Deadline: April 14, 2023
Entry fee: $20
About the competition
We’ve all met or heard of someone who is truly exceptional. There’s something about their personality, backstory, profession or passion that tugs at us, as if daring us to learn more. If you know of a fascinating person or community whose story you’ve always wanted to tell, or even if you want to challenge yourself to go out and find that amazing story from scratch, you’ve come to the right place. From February 14, 2023 through April 14, 2023, Narratively is accepting entries for our 2023 Profile Prize. We’re seeking surprising and awe-inspiring stories about one-of-a-kind people or groups. The winning stories will receive cash prizes, prominent publication on Narratively and a lot more — including the chance to connect with our incredible lineup of enormously accomplished guest judges (who also happen to be among the Narratively team’s storytelling heroes! More on them below!).
Who is Narratively? We’re a storytelling platform and production company that supports indie journalists and storytellers and celebrates humanity through true, authentic and diverse character-driven content. We publish our original stories on Narratively.com and often with top publishing partners across the globe, and we adapt our favorites into TV, film and podcasts with leading partners from Amazon Studios to Peacock to Warner Bros. Television. We’re immensely proud and excited to do the same with our Profile Prize winners! (You can learn more about Narratively’s mission and business model here.)
Who’s judging my story? Entries will be judged on a rolling basis in four rounds: the first three by experienced Narratively readers and staff, and the final by our very generous guest judges. We are beyond excited to have three absolute rock stars of the literary world judging this year’s Prize:
Gay Talese: A legendary profile writer for The New York Times, Esquire and many other top outlets, Gay Talese is a pioneer of the New Journalism literary movement and bestselling author of 14 books across his remarkable writing career.
Lisa Lucas: A groundbreaking book publisher who is currently senior vice president and publisher at Pantheon and Schocken Books at Penguin Random House, Lisa Lucas formerly served as executive director of the National Book Foundation, publisher at Guernica and director of education at the Tribeca Film Institute.
Rebecca Traister: The New York Times-bestselling author of All the Single Ladies and Good and Mad, Rebecca Traister is a National Magazine Award-winning profile writer and journalist who has contributed to The New Republic, Salon, The Nation, The New York Observer, The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is currently a writer-at-large for New York magazine and its website The Cut.
Your piece should be:
- Ready to publish — no pitches accepted
- In the 1,500-7,000-word range
- Original and previously unpublished as a written work
- Written in English, although translations are acceptable
You should be:
- Eighteen years of age or older on or before 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 14, 2023
- Not employed by, related to or sharing living quarters with Narratively staff or our guest judges
- Read the whole guideline and submit your entry here.