$2,500 Conger Beasley Award for Nonfiction

Deadline: May 20, 2024

We will begin accepting entries for this award on November 1, 2023.


Upload your writing online by midnight (CST) Monday, May 20th. Entries sent after midnight (CST) May 20th cannot be considered or refunded. Please read guidelines carefully to ensure best service.  

Submit with each entry:

$24 entry fee for each manuscript submitted. A one-year subscription or subscription renewal to New Letters, shipped to any address within the United States, is included in the price of the first entry.  (Subscriptions mailed outside the U.S. require a $22 postal surcharge.)  

Please include one cover sheet stating the genre (nonfiction) and the tile of the essay. Your personal information should not appear anywhere on the entry.  

The name of the file you upload should be the title of the essay you are entering into the contest.

Rules & Notes

  • Simultaneous submissions of unpublished entries are accepted with proper notification upon acceptance elsewhere.
  • Essay entries may not exceed 8,000 words.
  • Multiple entries are accepted with appropriate fees.  
  • No substitutions after submissions.  No refunds will be offered for withdrawn material.
  • No postal entries will be accepted. All entries must be submitted online through our submission manager, Submittable.
  • Current students and employees of the University of Missouri-Kansas City and current volunteer members of the New Letters’ staff are not eligible.


  • Finalists are notified in mid-August, after preliminary judging.
  • Final judging selects one winner and one runner-up in each category, announced in October.
  • Judges have the option to select work for second runner-up and honorable mentions.
Enter your work by clicking "Submittable" above.