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Final Judge to Award $5,000 to Winning Essay

All Essays Submitted Eligible for $300 Honorarium if Published in Eligible Journals

Owl Canyon to Publish Finalists in Anthology



Owl Canyon Press, Boulder, Colorado, announces an open competition for the best essay of at least 2,000 words about some aspect of Marc Jampole’s experimental literary masterpiece, The Brothers Silver.  The winner, to be selected by the final judge, David Finkle, novelist and literary critic, will be awarded an honorarium of $5,000. An additional honorarium of $1,000 will be awarded the winner if their essay is published in an eligible publication (see rules for list); authors of any other entry published in an eligible publication will receive $300. Owl Canyon will publish the best 10-15 essays as selected by the final judge in an anthology in 2023. No-cost entries must be emailed to before the deadline of May 31, 2022. For more information and complete rules, see .


  1. All essays must be at least 2,000 words in length (no maximum), and concern some aspect of The Brothers Silver, with potential topics to include but not be limited to point of view issues, use of language, relationship to Jampole’s poetry, comparison to other novelists or literary trends, textual readings, social criticism in the novel, images of Judaism and other religions, significance to contemporary literature, and symbolism in the novel. Papers in foreign languages must be submitted with an English translation.

  2. The honorarium for the best paper, to be determined by the final judge, David Finkle, is $5,000.

  3. If the winner’s paper is published in any of the following publications, Owl Canyon will award the winner an additional $1,000. Eligible publications include any literary journal directly affiliated with a university or college, plus American Quarterly, Atlantic, Contemporary Literature, Economist, Granta, Harpers, Journal of Modern Literature, London Review of Books, Modern Fiction Studies, Narrative, Nation, NY Review of Books, NY Times Book Review, New Yorker, Paris Review, PMLA or any other MLA publication, Prairie Schooner, and Wall Street Journal.

  4. Any entry whose paper is published in an eligible publication will receive an honorarium of $300.

  5. Although articles submitted to the competition must be at least 2,000 words in length, published versions may be as short as 900 words to qualify for an honorarium.

  6. Authors are responsible for negotiating placement of their articles in journals.

  7. Owl Canyon Press will publish the top 10-15 essays selected by the final judge in an anthology to be released sometime in 2023. Each author in the anthology will receive two free copies of it.

  8. There is no entry fee to enter the competition.

  9. Essays must be submitted via email as a Word or PDF attachment to between October 15, 2021 and May 31, 2022. All manuscripts must be double-spaced. No postal submissions will be considered, unless prior arrangement has been made with the project manager.

  10. The document that contains the article must be named as follows: as separate words. Authors should place their names in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of the essay.

  11. In a cover email, please include the title of the article, a short biography and complete contact information, including address, phone, and email.

  12. should read: No article, essay, or paper about The Brothers Silver that has been accepted for publication before October 15, 2021 is eligible for any prize.

  13. There may be more than one author to any submission.

  14. Students and former students of the final judge are not eligible for any prize.



David Finkle is a well-known New York-based fiction writer and journalist.  His fiction includes the just-released Keys to an Empty House, plus The Constant Lover, All These Boys, How I Confronted My Abandonment Issues and the collection of short stories, People Tell Me Things. Based in New York, Finkle has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, and other publications, often as a theatre or literary critic. 

David Finkle, Judge

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