OVER the years the Atlantic has established the claim of publishing the work of more new writers than any other national magazine in the country. This is particularly true in the field of nonfiction: here, the Atlantic has brought into print a succession of autobiographical narratives, the true stories of men and women who have shared with the reader the truth, the humor — and the difficulties — of a singular experience.
Remember Mary Antin, the impassioned immigrant, who spoke for millions in her touching account of “The Promised Land”; Lucy Furman, who wrote so tellingly of the Kentucky 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 were 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.
To encourage more of such stories we have set up three awards of $1000 for the three best autobiographical narratives submitted before December 1, 1948. The stories must be drawn from experience and be veritable in detail. The awards are not intended for war material, and fiction will be disqualified. The length is for each writer to determine, but we suggest manuscripts of not less than 2500 words or more than 25,000 words. The narratives may be written by an amateur or by a professional writer. On page 1 the contestant should write “For the I Personally Award”; and postage, we hope, will be enclosed. — THE EDITORS