From Our Staff | September 25, 2013

Today’s Post comes from Nick Francis Potter. 

Let me talk to you about money, and possibly fame. But first money—

If you are anything like me, you are a writer—or something similar to a writer—and are therefore in want of money. If a writer, aspiring or otherwise, you’ll understand that money is something hidden in a shoebox on top of the refrigerator (and the refrigerator, more often than not, is a mini-refrigerator). This, I’ve found, is the essence of writing: being poor (write ‘student loans’ on the shoebox).

And so, yes—money. It’s a beautiful word, isn’t it? Pricks the ears with its two perfect syllables. Which brings me to TMR’s 23rd Annual Editors’ Prize, naturally.

Of course, you’re familiar with the prize. Our ad, which sits parallel to this article, is goading you now as you read. And while it’s true, the vibrantly colored background and authoritative font choice dominate the eye, the most attractive feature of the ad is this: “$5,000 awarded in each category.”

This should be repeated: $5,000!

I don’t know if you spend as much time trolling writing contests as I do, but $5,000 is more money than most writing contests award for a book length manuscript, let alone a single story, essay, or poetry. And if I’m assuming, again, you’re like me, that you occasionally whisper to yourself, “I’m a writer,” just for some kind of comfort, confirmation, or solidarity, then you already know that $5,000 is pretty much a half-year’s pay.

Now, here’s where I come clean: I’ve recently been familiar with as much as $5,000. That’s right, within the past month I have handled, in paper form, $5,000 (a check). No joke. And here’s what I did with it: I bought a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan pushing 106,000 miles. The van was actually advertised for $5,700, but I think the seller realized this was an unrealistic price when she found out I was in studying to be “a creative writing doctor,” which is what I told her.

So that monetizes it for you—winning TMR’s 23rd Annual Editors’ Prize is as good as winning a sweet, used mini-van (your eyes should be sparkling with wonder at this part).

Real talk, though: $5,000 is a lot of money.

And perhaps realer talk: if you are a writer, or an aspiring writer, or something else altogether (for those who handle the term as an epithet), reading is essential. And if you expect to get better, you need to read the best. What better way to subscribe to the best than to enter TMR’s 23rd Annual Editors’ Prize, wherein all submitters get an annual subscription to the finest literary publication in the nation (we’re allowed our bias)? It’s a win-win: a yearlong subscription to The Missouri Review, and potentially a mini-van (or $5,000 or whatever).

And, as I mentioned before, fame.*

*(Winners of TMR’s Annual Editors’ Prize are flown into TMR headquarters and paraded about like royalty. Trust me, it’s even better than the money.)

You can enter our Editor’s Prize here. 

Nick's FaceNick Francis Potter is a multimedia artist, writer, and alpaca enthusiast from Salt Lake City, Utah. His writing has been featured (or will be) in Black Warrior Review, Sleepingfish, The Chattahoochee Review, Caketrain, Fairy Tale Review, and The Collagist, among others. He currently lives in Columbia, MO with his wife and two boys. They really do have a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan.