Ends on July 1, 2019

$20.00 USD

The BLR Prizes award outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. 

Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction ~ Judged by Sheri Fink

Sheri Fink is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013) about choices made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She is a correspondent at the New York Times, where her and her colleagues' stories on the West Africa Ebola crisis were recognized with the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for health reporting, and the Overseas Press Club Hal Boyle Award. Her story "The Deadly Choices at Memorial," co-published by ProPublica and the New York Times Magazine, received a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and a National Magazine Award for reporting. A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, Fink received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.


  • Deadline: July 1, 2019

  • First prize is $1,000 (in each genre) and publication in the Spring 2020 issue of BLR.  
    Honorable mention winners will receive $250 and publication in the Spring 2020 issue of BLR.

  •  Creative Nonfiction: We are looking for essays  that reach beyond the standard ‘illness narrative’ to develop a topic  in an engaging and original manner. Incorporate anecdotes that feel  alive, and dazzle us with thoughtful and creative analysis that allows  these anecdotes to serve a larger purpose. Please, no academic discourses or works with footnotes. Maximum 5,000 words. 

  • Do not put your name on the manuscript document (or in the filename). Manuscripts are read blindly by reviewers, editors, and judges. 

  • Work previously published in print or electronically will not be considered. For the BLR,  “published work” means published in print in North America, or  published on the Internet in electronic journals, e-zines, academic  websites, and other “public” or “official” websites. Works posted on  personal blogs or websites will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  We ask that authors be honest about web postings. (If a work is  discovered to have been posted or published elsewhere—and not openly  acknowledged by the author in advance—we will remove it from  consideration.)

  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but we ask that you notify  us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.  We regret that there  can be no refunds or substitutions for withdrawn work.

  • All contest entries will also be considered for regular publication.

  • Students/friends/colleagues/relations of a judge are not permitted to enter submissions to that judge's genre.

  • BLR acquires first-time North American rights, and the right  to reprint in anthologies.  After publication, all other rights revert  to the author and the work may be reprinted as long as appropriate  acknowledgement to BLR is made.

We encourage you to read BLR before you submit.  Samples from each issue are available in our online archive.