclusively). Should not have published a full-length collection in the genre of submission. Chapbook publications are okay.
  • There is an entry fee of $20. As a small press, charging an entry fee allows us to offset the printing costs of the project. If you are unable to pay the fee at this time, please email meher@radixmedia.org, and your submission fee will be waived. 25 fee waivers are available.
  • Please submit a manuscript of roughly 30,000-80,000 words. Your manuscript must be a single Word or PDF document. Please include a title page and table of contents page. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, OR ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IN THE MANUSCRIPT. Please do not include a dedication page or publishing acknowledgements at this stage. Manuscripts that do not adhere to these guidelines will be immediately disqualified. Please double-space your manuscripts. The readers and editors make a complete effort to read manuscripts without bias. As the contest genre is nonfiction, we understand that it is impossible to remove all identifying information from the manuscript. And that’s okay! So long as your name doesn’t appear on the title page nor in the header or footer, it’s alright.
  • You can include illustrations or photographs only if they are integral to the narrative. If not, please do not include them at this stage.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us ASAP if your collection is accepted elsewhere.
  • Please direct all questions to meher@radixmedia.org

ABOUT RADIX MEDIA

Radix Media is a worker-owned independent press and print shop based in Brooklyn, New York. We publish new ideas and fresh perspectives, prioritizing the voices of typically marginalized communities to get to the root of the human experience.

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