Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference recognizes nation’s top writers through annual contests

Monday, November 7, 2022 - 16:26

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The 2022 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference announced the winners of its annual writing contests, which highlight some of the nation’s most outstanding journalists.

Hosted by the University of North Texas Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, the conference is one of the nation’s premier events for aspiring and experienced writers. This year’s conference focused on going back to the basics, with a focus on writing craft that fuels great storytelling through its theme, “Diary of a Storyteller: Crafting Words that Matter.”

Each year, the Mayborn offers opportunities for writers to publish their work and win recognition and cash awards for their outstanding stories.

This year’s winners, chosen by a panel of veteran journalists, are as follows.

The book manuscript competition, which looks for the most original, creative and compelling work, offers the first-place winner a provisional publishing contract with UNT Press and awards $1,500 in prize money. The winner is:

  • First place: Are You Ready for This? by Dan Glenn 

The Ten Spurs Awards represent the best of the works submitted as either unpublished personal essays or reported narratives. The first-place winner received $1,500; all winners will be published in the Mayborn’s Ten Spurs Journal.

  • 2022 Ten Spur Winner
  • 2022 Ten Spur honorees
    • Snake Skin by Monica Berry
    • Hitting the Floor by McKensi Bryce
    • My Life in Pie by Amber Clark
    • Dangerous Heat, Getting Personal by Carol Lea Clark
    • Suicide Swag by Casey Manuel
    • Rhymes with Estonia by Chris Phelan
    • Do It Like Whitney! by Alice Robinson

The Best American Newspaper Narratives category was created to recognize the very best narrative, long-form stories published in American newspapers during the preceding calendar year. The following works were published in the year 2021. The first-place winner received $1,500, with all honorees to be published by UNT Press in the next BANN anthology. The winners are:

The judges selected three works for runner-up honors:

The judges selected four works for notable narrative honors:

Each year, the Mayborn celebrates the craft of writing with its contests. For more information, including deadlines and application forms, visit

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