1. Specify whether your essay on failure is of a personal or a professional nature. Personal means family, friendship, romance, or anything else you can think of in your personal life. I personally can’t (ha HA). Religion, I guess? Anyway. Professional refers to your job/career, your time in school, or losing in a competition/contest/award/something like that.
  2. This is meant to be kinda funny, okay? While I deeply empathize with tragedies on a deep and meaningful scale, these essays should be penned with a casual, lighthearted audience in mind. If you’re such a literary daredevil that you can manage to turn the tragically heavy into the sublimely funny sheerly through the strokes of your keyboard, then by all means. But preference will be given to stories that make us laugh and think without getting too dark.
  3. No word limit! But follow your gut. If you need to tell a long story, tell a long story, but remember that we don’t need pages on pages of exposition. Tell us what we need to know, get to the punchline, and if you want, tell us what you learned from it (but don’t get sappy on me).
  4. Let’s keep the language PG-13. I’m an adult. We’re all adults here. I’ve been known to partake in some of the saltier turns of phrase that the sweet, sweet English language has to offer. But I feel these essays will pack more of a punch if we stray away from too much profanity. Of course, if you want to quote someone, and/or cursing is vital to the story, then by all means! But where possible, censor yourself with some well-placed asterisks, some implied swears, or linguistic omissions.
  5. If your essay doesn’t get picked, don’t get discouraged–and please submit again! Hell, if you want to write something that riffs on getting rejected from THIS SITE, of all places, I will be thoroughly tickled. If your essay is not selected, feel free to contact me and ask for feedback–I can’t guarantee I’ll give it, but I’ll try! And definitely submit again once you have something new.

If you have any other questions, go to the contact page and drop me a line.