From Philip Graham, our Nonfiction Editor:
Ninth Letter is proud to sponsor our first online essay contest with the publication of Robin Hemley’s essay, “Study Questions for the Essay at Hand: A Speculative Essay.”
Hemley’s essay seems to be going through an identity crisis, asserting and contradicting itself in an attempt to understand its own existence, as it throws eighteen questions out to a silent world. Plaintive, aggressive, wistful, quizzical and coy, this essay needs your help, needs its questions answered.
So, here’s Ninth Letter’s proposal, gentle reader. Respond to the eighteen questions of Hemley’s essay--interrogate it, argue with it, hold its hand, whisper to it, whatever you wish.
Patrick Madden, the sterling author of the essay collection Quotidiana (and founder of a website of the same name, which serves as an indispensible compendium of 383 public-domain essays: essays.quotidiana.org), will serve as our discerning judge. The deadline for all entries is October 15, 2012. We’ll republish Robin Hemley’s essay with the winner’s responses on the Ninth Letter website, and throw in a year’s subscription to our magazine to boot. And who knows, maybe we’ll have more than one winner. Hemley’s essay seems to need a lot of advice and council . . .
Email your entries (up to 2000 words) to us at email@example.com with subject line "Study Questions" by October 15!