Throughout human history, different periods have been captured by a defining theme: the Dark Ages… the Industrial Age… the Nuclear Age… the Information Age… the Space Age, etc.
What do you think the theme of the 21st century will be?
The age of connections? Rebirth of faith? Clash of civilizations? Age of the internet? Rise of fundamentalism? Interstellar travel? Gender equality? Human trafficking? WW III? Artificial intelligence? Genetics? Cooperation? Competition? Spiritual revolution? Secularism? Values? Ethics? …
You may include as many topics as you think are relevant; the possibilities seem endless.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifies a good essay?
An essay that you feel your heart rests more comfortably on. The more concise an essay, the more acceptable it is. Its authenticity and uniqueness, and how elaborately you put your theme into words so that others are inspired from it.
Do we have to include references, bibliography, notes, etc. as in an academic journal?
The Fountain is not a journal. Thus, we do not expect a full scale reference list for all the information you provide. But, we encourage contributors to provide at least a reasonable number of references (not more than four or five) especially for the arguments borrowed from other sources, as it would make your work more reliable. If the kind of information you provide needs citation, please provide it; but essays with lengthy references are not preferred. Some reference and recommendations for further reading may help readers who are interested in the essay. "Accuracy of data" is expected in essays in which information provided needs sourcing. An essay based on personal experience does not require citation, and it is equally acceptable.
Does the word count limit include the bibliography or just the essay itself?
The Fountain is not a full-scale academic journal, so we expect authors to keep references to a maximum of four or five. Notes can be more. References and notes do not make a big change in word count which is advised to be between 1,500 and 2,500. A range is always necessary to be able to have an objective measure in terms of size.
What kind of writing style do you expect? Can we use informal phrases? Is this essay supposed to be a personal opinion piece, or more of a scholarly supported article?
In writing style, we mainly seek consistency. We prefer the Chicago Manual of Style, but if you are more familiar with another style, that is also acceptable. Some informal usage can be OK in a certain essay, but not in another. It is basically the author’s call.
Would an essay in the short story genre qualify for the contest?
As long as your theme is skillfully woven through its structure, and if it upholds The Fountain’s values and principles, yes.
Are you going to publish submitted essays anywhere?
We might publish submissions in The Fountain, both the print and web editions, even if the essays did not win any prize. By submitting your essay to this contest, you agree that you give permission to The Fountain to publish it in any medium.
NUMBER OF ENTRY
Can I submit more than one essay?
No. One entry per person.
What makes an essay disqualified?
Offensive and devotional essays—particularly essays that emphasize superiority of a specific worldview or derogating a specific worldview—will not be considered for the Grand Prize. We define as "devotional" those essays that "propagate" a certain spiritual order, a religious denomination, a spiritual leader, or a political activist, etc. in a way that subordinates all other faiths and traditions. Such submissions will be disqualified.
Who will determine the winners? Can you explain more specifically what you are looking for in a winner?
The winners will be determined by our board who will decide according to the literary effectiveness of the essay in reflecting the philosophy behind the motto, richness in content, and authenticity.
All submitted essays will be evaluated using the following criteria.
- Relevance to the contest theme (40 points)
- Innovation & creativity (30 points)
- Writing style and structure (30 points)
How am I going to submit my essay?
Go to the “submit your entry” link on the right. After filling out the form, attach your document and send it.
When is the last day for submissions?
When will the winners be announced?
Who is eligible to participate in this contest?
There is no age limit or a condition to fulfill for entry. The contest is open to all who want to share his or her ideas with us.
I was wondering if you had run this contest before and had examples of previous works that had been selected as a winner.
We have run a few essay contests before. You may check out www.last72.com for the theme and winners of one of such contests.