Lo.Re.Li hosts an annual contest in each of its three categories of Look (visual arts), Read (written pieces), and Listen (audibles).
Autumn - Writing Contest
Winter - Visual Arts Contest
Spring - Audibles Contest
Submission period: Sept 1 - Nov 20
Reading period: Nov 20 - Dec 4
Announcement of winners: December 4
Party: Dec 4 @ Beijing's 4corners. Cash prizes will be distributed to winners, and various additional prizes to contest participants from sponsors.
1. Content. Theme is Indulgence. Write about indulgence in a Chinese context.
Examples: Chinese banquets. China's modern playboys and traditional mistresses. Post-90s consumption habits. Your own gluttonous consumption of gutter oil. Sanlitun living. That month your Chinese girlfriend agreed to be in an open relationship. Emotionally indulgent exes. Austerity with Chinese Characteristics. Jobs with incredible perks but no foreseeable future outside of China. ABCs who cash in on their heritage [in China]. White people who cash in on being foreign [in China]. Chinese fu'er'dai who cash in on their parents' credit cards while studying abroad [in the West]. Your semester abroad that you cashed in on at Propaganda.
2. Form: Essay (Creative Nonfiction). Essays are not short stories, though you are encouraged to incorporate stories for richer expression. They are also not arguments. They are a paced unveiling of new meaning.
Some essays are more like articles, such as The Ugly Tourist by Jamaica Kincaid, Roger Federer as a Religious Experience by David Foster Wallace, Stranger in the Village by James Baldwin, and The Problem of Hard-to-Read Books by Jonathan Franzen.
Some essays are more like autobiographies, such as The Fourth State of Matter by Jo Ann Beard, No-Name Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon, and Shunned by Meredith Hall.
For this contest, both forms are acceptable. The main criteria here is that your essay unveils new meaning or inspires reflection, without being didactic or fictional.
3. Length. In English, 852-2128 words. Title not included. (Adjusted on Oct 8)
4. Originality. Piece must be original; cannot have been printed elsewhere.
5. One writer, one piece. Writers can only submit one piece each.
6. FYI - You do not need to live in China to participate in this contest.
Uniqueness of Piece - Does this bring a new angle to or spark a new conversation in China-related literature?
Strength of Voice - Is the voice certain of itself?
Pleasurable to Read - Is it enjoyable for the audience?
Illicit Reflection - Does it make the reader think?
Fairness - Does it follow the guidelines (above)?
There will be 8-10 judges of diverse personalities and backgrounds, but with a shared love of literature. They will be kept private until after the readings are complete, and announced along with the finalists in December. All submissions will be anonymized before being passed along to the judges.
In addition, a People's Choice Award will be given to the essay that receives the most votes from readers. All submissions will be anonymized and put on the site for public viewing and selection.
Two winners will be selected by the judges. Each will receive 500 RMB cash prize.
Additionally, all essays will be put online (without authors' names) and one will be voted on by site readers as People's Choice Award, also for a cash prize of 500 RMB. *It is possible that a finalist is also selected as People's Choice, in which case she or he would receive 1000 RMB.
Various other prizes donated by sponsors will be given out to other participants at the contest party in December.
Submit your piece to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title "Writing Contest Submission." In the email, please include a brief (2-3 sentence) introduction of yourself, where you live, and your general China story. Send the essay as a Word attachment.