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The 2013 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest is accepting entries. The deadline is May 1.

The contest, co-sponsored by the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference and The Dallas Morning News, honors exemplary narrative writing and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States.

All entries must have been published in daily newspapers or on the newspapers’ websites between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013 and may include narratives that are part of a series. The top three winners receive cash awards totaling $8000, and the first-place winner receives free registration to this year’s conference.

For information or to register for the contest, go here.

Last year’s contest was a smashing success. Nearly every major daily in America participated. First-place winner was Eli Saslow, a national enterprise writer for the Washington Post for “Life of a Salesman.” Saslow received $5,000 and free registration to attend last year’s conference. “It’s an honor to be recognized along with some of the writers I admire,” Saslow said. “It’s also heartening to see evidence of so many newspapers supporting narrative journalism.” Saslow also was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing in 2012.

Second place and $2,000 went to Kelley Benham of the Tampa Bay Times for “Never Let Go,” an emotionally-wrought narrative about the birth of her daughter, Juniper, born more than 12 weeks premature. Benham was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing in 2012.

Third place and $1,000 went to the Post’s Anne Hull for “Breaking Free,” about a teenage girl’s climb out of poverty. “These awards reflect not only the extraordinary gifts of Eli Saslow and Anne Hull but also the Washington Post’s unwavering commitment to ambitious narrative journalism,” said Kevin Merida, the managing editor of the Washington Post.

Best American Newspaper Narrative judges selected three runners up and four notable narratives for publication in this anthology, The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012. The runners-up were John Branch of The New York Times for “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek;” Dan Barry of The New York Times for “Donna’s Diner;” and Rosalind Bentley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for “The Nation’s Poet.”

Four “notable narratives” were also selected by our judges: Mark Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, for “I Boy;” Monica Rhor of the Houston Chronicle for “Young Houstonians go from Homeless to College;” Louis Hansen of The Virginian-Pilot for “Girl Who Took Down a Gang;” and Martin Kuz, formerly of Stars and Stripes, for “Soldiers Recount Attack.”

“With the focus on narrative journalism that these awards represent,” said Moroney, the Dallas Morning News publisher, “we hope they will encourage more compelling, important and interesting narrative stories that attract and retain subscribers.”

The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012 will be released by the Mayborn Conference/UNT Press May 2014. The anthology will go on sale at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference July 18-20. For information or to register for the Mayborn Conference, go to:

To pre-order the anthology, go here.

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