Illustration by Johanna Lindsholm

Essay Awards

Literal Latté
Essay Awards

  • First Prize
    $1000
  • Second Prize
    $300
  • Third Prize
    $200

Contest Guidelines

  1. Send unpublished Essays, 10,000 words max. All topics.
  2. Postmark by September 30th.
  3. Name, Address, Telephone Number, Email Address (optional) — on Cover Page only.
  4. If by regular “snail mail” post: include Self Addressed Stamped Envelope or email address for reply.
  5. Include $10 Reading Fee per essay — OR —
    $15 Reading Fee for two essays.
  6. All entries considered for publication

All currency above given in US dollars.

We are now accepting online submissions via Submittable! Click the button below to visit our Submittable page.

Online Submissions – Click Below

Snail-Mail Submissions:  Reading fees — by check or money order — should be made out to Literal Latté and included with your entry manuscript.) Mail to:

Literal Latté Awards

200 East 10th Street, Suite 240
New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-5532

Contact Us

Literal Latte Essay Award Winners

Please note that this listing may be incomplete.

Winter 2013 Issue

Kritios Boy By Nancy Ludmerer

Third Prize, 2012 Literal Latte Essay Award.
I’d always remembered Michael’s birthday, even when years and miles separated us, and when there it was in The New York Times death notices after his name, I knew it was him, my first love, beginning when I was fifteen….

Posted in Essays | Tagged , | 9 Responses
Fall 2012 Issue

Amanda’s Violin By Judy Fort Brenneman

Third Prize, 2011 Literal Latte Essay Award.
The round table at the coffee shop is covered with a dark green and tan cloth. The four chairs fill its arc on the side away from the wall. I’m on one end of the arc; my backpack and a white teddy bear named Snowball fill the next two chairs; and Amanda, a slight, elven-faced girl-child of ten, sits in the fourth chair….

Posted in Essays | Tagged , | 4 Responses
Fall 2012 Issue

I’m Not Writing About Robin By Wendy Thornton

Second Prize, 2011 Literal Latte Essay Award.
My friend, Robin, died recently. I drove across the country to visit her before she died, to remind her that her bravery made me brave. She seemed comforted by this thought, as much as you can be comforted when you know you’re going to die within a specific timeframe….

Posted in Essays | Tagged , | 8 Responses
Fall 2012 Issue

Tinkering with Grief in the Woods By Mark Liebenow

First Prize, 2011 Literal Latte Essay Award.
I sit in my shorts by an open window in Kentucky surrounded by a hundred sleeping monks. Beyond the monastery’s stone walls, beyond the dark scrabbled woods of hickory and oak, a dog barks at raccoons moving through the night, or at nothing at all, and the world settles back down into quiet….

Posted in Essays | Tagged , | 12 Responses
Spring 2011 Issue

Addicted to Chad By Michael Varga

Second Prize, 2010 Literal Latte Essay Award.
When I was a child and my parents argued, my father used to escape to the basement and listen to his short-wave radio. Growing up in Philadelphia, I knew nothing of a wider world until I snuck down to the cluttered, messy cellar and eavesdropped behind the stacks of magic-markered wooden storage boxes and shelves of re-labeled peanut butter jars of nails and screws.

Posted in Essays | 14 Responses
Spring 2011 Issue

With These Shackles I Thee Wed By Cullen McVoy

First Prize, 2010 Literal Latte Essay Award.
It was a time when guys were cats, gals were chicks, the police were pigs, and spray-can graffiti said things like, “Up against the wall, Motherfucker!” [….]

Posted in Essays | 4 Responses
Spring 2010 Issue

Book of Hours By Gina P. Vozenilek

Second Prize, 2009 Literal Latte Essay Award.
The ground comfortable as any bed. A whistle of grass between your teeth. The green blanket tickling and sticking to your sunburned arms, your thighs, the fleshy backs of your hands where they cross beneath your head. A rabbit! An elephant . . . now a truck. There: a whale! The wind swells high overhead in the trees. You recline with all the world above you, all before you, fluid and beautiful and endless. You are six[…]

Posted in Essays | 5 Responses
Summer 2009 Issue

God of Books By Margi Fox

First Prize, 2009 Literal Latte Essay Award.
My uncle Henry Robbins was the God of Books. When a massive heart attack felled him at New York’s 14th Street subway station nearly three decades ago, he was also Dutton’s Editor-in-Chief. Others may have written the books, but he brought them full blown to life[…]

Posted in Essays | 9 Responses
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