The Kay Nelson Memorial Essay Prize  

Established in 2013 by Prof. Alison Sainsbury to honor her aunt, Kay Nelson, a prolific writer of short and often humorous essays whose work is a testament to the personal essay’s most essential truth: individual voice and idiosyncratic vision enliven even the most quotidian of experiences.  

To enter the Kay Nelson Memorial Essay Prize, students should submit one essay, double-spaced, of no more than 5,000 words (shorter essays are more than acceptable!). Traditional as well as more experimental forms of the essay are welcomed. 

The 2015 final judge for the Kay Nelson Prize is Diane McPherson. McPherson received an MFA (Fiction) and a Ph.D.(Women's Literature) from Cornell University.  Her publications include fiction in *The Greensboro Review*, and creative nonfiction in MotherJourneys (Spinsters Ink) and in a collection of essays about "alternative motherhood" (forthcoming Spring 2013 from Demeter Press). McPherson has previously served as a juror (creative nonfiction) for the Saltonstall Foundation.

 

Recipients

2015 Winner: Olivia Anderson, for her essay, “Blood Tide.”
         Honorable Mentions: Olivian Heffernan, for “In the Same Bed,” and Jasmine Wright, for “As Best He Could.”

2014 Winner: Colleen O’Connor, for her essay, “Darling, It’s Better”
         Honorable Mentions: Olivia Anderson and Mack Rivkin

2013 Winner: Sydney White, for her essay, “Hallways and Home”
          Honorable Mentions: Savannah Davis and Shane McGowan