FROM the first the Atlantic has earned the reputation of being hospitable to new writers. Acting on the principle that anyone of intelligence has a good story to tell, the Atlantic editors have brought into print a succession of autobiographical narratives, true stories of men and women who have shared with their generation the truth, the humor, and the beauty of a remarkable experience.
There was Mary Antin, the impassioned immigrant who spoke for millions in her touching account of “The Promised Land”; there was Hans Coudenhove, a Viennese nobleman who, after the First World War, renounced his title to live as a hermit in deepest Africa. There was that remarkable quartet of valiant “primitives”: Lucy Furman and Olive Tilford Dargan, who wrote so tellingly of the Southern mountaineers; Eleanor Risley, operating — on a shoestring — her apple orchard in the Ozarks; and far north, Hilda Rose on her Stump Farm. Bill Adams and Hugo Johanson sent us their salty stories of the sea. There was Nora Waln in the House of Exile, Agnes Newton Keith in North Borneo, and Betty MacDonald on her incomparable Egg Farm. Every one of them broke into print in the Atlantic.
The Atlantic would like to encourage more of such stories — stories which are drawn from experience and veritable in detail. For the three best autobiographical narratives submitted between now and June 1, 1948, we shall pay $1000 each. These awards are not intended for war material, and fiction will be disqualified. The narratives may be as short as 2000 words or as long as 7000; they may be written by an amateur or by a professional writer. On page 1 the contestant should write, “For the I Personally Award.” — THE EDITORS