Fancy yourself the next Rick Moody or Jennifer Egan? If you can string the right set of words together on the proper topic, you could soon find yourself $5,000 richer.
Saratoga Springs–based philanthropist Bruce Piasecki, who founded and serves as president at the AHC Group, and his philanthropist wife, Andrea Masters, former editor of the Adirondack Mountain Club, have put out a call for submissions for their The Bruce Piasecki and Andrea Masters Annual Award on Business and Society Writing, which will award a grand prize of $5,000 to one lucky writer (the money is being awarded through the couple’s Creative Force Fund).
Though the contest has been live since February, the deadline for submissions is closing in, ending on August 15. Eligible writers have to be between the ages of 18 and 35, and have at least one work published before the 15th. The work could be an essay, research paper, book or article—though topics must be about positive social impact and business (think Business Insider meets Vanity Fair). “We want to make sure that this writer has the dual competence to cover both business dynamics and social needs,” says Piasecki. Topics could be on anything from climate change and diversity/inclusion to sustainability and medical needs. But, of course, with any writing contest, the sky’s the limit. Ultimately, each submission must be in English, and its merit will be judged by a group of five judges, all from different disciplines. Judges are also asking would-be contestants to submit a two-page essay on what they’re planning to do in the next five years, along with their published submission.
There is one rather large catch, though: The award isn’t just open to writers in the Capital Region but those around the world. Piasecki, himself a New York Times bestselling author and former professor at Cornell, Clarkson and RPI, tells Saratoga Living that over the past six months he’s advertised the award in London, Dublin, Sydney and Canada, among other worldwide locales; and has received submissions already from the US, Europe, Canada and Asia. “It is a global award,” he says. “Our ambition is to make it a bigger award over time, but this is the first year we’re doing it.”
Piasecki and Masters created their community sponsored fund through the Adirondack Trust Company, so that over the next four decades, they can fund an award to one, and possibly as many as three, young writers worldwide. And they’ve solicited the advice of some of Saratoga’s best to get the award off the ground: both Yaddo and the New York State Writers Institute have offered strategic advice, with the latter set to host the awards ceremony, once the winner has been chosen.
For more information on how to submit your work, click here.