The William Bradley Prize for the Essay



The William Bradley Prize for the Essay is dedicated to the memory of essayist and scholar, William Bradley and intended to honor his legacy and his commitment to the essay form--its literary history, dynamic present, and promising future. In addition to being a nonfiction scholar, William wrote essays about academic life, pop culture, family, and illness; and with particular heart and grace about his own long-term battles with cancer. He was a passionate advocate for social justice, a caring friend to many writers, and supporter of disenfranchised populations. 

The Normal School for which William was a regular contributor over the years, is proud to publish the winning essay each year in their fall issue. 

Please limit your submission to 6,000 words or less. Double space your essay and use a 12 pt. text font and 1-1.25 inch margins.

The William Bradley Prize is generously supported financially by an anonymous group of writers known as The Maiden Aunts of Literature. 

The entry fee is $5 and the Winning Essay will also receive a $250 honorarium. All proceeds from the contest will go to support the William Bradley Reading Series at Heidelberg University, founded by William's wife and collaborator, Emily Isaacson. Emily has graciously agreed to serve as the Inaugural Judge of the 2018 Prize. 

Advisory Board: Steven Church, Christian Exoo, Dave Griffith, Ned Stuckey-French, Emily Isaacson, Michael Kardos, Sandra Lambert, Dinty W. Moore, Michael Piafsky, Natalia Rachel Singer, Maureen Stanton, and Jill Talbot.