May 29, 2012

2012 Bechtel Essay Prize (writing pedagogy) from Teachers & Writers Collaborative

Since 2004, Teachers & Writers Collaborative (T&W) has honored the author of an exemplary essay on literary arts education with the annual Bechtel Prize. Submissions for the award address important issues in creative writing education and/or the writing life.

The 2012 Bechtel Prize winner and finalists will be selected by Jo Ann Beard from a list of semi-finalists. Beard is the author of The Boys of My Youth, a collection of autobiographical essays, and the novel In Zanesville. Her work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, and magazines such as Tin House, the New Yorker, and Best American Essays. Beard is the recipient of awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation, among others. She lives in upstate New York and teaches nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College.
The essay selected to receive the Bechtel Prize appears in Teachers & Writers Magazine and on the T&W website, and the author receives a $1,000 honorarium. Honoraria totaling $500 are shared by the authors of entries selected as finalists for the prize, which may also be published in Teachers & Writers Magazine.
Possible topics for Bechtel Prize submissions include contemporary issues in creative writing education, innovative approaches to teaching literary forms and genres, and the intersection between literature and imaginative writing. Previous winners of the Bechtel Prize can be found here.

Selection criteria for the Bechtel Prize include the essay's relevance and appropriateness for readers of Teachers & Writers Magazine, most of whom teach at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary level. Teachers & Writers Magazine publishes work that is concise, lively, and geared to a general audience. Prospective entrants for the Bechtel Prize are encouraged to review a sample issue of Teachers & Writers Magazine to familiarize themselves with the publication's style. Go to to order a sample issue of the magazine for $5.00.

The submission deadline for the 2011 Bechtel Prize is 5:00 PM (Eastern), Monday, July 2, 2012. Please refer to the submission guidelines below for additional information.
  • Entry fee: $20 for each entry (make checks payable to Teachers & Writers Collaborative). Each fee entitles the entrant to a new one-year subscription to Teachers & Writers Magazine or a one-year extension of a current subscription. Please indicate your choice and include a complete address for subscriptions.
  • Submissions should relate to creative writing education and/or the writing life.
  • Submissions must be previously unpublished and under 3,500 words in length.
  • Submissions must be typed, paginated, and double-spaced.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously. The author's name and address must not appear anywhere on the essay/article.
  • Two copies of the entry must be submitted. One copy should include a cover page with the following information: the author's name, mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, the title of the submission, and where the author learned about the Bechtel Prize. The other copy should include a cover page with only the title.
  • Authors of the Bechtel Prize winner and finalists must permit T&W to publish their submissions in Teachers & Writers Magazine. The winner must permit T&W to publish the essay on the T&W website. T&W reserves the right to edit the submissions for publication.
  • Please mail entries to The Bechtel Prize, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2020, New York, NY 10018. Entries may be delivered to T&W between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Submissions will not be accepted via e-mail or fax.
  • Submissions must be received by 5:00 PM (Eastern), Monday, July 2, 2012.
  • Submissions that do not conform to the above guidelines will not be reviewed for the Bechtel Prize. Submissions will not be returned to the authors.
Questions regarding the Bechtel Prize should be directed to <bechtel(at)> (replace (at) with @).

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