Stanford/Ms. Magazine Essay Contest on Iconic Covers

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From the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University:

Over the past forty years, Ms. Magazine has offered feminist reporting and perspectives on topics ranging from Marilyn Monroe to childbirth, from breast cancer to domestic violence. When the first issue of Ms. Magazine was published in July, 1972, nobody knew how well it would do. Its first 300,000 copies, printed as a gamble, sold out in three days and generated 26,000 subscriptions in a matter of weeks. Ms. created a much-needed national consciousness-raising forum for thousands of women in the form of a national publication designed to reach a broad audience. In a time before YouTube and blogging, Ms. articles covered everything from feminist grassroots organizing to in-depth investigative reporting to national politics. The letters to the editors from readers over the past four decades reveal the magazine’s incredible impact on the everyday lives of women around the country.

A group of Stanford faculty and Ms. editors have selected forty covers from the magazine’s inaugural freestanding issue in 1972 to today. Contestants are invited to submit 150-word essays about one of these covers, addressing such questions as: “How did this cover reflect or shape your own life? How does it capture an era, or moment from the past? How does it resonate with the present? What does it say about American women and men? About feminism? About sexuality? About the political landscape at the time it appeared or today? How does it reveal both the strengths and limitations of feminist thought?”

Entries will be judged on their originality, vision, awareness of feminist issues, and quality of expression. Ten winning contestants will each receive a $100 cash prize and a subscription to Ms. Magazine. Winning entries will be displayed alongside the Ms. covers in an exhibit on the Stanford campus during Winter Quarter, 2012.

More info here.

-Bridget Crawford

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